Live: State of Origin shield up for grabs in Lang Park decider

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The Maroons are heavy underdogs and the Blues are coming off a big second-game win. Is another classic Lang Park decider on the cards?

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By Jon Healy


What it’s like playing Origin at Lang Park

By Jon Healy

Bluey and the Maroons

Alright, not biased here, but GO MAROONS!!! Bluey’s fam are on your side!

– Izzy

Izzy, any excuse to share this masterpiece by Kyle Pollard is one I’ll happily grab with two hands.

Just a taster…

On the surface, it’s a story of simply having to choose a sports team.

Deeper down, though, it’s a lesson of the reality that decisions for children are hard when they know that someone they love is going to be hurt, no matter what they decide. It’s a lesson for the parents watching as much as the children. Maroons or blues? This house or that house? Weekends or weekdays? Mum or dad?

By Jon Healy

The last Lang Park decider


In 2020, the Maroons were fielding a side well below full strength and not given any chance of winning, but somehow (read: Cameron Munster) pulled it off.

This time there’s no Munster and the Blues are an infinitely better side.

By Jon Healy

By Jon Healy

Thurston’s advice for Dearden

The former Cowboys great has had a chat to the new Maroons five-eighth, and he says it’s all about getting comfortable early.

“Whether he gets an early touch with the ball or an early tackle is important, then he’ll find his groove. He’s been playing good footy for the Cowboys, organises his edges really well and has that combination with Val Holmes. So very excited to watch him play.”

By Jon Healy

Key Event

Teams are in and Tom Dearden will start for Queeensland

Team lists for the Queensland Maroons and NSW Blues for State of Origin III.

Tom Dearden will make his debut in the halves, with Tom Gilbert the other debutant off the bench. Patrick Carrigan has also been moved into the starting line-up, with Tino Fa’asuamaleaui moving to the subs.

NSW, meanwhile have shifted their first-gamer, Jacob Saifiti to the bench, with Junior Paulo returning to starting prop.

By Jon Healy

By Jon Healy

Depleted Maroons

Cameron Munster of the Queensland Maroons stands with hands on hips during State of Origin.

Coming off a 44-12 demolition in Perth, the Maroons were already facing a fight to win the series, even with home-ground advantage. Then the really bad news arrived.

Cameron Munster (and let’s not forget about Murray Taulagi) was ruled out with COVID. The one man with the skill, confidence and track record to lead the Maroons to the sort of upset they’ll need … gone.

With game one guns Reuben Cotter and Xavier Coates already out, the Maroons haven’t been able to pick anything close to the side they’d want to pick.

I think Corey Oates should’ve been in this team all along and I’d back him to step in for Taulagi, but Tom Dearden on debut is a big departure from Munster.

It will take a miracle, but the Maroons have pulled them off before.

By Jon Healy

The legacy of Nathan Cleary

Nathan Cleary’s success as the leader of NSW and Penrith in the past couple of years is basically unmatched among his peers, so let’s take a look back and a look forward to see how he stacks up and what he can achieve.


Actually, Nick Campton‘s already done it for us. We’ll just read that one instead shall we?

By Jon Healy

Top three Indigenous Blues and Maroons

For the record, my list for Queensland (excluding the icon Artie Beetson, who’s in a category all his own) is…

  1. 1.Johnathan Thurston
  2. 2.Greg Inglis
  3. 3.Gorden Tallis

And NSW is a bit harder, but probably…

  1. 1.Laurie Daley
  2. 2.Latrell Mitchell
  3. 3.Timana Tahu

If you don’t agree with me, leave a comment because I’d love the engagement, but also, Ryan Liddle had a chat to Jharal Yow Yeh and Ricky Walford about their top threes, so check them out instead…

By Jon Healy

Time to decide

NSW Blues player Daniel Tupou is tackled by Cameron Munster and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui of the Queensland Maroons.

It doesn’t get much more classic than this — NSW is coming off a big win and no-one’s giving Queensland a chance.

But we’re at the Cauldron for the decider.

Can the ghosts of 2012, 2017 and 2020 sprinkle their magic cane toad dust on the Maroons, or will the dominant Blues close out their fourth series in five years?

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