The Blues will head to Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night looking to make it 3-0 against the Maroons for only the fourth time in Origin history.
It’s been 18 years since the Blues won an Origin series in a clean sweep. The year was 2000 and Sydney hosted the Olympic Games, whilst the NOKIA 5110 was the phone of choice.
Ryan Girdler entered the history books after scoring three tries and converting ten goals on his way to a record haul of 32 points.
Fast forward to today and Girdler's record still remains, however the Blues' Origin supremacy of that era has faded into nothing more than a distant memory.
Turn back the clock and watch as NSW dominates in Game 3 of 2000.
QLD then won 13 of the next 18 Origin series. Unbelievably though, even with the great teams they put on the paddock throughout that period of dominance, the Maroons only managed one series whitewash.
Such is the pride in each state's jersey that of the 17 dead rubbers ever played, only seven teams have gone on to make it 3-nil.
This highlights the difficulty of claiming the coveted clean sweep and the challenge that lies ahead for the Blues.
One thing that is for certain however, is that Brad Fittler's men head into this game with nothing to lose. Despite the majority of the squad having never played in the intimidating Suncorp StadiumOrigin cauldron, they should feel comfortable with the series in the bag, allowing them to play an expansive brand of footy.
On the other hand, QLD will be desperate to send legend Billy Slater out on a high as he captains the Maroons in his final game in a Maroons jersey.
Watch as Slater scores one of the greatest individual tries in Origin history
Losing Greg Inglis to injury is a significant blow for QLD. Inglis, undoubtedly the Maroons' best player this series, has the highest post-contact metres (139m) out of any player from game one and two, well in front of his nearest rival James Tedesco at 109m.
The veteran's potency in attack won't be the only void QLD will need to fill. Inglis' defence has been equally good and the main reason for opposite centre James Roberts' limited impact in both games.
Kalyn Ponga is another Maroon who will be sorely missed by coach Kevin Walters.
The Newcastle flyer dominated the middle of the ruck in game two, making 108m from 10 runs, with one line-break. His explosive and dynamic running was QLD's main attacking threat at ANZ Stadium and he came within inches of breaking the hearts of Blues fans.
He will be replaced off the bench by Ben Hunt, who is yet to prove he is up to this level and unlikely to provide the same spark as Ponga off the bench.
Daly Cherry-Evans makes his long-awaited return to the QLD set-up and will look to prove the chorus of doubters wrong. Whilst Hunt has failed to deliver in the Origin arena, his 2018 NRL stats are far better than those of DCE.
The season stats show that Hunt has the wood on DCE, with a clear edge in try assists and total try involvements.
Cherry-Evans has had more possessions, which only emphasises Hunt's superior creativity with the ball in hand. The stats also indicate that the Manly half opts to run the ball more often than Hunt, an attribute that won't faze the strong defensive line of NSW.
Key Match-up - the forward packs
The Blues forwards hold the upper hand in the three key statistical areas of run metres, tackle breaks, and post-contact metres. With only two changes to the pack this series, expect the NSW forwards to produce more of the same in game three.
QLD will be looking to get more out of impact players Josh McGuire and Felise Kaufusi, who both possess the ability to cause the Blues headaches.
One of the most telling statistics as to why the Blues have had the upper hand in run metres has been runs from dummy half. NSW hooker Damien Cook has racked up 14 runs from the play the ball, double that of his opposition hooker Andrew McCullough (7).
For the Maroons to win...
Daly Cherry-Evans must deliver early ball to Billy Slater, who can join the right side attack alongside Storm teammates Felise Kaufusi and Will Chambers. With early ball, Slater can target the Blues' left edge defence which showed signs of weakness in game two.
The attacking kicks from DCE must be on the mark. He has a big target in Corey Oates, who will be hungry to lock down his Origin spot for 2019.
All this is only possible if the Maroons forwards go toe-to-toe with the Blues pack. If they lose the arm wrestle in the forwards, it will be curtains for QLD.
For the Blues to win...
If NSW can win the battle of the forwards again, they will win the game. Look for big performances from David Klemmer who played limited minutes in game two, and Paul Vaughan who has earnt a call up to the starting line-up.
If the forwards lay a platform, the Blues backs possess enough firepower to put a huge score on the cane toads.
Expect Damien Cook to take full advantage of his forward's efforts, by taking as many probing runs from dummy half as he can.
Key State of Origin Betting Stats
The Blues average score-line in game three of a whitewashed series is 30-8
The last 7 Origins at Suncorp Stadium have averaged 36 points
Valentine Holmes $2.25, Dane Gagai $3.50, Latrell Mitchell $2.30 and Josh Ado-Carr $1.91 have scored a try in both matches of the series. With jersey #1-5 scoring all 11 tries so far, these four players look value in the anytime score markets
Partly cloudy, the chance of showers and 14 degrees forecast for Brisbane. If the rain stays away, expect to see a fast-paced game with some expansive footy to be played.
State of Origin Betting Tip: NSW to cover the line of -3.5 @ $1.90
Reasoning: The Blues took 11 debutants into the start of the series and you'd think they are only going to get better with each performance. QLD on the other hand, have been dealt blow after blow and have struggled to compete in the key moments of this series. If NSW click, then this could turn into a bloodbath at Suncorp.
QLD is saying goodbye to one of their greatest players in Slater and that may be the motivation they need to ensure they don't get blown off the park.
Expect the Blues to be too big and too strong. How much they will win by? Well that depends on how long the Maroons decide to dig in.