18 hours ago
History Favours NSW
Queensland will have to overcome a 15-year Origin hoodoo to win this year's State of Origin series.
That's how long it's been since the Maroons came from 1-0 down to win rugby league's Holy Grail.
Queensland will also have to overcome a woeful record of five losses and a draw in six matches at Telstra Stadium, where the Blues have outscored the Maroons on average 24 to 11 (148 to 70pts).
Since Origin switched to a best-of-three-series in 1982, the state winning the first game has captured the title 16 times with two of those series - in 1999 and 2002 - ending in controversial draws.
Coming from 1-0 down has only been achieved three times, twice by Queensland, in 1982 and 1987, and by the Blues in 1994.
While Queensland has been able to keep four series alive over the years after dropping the opening game, they haven't gone on to win the decider since 1987.
On that occasion, NSW took the first game 20-16 at Lang Park while the Maroons hit back to level 12-6 at the famed SCG.
The decider was one of Origin's truly great games, Queensland taking the thrilling clash 10-8 at the "cauldron" with Alfie Langer man of the match.
The Maroons couldn't repeat the effort in 1992 after squaring the series with a nailbiting 5-4 Lang Park win, the Blues getting home 16-4 in the decider this time with another halfback, Ricky Stuart, winning man-of-the-match honours.
Last year, Queensland came from 1-0 down to retain the title with a drawn series after an 18-18 result in the Sydney decider.
Origin's second draw in the past four series has prompted the introduction this year of a "no limit" golden-point rule in the event the scores are level after 80 minutes of battle.
Recent history is on Queensland's side, at least for Origin II this year, with no team having won back-to-back matches since NSW made a clean sweep of the 2000 series.