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State of Origin: third game preview

Rugby League

Next week's ultimate State of Origin clash promises to be a cracker as New South Wales lick their wounds and prepare to avenge a sorry 26-6 defeat to Queensland last Wednesday.

The Blues are narrow outsiders in the bet365 sports betting odds despite their home advantage and victory in game one and cannot take anything for granted following that second-game pummelling. Head coach Laurie Daley will hope NSW get off to the same great start the Sydney fans witnessed a month ago when Jarryd Hayne scored just five minutes into the clash. Hayne was replaced by Josh Dugan for the second game and that fullback position is key for any NSW success over the whitewash next week.

Dugan will play game three after accepting a one-match ban for a shoulder charge during the Dragons' 25-10 defeat at Penrith last weekend.

Five-eighth James Maloney barely got a sniff of the ball during game two and Queensland will target the NSW punter once more next Wednesday, so Paul Gallen and Robbie Farah must get the ball to him fast off the tackle.

The Maroons, meanwhile, are rugby league betting favourites and boast a resurgent squad with Greg Inglis at centre is likely to dominate play once again. The 26-year-old is in fine form with the Rabbitohs and grounded during game two. Alongside centre partner Justin Hodges they held the line well and this duo will be key to any Queensland success.

What makes next Wednesday's encounter so unpredictable is Queensland's forward pack, which saw three changes made between games one and two and completely changed their game. Nate Myles has been shifted around the forward line and should earn a third start – probably at prop – while Corey Parker impressed at lock and may keep his place.

Whether Myles will earn revenge for Gallen's game-one punch-up we'll have to wait and see but if the pair clash at the ANZ Stadium sparks are certain to fly in every direction. This game is almost too close to call and while Queensland head into it favourites the Blues will have 80,000 fans on their side.

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