Moore: Maroons must play for silence
THIS is as tough as it gets for the Maroons: a decider in Sydney.
The Maroons enter this game with their backs against the wall. They're coming off a hiding in game two, have lost one of their best players in Kalyn Ponga and will run on to ANZ Stadium with 80,000 Blues fans baying for their blood.
When the Maroons touched down in Sydney on Monday they would have known that they were in enemy territory.
There is nothing more intimidating or motivating that knowing you aren't welcome and that's what the Maroons will feel when they run out on Wednesday night.
But when you look at the stats, Queensland have handled deciders better than New South Wales.
Of the 19 deciders in Origin history, Queensland have won 14, NSW have won four and there have been two draws.
Of the past seven deciders Queensland have been triumphant on seven occasions, the last two of those deciders won on enemy soil in Sydney.
There's two things you can guarantee Wednesday night.
Queensland won't play as bad as they did in game two and NSW will be better than they were in game one.
I like the changes coach Kevin Walters has made to the Queensland side.
Christian Welch is a fantastic addition. The Storm prop is tough, he's uncompromising, he gets through plenty of work and has an offload in him as well.
Corey Norman is a player built for Origin.
He's got a strong running and kicking game and oozes poise and confidence.
And the return of Joe Ofahengaue is massive for the Maroons. He was close to Queensland's best forward in game one and will relish the extra minutes starting the game.
Queensland missed a golden opportunity to test out the Blues centres in game two.
Tom Trbojevic and Jack Wighton were both outstanding, but played on the front foot and weren't tested in defence. It's up to the Maroons edge forwards to make sure they're sending plenty of attack their way.
There's no doubt the Maroons would have preferred to be playing this game in Brisbane, but their job tonight is a simple one.
Play for silence.
If the Maroons can get on the front foot and get away to an early lead they'll silence the Blues crowd and take them out of the game.
But if the Maroons allow the Blues to start the way they did in Perth it will feel like they're swimming against a tsunami.
Here's hoping the Maroons can take the 80,000 strong Blues fans out of the game tonight and we'll be able to hear a pin drop by full-time.