Queensland desperate to keep series

State of Origin returns to Sydney tonight with Queensland desperate to keep rugby league's showpiece series alive.

NSW won 25-12 in Brisbane two weeks ago and will start warm favourite to clinch the series at a sellout Telstra Stadium tonight. Queensland will have to overcome a 15-year hoodoo to win the series for an 11th time -- That's how long it's been since the Maroons came from 1-0 down.

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 visitors on average 24 points to 11.

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.

Recent history is on Queensland's side, with no team having won back-to-back matches since NSW made a clean sweep of the 2000 series.