at 3.40am EST
Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of Origin III from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Kick-off between New South Wales and Queensland is at 8.10pm AEDT (7.10pm local).
It all comes down to this. The 2020 State of Origin series – the exclamation mark at the end of the longest rollercoaster of a season – will be decided tonight at a packed Suncorp Stadium.
New South Wales head north of the Tweed buoyed by one of the all-time great Origin performances last week in Sydney. After the 15-minute mark the Blues excelled in every facet, outplaying the Maroons off ANZ Stadium and running in a series of superb tries. NSW’s dominance, especially in the backline, could have easily left scars in the Queensland sheds.
But that was last week. Tonight the Maroons have home ground advantage and for the first time anywhere in the world since the start of the pandemic that means 50,000 rabidly partisan fans cheering on their side. Wayne Bennett is also able to call on Cameron Munster and Christian Welch after both missed last week’s defeat, while the veteran is also ready to unleash Rookie of the Year Harry Grant off the bench.
It all sets the stage for a captivating night of sport. NSW, full of confidence and oozing class against a Queensland outfit with their backs to the wall, eager to make critics eat their words after being dubbed the worst team in Origin history. It should be a fitting climax to a year of domestic rugby league that nearly didn’t happen.