Maroons spine, speed can counter Blues

·2-min read

An injection of genuine speed will help but Queensland halfback Daly Cherry-Evans knows his reworked spine must fire to have any chance of halting the NSW juggernaut.

Boasting a 76-6 cumulative scoreline after two games, the Blues can cap the most dominant State of Origin series win of all time in Newcastle on Wednesday.

Queensland have turned to 19-year-old flyer Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, fighting fire with fire after makeshift centre Kurt Capewell was no match for direct opponent Tom Trbojevic's pace in the first two games.

Capewell will instead give the Maroons' second row more potency, while Ben Hunt's shift to hooker and Kalyn Ponga's return at fullback can create headaches alongside playmakers Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster.

The captain says Tabuai-Fidow's presence will cause problems but it's those four members of the spine who must learn to "ice" the opportunities that presented in a 26-0 game two loss but weren't taken.

"Anyone who's played the game under the current rules (knows) speed is a really tough thing to mark up against," Cherry-Evans said.

"If you can get the momentum rolling on nicely, create those opportunities, with genuine speed it's really hard to stop.

"It also changes the defensive line; if you know someone outside is really, really quick then you've got to have one eye on them.

"We're not asking him to completely change (our fortunes) ... but it's nice knowing that's out there to give the ball to when the time's right.

"And that's where Kalyn will help a lot; he's a fantastic footy player it looks like he's grown again since the last time we played together.

"We've created a lot of opportunity, he's only going to improve our attack and take it to another level."

A regular in the halves for St George-Illawarra, Hunt has proved a handy No.9 at Origin level and will give Queensland another ball-player to spark much-needed attack after Cherry-Evans and Munster looked lost at times in Brisbane.

"We believe we've got a good side; the results don't reflect that at all, but we can rectify that and show we have the right people out there," Cherry-Evans said.

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