State of Origin 2013: Important Info for Blues vs Maroons

Ross DunbarContributor IIJuly 16, 2013

Gallen will miss Game 3 against the Maroons
Gallen will miss Game 3 against the MaroonsMatt King/Getty Images

The final match in the State of Origin Rugby League series takes place on Thursday in Sydney, as Queensland Maroons look to make it eight overall victories in a row.

They’ve won every State of Origin series from 2006 and all by a 2-1 scoreline, with 2010 an exception in a 3-0 whitewash.

Queensland Maroons are looking to make it back-to-back victories in the series after winning 26-6 over New South Wales in June.

The Maroons were dominating in their performance in Game 2, but showed suspect signs in Game 1 with New South Wales looking the better outfit.

Both Jarryd Haynes and Michael Jennings hit early tries for the Maroons in front of 80,000 people in Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

The Blues came out 14-6 winners with James Maloney converting three of his four penalty kicks in the victory.

There were two key changes for the Maroons in their attacking packNate Myles and Corey Parker coming in—who were in full control.

With NSW not on par with their opponents, not even the announcement of a change in Prime Minister could halt Queensland from picking up a good win.

Star-performer Darius Boyd ran for two tries, whilst Sam Thaiday and Greg Inglis added to the Queensland tally. Jonathan Thurston was on form with five of his six penalties finding the points.

Game 3 returns to Sydney as the two sides battle it out for an eventual winnerand for the Bluestheir first win in eight years.

Newcastle Knights and NSW winger James McManus will find themselves thrown into the deep-end, as he reacts to a desperate call to replace Jarryd Hynes.

Scottish NRL player McManus has scored five tries in his last two games and including four in their win over Gold Coast. The Blues are also nursing the wounds from losing Paul Gallen, an influential player in the side.

On the opposite side, Queensland Maroons will name an unchanged team for the third match of the series, keeping Myles and Parker from Game 2.

"It's good for team continuity to be able to keep the same combinations," Mal Meninga told ABC Net.

"We'll go to Coolum and everyone will know their job. It is an advantage."

Justin Hodges was binned in Game 2 for reacting to an early punch-up and he expects an intensive affair in Sydney. "The first 20 minutes are going to be pretty brutal," he said to ABC Net.

The Maroons arrived in Sunshine Coast over the weekend and are ready to increase their preparations ahead of the game this week.