Tackle Count: The odds and history favour Queensland in 2020 State of Origin battle

NSW needs to win to take it to a series decider at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Pierre Roudier (Creative Commons)
NSW needs to win to take it to a series decider at Suncorp Stadium. Photo: Pierre Roudier (Creative Commons)

It's hard to believe it's already do-or-die for the NSW Blues in the latest State of Origin series but here we are.

Brad Fittler's men will need to exponentially improve on last Wednesday's performance to take the series into a decider.

With NSW's five-eighth Luke Keary sensationally dumped from the starting line-up, the pressure on new No.6 Cody Walker will be immense.

There's a camp which believes Keary was made the scapegoat for the Blues inability to go forward in Game I at Adelaide when perhaps the focus should have been on the engine room. Questions mark certainly appeared over the heads of Boyd Cordner (a non-starter tonight) and alleged blockbuster Tyson Frizell.

On the other side of the ledger, Queensland is on a hiding to nothing. As a unit they turned in a stereotypical Maroon performance in South Australia and performed above expectations.

Another week in camp to fine-tune pairings, the threat of Val Holmes from the back field, and a coach who knows not just how to do it week-in, week-out means they will be as dangerous as ever.

And they have a hand on the shield. With a potential decider to be played at Suncorp next week, where the Maroons enjoy a lop-sided 36-19 win-loss record, makes it an uphill battle for the Blues.

* This edition of Tackle Count was written by Janine Graham.

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