State of Origin 3

State of Origin: The key numbers as NSW Blues hope to make home advantage count in decider

After the bitter blow of losing to Queensland Maroons in Brisbane first time out, a thumping 38-6 victory for the Blues in Game II was a stark contrast.

Yet ahead of this week's crucial game, Queensland can point to having won on four of their last seven visits to the former Olympic Stadium, while they also possess a supreme recent record in deciding games.

We look at key facts and figures with the help of Opta numbers ahead of Game III.

Munster's Maroons complete series win

Played in front of a ground record of 52,540 predominantly Queensland fans Munster was involved heavily from the outset, Storm teammates Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk showing great faith to bring their new five-eighth into the play at every opportunity.

Queensland had never handed a half an Origin debut in a Game Three decider in 35 years of three-match series but any concerns the Rockhampton product would shy away from the occasion were almost immediately dispelled.

NSW Blues players rally around coach Laurie Daley amid uncertain future

aley is off contract at the end of this series and speculation is rife that the coach — who has been tormented by close losses to one of the greatest sides in rugby league history — is ready to walk away.

With just one series win — the 2014 cliffhanger — to hang his hat on, it’s possible, perhaps even likely, that Daley would not have his contract renewed by the NSWRL should his side fail at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.

However, win and he will have a record of two series wins and three losses from five attempts, a commendable effort given the quality of the opposition.

Nervous baby wait for Fifita

The Australian international was hoping for an Origin II victory to ease the pressure at the end of the series but the Maroons' win in Game Two has ensured there's still plenty of stress on the 28-year-old heading into the clash. 

While Fifita has been guarded from the media in preparation for the all-important decider, spoke to the Sharks prop about the situation off the paddock prior to Origin II. 

"When the doctor is saying Nik is 39 weeks it's a bit worrying but we've been prepared for it and knew it would be close," Fifita told 

State of Origin: Can Queensland ensure New South Wales' hold on the shield is short-lived?

The country's best players lining up at the country's best rectangular football ground in a winner-take-all clash is what top-flight rugby league is all about.

The lead up to Game III has been relatively free of the often tiresome verbal back and forth that usually accompanies these interstate clashes as both teams appear to be in business mode.

The Maroons had some injury-forced decisions to make at the selection table, while the Blues' biggest personnel call is yet to be made.

Grandstand takes a look at four of the key points that may decide tonight's victor.