Home comfort key as Qld seeks Origin glory

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

It's not going to be the deciding factor but Queensland coach Wayne Bennett expects travel to play a role in Wednesday's State of Origin decider.

NSW will fly from Sydney to Brisbane on Wednesday ahead of game three, spending hours waiting for kick-off as Suncorp Stadium fills up with 50,000 mainly Queensland supporters.

Brad Fittler's team will then have to beat a Queensland team which only has to undertake an hour-long bus ride from their Gold Coast base at a venue where the Maroons have history on their side.

Bennett said same-day travel had played a role in his team's flat display in their 34-10 game-two loss to the Blues in Sydney last week.

"It's an issue there's no doubt about that," Bennett said.

"Just how much you put on it, I don't know.

"I mean, it's easier for us to get on a bus and get to Brisbane tomorrow than get on a bus, go to the airport, get on a plane, go to Sydney, sit around a couple of hours in a room down there and then get to the changeroom and you go out and all the crowd is blue.

"(Wednesday) it'll be reverse and it'll all be Maroon."

The Maroons have been boosted with Cameron Munster all clear to play after his game-two head knock, but will go into the match with four Origin debutants.

A groin injury to Xavier Coates means Edrick Lee will make his first Queensland appearance on the wing while Bennett confirmed on Tuesday that Brenko Lee will also debut.

Corey Allan and Harry Grant were both named last week for their first Origin games.

While Queensland have an inexperienced lineup, history is on their side for Wednesday's game.

The Blues head north having won just two deciders at Suncorp Stadium in the 40-year history of Origin and have won just one of the past eight deciders.

In 58 Origins at Suncorp Stadium, Queensland have won 37 and have only lost twice at the ground since 2010.