Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
19 hours ago
Mal Meninga, you're a genuine Rugby League icon - respected by fans, players, and administrators alike.
As the player, you've won premierships with the Raiders, Origins with the Maroons, and Tests as the Kangaroos captain.
As the coach, well, you had little luck with Canberra in the late 90s, but more recently, you've had great success guiding Queensland to three successive series wins - which of course is no mean feat.
Lucky enough for you now Mal, you've got this amazing opportunity to cap this illustrious career off, and take on the most respected coaching post in Rugby League.
Most opinionated League followers believe you are the right man for the job. There's no doubts that you're a mentor first, tactician second, but an assistant that would compliment your coaching style would surely get on board. And administrators from both the Queensland and New South Wales camps have practically endorsed you.
So, Mal, all you have to do is give up your Maroons job and everything will be sweet.
Oh, I see, you don't want to give up your Queensland position.
But wait, you don't want to coach Australia?
Mate! You can't do both - you can't have it both ways Mal.
I understand what coaching Queensland means to you. I understand the success, joy, and pleasure you get out of guiding the Maroons during such a time in Origin history.
And I also understand that you've been signed to coach Queensland for another three years at a good rate of pay. It seems like a great package, and both job and financial security is important.
But what ever happened to your green and gold pride big fella? Please tell me you'd put the national interest ahead of Queensland's.
Coaching Australia is one helluva gig, that's for sure. It may not allow you to make the most cash, and it may not be the most stable role you could take on at this point in time. But it could be a once in a life time chance, Mal.
Reports say that you would take Queensland over Australia? Why Mal, why?
Just a few days ago, you put your hand up for it. Even before the position was vacant.
But now, these question marks pop up. It's like you want the Premiership of Queensland and the Prime Ministership of Australia at the same time.
It just doesn't work mate, it wouldn't make sense.
So, Mal, you have a choice mate. And the quicker you make it the better.
Your heart either lies with your cherished state, or your beloved country.