State of Origin 2020: Game 3 live score, updates, stream, blog, teams, how to watch, start time, NSW Blues vs QLD Maroons, Wayne Bennett, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
The 2020 Origin shield goes on the line on Wednesday night when the New South Wales Blues travel to Suncorp Stadium to take on the Queensland Maroons.
The Blues took out game two 34-10 but Queensland will have the advantage of a huge home crowd.
Read on for all the latest news and updates ahead of the decider.
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Maroons: 5. Corey Allan 19. Edrick Lee 21. Brenko Lee 4. Dane Gagai 1. Valentine Holmes 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Christian Welch 9. Jake Friend 10. Josh Papalii 11. Felise Kaufusi 3. Kurt Capewell 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 12. Jaydn Su’a 14. Harry Grant 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Jai Arrow
Blues: 1. James Tedesco (c) 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Clint Gutherson 4. Jack Wighton 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cody Walker 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Damien Cook 10. Payne Haas 11. Angus Crichton 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Jake Trbojevic Bench: 14. Dale Finucane 15. Junior Paulo 16. Nathan Brown 17. Isaah Yeo
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MIND GAMES FROM FREDDY?
Blues coach Brad Fittler has lit the fuse for a mouth-watering Origin decider with some late mind games directed at the Queenslanders.
Fittler commended his opposite Wayne Bennett for shifting his backline to push Valentine Holmes to the wing and debutant Corey Allan to fullback in what he believes is Queensland’s best side of the series.
“I think they’re a better side [with Holmes on the wing], without a doubt,” Fittler told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.
“I think Valentine has always been a better winger and Corey Allan’s a better fullback.
“Wayne has made those decisions right. Brenko Lee has had an incredibly year playing in the centres.
“We’re still guessing their positions, we’re more worried about ourselves. It’s mostly their best team of the series.”
SUNCROP CAULDRON A 12-POINT ADVANTAGE FOR MAROONS
Former Blues hooker Michael Ennis has opened up on the intensity of the hatred between NSW and Queensland players in the lead-up to an Origin game and the impact of the fans.
Andrew Johns said that Queensland at home at a sellout Suncorp Stadium that is a 12 point advantage and Ennis warned the NSW players they wouldn’t have experienced anything close to their reception in the Origin decider.
“There is nothing like it,” Ennis said on Fox League.
“Running out at ANZ Stadium in front of 80,000 is a special experience, but the hostilities of running out at Suncorp in front of 50,000 people who genuinely hate you.
“There is this genuine hatred. Mates I played with at Brisbane in 2009 when I played Origin wouldn’t text me back.
“I didn’t understand the enormity of it in terms of just how significant it was. You were unable to even communicate with blokes you previously played with.”
Paul Kent revealed the intensity of the contest starts with the interaction with the fans in the build-up to the game.
“Cooper (Cronk) talks about the punch in the face when you run out of the stadium, well that’s the initiation to get you ready,” Kent said of Caxton St. Cooper Cronk revealed the enormity of the support from Queensland fans and what the Blues were facing.
“I got to experience the bus down Caxton St the last time they did it in 2009,” Cronk said.
“Mal got an exemption to take the bus down Caxton St. There were people hanging off the rooftops. The bus stopped they realised it was a Queensland bus and threw confetti as opposed to beer cans.”
ENNIS SAYS MAROONS WILL TRY AND UNSETTLE BLUES
Wayne Bennett and Queensland know they are mismatched and will bend the rules to try and gain an advantage, according to Michael Ennis.
Ennis said Bennett was “not silly and would be looking for ways for his side to get under the Blues’ skin and unsettle the heavy favourites.
“They will cheat, they’ll be offside all night, they will be in their faces and they’ll scrap” Ennis said on Fox League.
Paul Kent, meanwhile said it was mismatch on paper.
“It’s a different Queensland side to the ones we keep referring back to,” he said.
“This NSW side, on paper, is as good as it gets. Ryan Pappenhuysen can’t get in the side.
“We saw through that great era, that Queensland era, we saw some NSW sides that were pretty ordinary but within a few short years it’s completely flipped
BENNETT HASN’T REINED IN QLD ENFORCER OVER HAAS RIVALRY
Wayne Bennett hasn’t spoken to Tino Fa’asuamaleaui about his fiery rivalry with Payne Haas ahead of the Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium.
Bennett blamed the media for inciting the Game II brawl between the pair that resulted in a double sin-binning, which makes his decision to not address the issue with his player a little hard to fathom.
“I haven’t said much to him actually, at all,” Bennett said.
“He’s not someone you’ve kind of got to talk to a lot.
“He’s pretty well motivated and a a pretty easy to coach guy, he wants to do his best for you.
“He’s 20 years of age and we’ve got a decade of him, that’ll be good hey. Looking forward to that.
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“He’s only going to get better and he’s not going to be intimidated by anybody, so let’s get out there and see what happens tomorrow night.”
On the other side of the personal rivalry Haas has vowed to not take a backward step if hostilities resume between the two players or any other teammates.
“I won’t back down, it’s State of Origin, you never back down to anything like that, especially that kind of stuff,” Haas told Channel 9.
“If it ever happens again so if it ever happens again none of my teammates or me is going to back down.”
COMMENTARY CHANGES SET TO GIVE ORIGIN DECIDER A DIFFERENT FEEL
Channel 9’s coverage of the Origin decider is set to look a little different, with several changes due to the Queensland governments quarantine restrictions
Ray ‘Rabs’ Warren will call the game from a studio in Sydney, Phil Gould will be reinstated to the commentary team, while viewers will have the choice to watch the game from a camera trained solely on the NSW halfback Nathan Cleary.
However the decision to lock out Gould and Warren from Queensland will pose some challenges, according to Gould himself.
“He’s not keen to do it off the tube,” Gould said of Warren on the Six Tackles With Gus podcast.
“When you know Ray as well as we do, these little things can sort of set him off a bit.
“He relies a hell of a lot on the atmosphere at the ground for the tone. The crowd tells him when to get excited.
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“So he’s never been keen to call a game off the screen in the studio for fear of the lack of atmosphere and not knowing when to get excited in the call.
“There is a huge advantage in being at the ground… you see more than the people at home are seeing on TV.”
Meanwhile Matty Johns said he was surprised that Gould was cut from the commentary team for Game II after claims of bias.
“I was really surprised last time when Nine took him off the coverage, I thought they’d throw their support behind him,” Johns said on SEN.
“Now, Gus can be a little bit biased, but if you listen to the Queensland blokes in State of Origin, they openly cheer.”
‘HE’LL BE OFFSIDE, CHEATING, WHATEVER’
NSW legend Andrew Johns has called on the Maroons to do whatever it takes to shut down Nathan Cleary if they want to take out this year’s Origin series.
In particular he has praised the role of Melbourne star Christian Welch.
Cleary had two of his most poor games of the year in the grand final and game one of the State of Origin series.
The common denominator in both? Melbourne front rower Welch and his kick pressure.
“I cannot rap NSW halfback Nathan Cleary enough for his performance in game two,” Johns wrote in a column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
“He was under so much pressure and scrutiny but produced the best game I’ve ever seen him play. His kicking game was up there, or even better, than that of Ricky Stuart’s in the early 1990s.”
Welch returns this week though and Johns is sending a warning to Cleary.
“The Queenslanders get back prop Christian Welch. He was the man in the grand final for the Storm who terrorised Cleary’s kicking,” he said.
“In this decider, he’ll be offside, cheating, doing whatever he can to ruffle his feathers on that last play. Cleary won’t have the time he had in Sydney and that’s a big test for him.”
ORIGIN EXPOSES 32-YEAR LOW FOR BRONCOS
It took an injury to Xavier Coates but the Maroons are officially set to run out for their first-ever Origin game without any Broncos players.
Fox Sports Lab revealed that besides the Super League in 1997 when they could not get picked, Brisbane have never had no representatives in the Maroons jumper for at least one Origin game.
Coates was their lone representative and scored an incredible acrobatic try to kickstart Origin 2 but was ruled out of Wednesday’s decider with a groin injury.
Brisbane had three Queensland players in last year’s Game 3 in the form of David Fifita, Joe Ofahengaue and Corey Oates.
However, horrible on-field form has seen a host of potential options disregarded and the Broncos squad left out entirely
It caps off a year of historical lows for the proud club who collected their first-ever wooden spoon and conceded a whopping 624 points while winning just three of 20 games.
The Broncos do have one Origin representative in the Blues camp in the form of Payne Haas.
GALLEN STANDS BY CONTENTIOUS QUEENSLAND COMMENTS
Anything to fire the Maroons up, hey?
Yet again they are just were Wayne Bennett wants them and exactly where the Blues don’t need them, with Queensland being dismissed yet again.
Paul Gallen has refused to back down after supporting comments earlier in the week that this is the worst Queensland team in decades.
But he maintains he never said they were the worst in 40 years – rather insisting all he did was say it is a fair comment.
“Let’s go back to what I actually said – I never said they’re the worst team in 40 years, I said it’s probably a fair comment,” he explained on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.
Gallen retired from representative football having tasted success in the Origin arena during the 2014 series.
It was an otherwise dominant period from Queensland that Gallen played in but now he sees a changing of the guard happening and he does not see it stopping soon.
“I look at the current Queensland side, and they’ve got great players, but as a team it comes down to ability and I don’t think they’ve got anywhere near the ability of the Blues,” Gallen added.
“On Wednesday night, if the enthusiasm and the effort from both sides is equal it’s got to come down to ability, and on ability I can’t see the Blues getting beaten.
“The only way Queensland get this done is if their effort and enthusiasm is better than the Blues and I just don’t think it can be.”
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Gallen put New South Wales’ opening series loss down to being an ‘off day’ while arguing the second match is a better indicator of the gulf between the two sides.
To be fair to the Maroons, they did lose five-eighth Cameron Munster very early in that heavy defeat.
“I’ve seen what they’ve done in Game Two and they know how to play that way now,” Gallen said.
“[The Blues] had a really off game and they played ordinary. You look at Game Two, they hammered [the Maroons].
“I would much rather have played against this side than any of the teams I ever played [against]. In the past 15-20 years, I’d probably say this is the worst team. There you go, let’s fire them up even more.”
HAAS WON’T BACK DOWN IF DECIDER HEATS UP
Payne Haas said his focus is not on starting up any brawl on Wednesday night but if there is a repeat of last week’s dust-up, he is adamant that he won’t shy away.
Haas ran for 157 metres and made 22 tackles in a barnstorming performance during the 34-10 win but it was his fight with Tino Fa’asuamaleaui that stole the headlines.
There has naturally been speculation as to whether the two will come head-to-head again and Haas said that if it does happen, he is clear on what we will do.
“I won’t back down,” he told Nine News.
“It’s State of Origin. You never back down to anything like that, especially that kind of stuff.
“If it ever happens again, me or none of my teammates are going to back down.”
Haas also revealed his father has a strong vision for how he wants to use his son’s ripped jersey from the fiery game.
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“He told me straight after the game that he wants the jersey straight away and he’s going to frame it,” he said.
Wayne Bennett said he has not had to speak to Fa’asuamaleaui and does not know what exactly to expect tomorrow.
Regardless of whether there is another brawl or not, Bennett is certain the Storm star will not back away in leading from the front in a footy-sense.
“He’s only going to get better and he’s not going to be intimidated by anybody,” he said.
“Let’s get out there and see what happens tomorrow night.”