As Forrest Gump once said: “Life is like a State of Origin dead rubber – you never know what you’re going to get”.
Meaningless Origin deciders are a bit like taking your cousin to the school formal – neither side really wants to be there and nobody wants to watch it either. Despite this, every so often a dead rubber throws up something special with the pressure turned off. So what does Origin Three have in store for us?
Queenslanders ($1.94) are celebrating – for the 10th time in 11 years – at the expense of the Washington Generals New South Wales ($1.90), who are somehow listed as favourites despite being 2 — 0 down.
Our spoilt, sun-drenched friends from up north will be baying for blood and total annihilation, while the Blues will be desperate for something – anything – to provide encouragement for the future.
But which will it be?
We could be treated to an unlikely thriller or a stinker that has us switching the channel to MasterChef quicker than Dane Gagai can pull the Blues’ pants down with another runaway try.
Or, as we’ve seen many times before, it could descend into fisticuffs. When Paul Gallen is on the park, you can never count it out.
THE GALLEN FACTOR
Brace yourself – it’s big Gal’s final Origin match. That in itself will keep people watching for the duration. Surely the big fella ($9.00 for man of the match) will want to go out with a bang. But what kind of bang is anyone’s guess. One thing is certain, whether you’re a Maroon or a Blue, Origin is poorer for the departure of the big man. He’s been on the wrong side of the ledger many times, but he’ll always have the glory of 2014. Expect him to lock horns with fellow final-gamer Corey Parker one last time.
TEDESCO TO THE RESCUE?
It’s the ultimate Catch 22 for Blues coach Laurie Daley. If James Tedesco ($10 for first try scorer) fires for the Blues on debut, it’ll be good for NSW both in this match and for the future. The flipside of that is people will be demanding to know why he wasn’t there in Games One and Two. Ah, the mysteries of Origin. Tedesco is surely a Blues star of the future and NSW fans were overjoyed to see him picked for Game Three. He looms as a ray of light in what has been an otherwise gloomy series.
GI OFF THE CHAIN
We hate to break it to you, NSW fans, but Queensland is 2 — 0 despite the fact that Greg Inglis has done three parts of bugger all this series. The law of averages suggests he is due for a massive performance. Corey Oates may be favourite for first try scorer ($9.00), but you should never discount Origin’s leading all-time try scorer in GI ($13). Cooper Cronk, who was under an injury cloud in the first two Origins, is another Maroon set for a big showing. For proof, grab a copy of his most recent performance when he notched up five try assists for the Storm in their hatchet job on Brisbane. Not a bad bet for man of the match ($13).
Latest Origin Game Three betting markets and odds available here.