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Why the Blues will be up against it in State of Origin III

 1. No Paul Gallen. Aaron Woods, Andrew Fifita and James Tamou have got “ticker”, but just lack the class and big match experience. Tamou has played for Australia, but he’s a novice.
 2. James McManus has had a great season for the Knights and he has the bulk to trouble the Maroons, however a lack of pace could be his undoing. What’s that saying – “Speed Kills”. And he usually appears on the left wing for the Knights. He lines up on the right wing for the Blues.
 3. Trent Merrin is an honest toiler, but what does he honestly offer the Blues. Is he a strike weapon in attack or is he the Blues’ defensive saviour? The fiesty Beau Scott is fit and he would have surely offered plenty in both attack and defence for the Blues
 4. Todd Carney and Peter Wallace were fantastic in the Bronocs-Sharks match to prove once and for all that they should have been the halves for the Blues ahead of Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney, who provided nothing in Origin I and II and are liklely to go missing again in Origin III.
 5. How fit is Greg Bird? Win or lose we’ll no doubt be advised after the game that he was “needled up” for Origin III. Had he missed Origin III following the loss of Paul Gallen then the Blues would have been absolutely no chance.
 6. It has been a dream preparation for the Maroons as there hasn’t been a single disruption. The bottom line is that the Maroons have got great backs, tremendous forwards and a handy bench. One question must be raised though. Will they rue dumping Ashley Harrison for Chris McQueen and Matt Gillett is the “Trent Merrin” in the Maroons outfit?
 7. Forget Origin I. Origin II was the true indication when it came to comparing the Blues and Maroons. The first 60 minutes the Maroons produced in Origin II was is perhaps unrivalled in State of Origin history.
 8. The home ground advantage will assist the Blues, but they will have to find another gear following their win in Origin I to have any chance. They just haven’t got the players to match the individual brilliance that a host of Maroons can provide.
 9. Following Origin II, Nathan Merritt and Josh Reynolds can feel pretty stiff that they were the only players to get punted for Origin III. The sad thing for the Blues is that there are up to half a dozen players, apart from Todd Carney and Peter Wallace, running around in the NRL premiership who should be lining up in Origin III.
10. In recent times, the only way the Blues have been able to match the Maroons is when they adopt a physical approach. Well, it was hard to fault their desire in Origin I. However, come Origin II the Maroons produced a blitzkrieg and the Blues simply had no response. In Origin I, the Blues threw the kitchen sink at the Maroons, but in the second half the Queensladers fought back and more than matched the New South Welshmen. In Origin II, the Blues were blown off the park and never once did they assume the ascendancy.
The heart says the Blues, but the head says the Maroons. It’s a no brainer. That means the Maroons will make it eight straight State of Origin series wins. It will also mean that the Maroons will dominate selection in the Australian side for the World Cup. The only good news for supporters of the Blues is that a Queensland team may not feature in the NRL finals this year.
Maroons by 1-12

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