Soward: Blues MUST win Origin decider

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This Wednesday night’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane is the most important game in NSW Blues history.

For so long we’ve spoken about Queensland’s dominance in the Origin arena but it’s time to put that to a stop once and for all.

Queensland are a champion team and they proved that once again in Game II when they came back at the death to win.

Nothing is easy when the Maroons are involved.

However, I truly believe this year’s Blues are the better team, but they just lacked some experience in those final few minutes in Sydney to finish the game off.

Even though NSW were in front with six or seven minutes to go, you never really thought they would close the game out – you just knew Queensland would score.

While watching, you had the feeling NSW would lose their way and they did. Laurie Daley’s men didn’t execute the simple plays at the right time whereas Queensland could.
For three halves of footy, NSW have been the better side.

Last week, NSW named the same 17 as they did in Game I and II for Wednesday’s blockbuster clash. Not since 1996 have the Blues fielded the same team for all three games.

While Queensland, well they again had some more forced changes with Darius Boyd and Johnathan Thurston missing through injury.

There has been a lot of talk this week about Daly Cherry-Evans’ snubbing from the Maroons team and, I must say, I was a tad surprised myself.

It appears Queensland have chosen a team that they feel fits best with their current system and I just don’t think DCE suits their game while Cooper Cronk and co are there.

I thought DCE would make the team, a no-brainer. But to call up Brisbane’s Ben Hunt to debut, they’ve obviously consulted with some of the senior players to come to this decision.

It’s a huge kick in the guts for DCE because he’s been outstanding for Manly this year but I’m sure his Origin career is far from over.

At the end of the day, I don’t really care who Queensland have picked and who is missing, and neither should NSW. I just want the Blues to go up to Brisbane with the same mentality and ruthlessness as in Game I and do the job. Bring the series home!

I’m heading up to Suncorp Stadium next week to cheer on the boys, let’s hope it’s worth it!

My tip: NSW to win 21-14.

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