State of Origin Game 3 – NSW Blues Team Preview: Line Ups, Stats, Betting & Odds

Well, here we are again. For the 22nd time in history, the three-game State of Origin series is tied at 1-1, with Game 3 set to determine which team will have the rights to the Shield for the next 12 months. After a surprise loss in Game 1, the Blues bounced back in emphatic fashion in Perth and will head into the decider as favourite as a result. Here is everything you need to know about their side and their prospects heading into the game.

State of Origin Game 3 NSW Blues Team Line Up

Starting Line-Up

1. James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)

2. Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers)

3. Matt Burton (Canterbury Bulldogs)

4. Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)

5. Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)

6. Jarome Luai (Penrith Panthers)

7. Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)

8. Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)

9. Api Koroisau (Penrith Panthers)

10. Jake Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles)

11. Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

12. Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers)

13. Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)


14. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

15. Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters)

16. Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels)

17. Siosifa Talakai (Cronulla Sharks)


18. Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders)

19. Chad Townsend (North Queensland Cowboys)

20. Clint Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)

21. Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)

22. Reece Robson (North Queensland Cowboys)

New South Wales Blues Game 3 Team News

Unsurprisingly given their dominant performance in Game 2, New South Wales have made minimal changes to their squad for the decider. Payne Haas will be the most notable absentee, with the Broncos prop forced out due to injury. Initially, he was set to be replaced by Cowboys forward Jordan Mclean, but he sustained a hamstring injury sustained at training means the Haas replacement will himself be replaced by Jacob Saifiti, who has been named as a reserve.

That aside, the Blues will remain unchanged from the side that won 44-12 in Perth to level the series. Jack Wighton will be available after missing Game 2 with COVID, but the performance of centre duo Matt Burton and Stephen Crichton means that they retain their spots and Wighton has been named as 18th Man.

New South Wales Blues Game 3 Preview

The Blues headed into the 2022 State of Origin series as favourites, but after a number of their stars put in uncharacteristically lacklustre performances in Game 1, they went down 1-0 with games in Perth and Brisbane to come. Halfway through Game 2, there was every chance that they were 40 minutes away from a surprise series loss. They held just a two-point lead over the Maroons at the break, but with their backs to the wall, the Blues put on a scintillating display in the second half. They scored five tries in the space of 24 minutes, racing to a 44-12 win after being on the cusp of series defeat a little over half an hour earlier.

The empathic nature of that performance means that, though they will have to do it on the Broncos’ home turf, New South Wales is now once again favourite to retain the Shield. The team that was so impressive in that second half of Game 2 will remain unchanged with the exception of Payne Haas’ absence, and if they can even get close to the level they played at during that 40 minutes they will be extremely tough to stop.

Equally, however, history suggests that they won’t have things all their own way. Suncorp Stadium is affectionately known as ‘The Cauldron’ for a reason, and visiting teams often don’t have a great time there. The Blues are certainly no different. They’ve won just 20 of the 58 games played there, and in series-deciding Game 3s their record is even more stark; they’ve just one of ten such games since the beginning of Origin.

If this game was being played in New South Wales, the Blues would be very comfortable favourites. Most would agree that they are the better overall side; that was how they were viewed heading into the series, and their Game 2 performance certainly suggested as much. At Suncorp Stadium and against a Queensland side with plenty of talent, however, it’s far from a lay down misère. They deserve to be favourites, but victory won’t come easy.

NSW Blues Team Stats

Below are some of the most notable NSW Blues team stats from the first two games of this year’s State of Origin series.

Points Scored: 54

Points Conceded: 28

Completion Rate: 84%

Tackle Efficiency: 88.2%

Errors per Game: 7.5

Penalties per Game: 4.0

Total Possession: 56%

NSW Blues Player Stats

Take a look at New South Wales’ leaders from the first couple of games in a number of key statistical categories.

Tries: Nathan Cleary (2), Jack Wighton, Cameron Murray, Matt Burton, Brian To’o, Daniel Tupou, Jarome Luai, Angus Crichton

Conversions: Nathan Cleary (8/9)

Penalty Goals: Nathan Cleary (1/1)

Most Try Assists: Nathan Cleary (2), Jarome Luai (2)

Most Run Metres: James Tedesco (275 per game)

Most Kick Return Metres: James Tedesco (94.5 per game)

Most Post Contact Metres: Brian To’o (88.5 per game)

Most Tackles: Liam Martin (35 per game)

Most Kicking Metres: Nathan Cleary (519 per game)

How Have NSW Blues Fared in Game 3 Historically?

Although the head-to-head record between New South Wales is relatively close over the history of Origin – the Maroons lead 65-58, with two draws having also been played – things haven’t been quite as tight as Game 3. The Blues have historically struggled immensely in the final game of the series, and of the 40 Game 3s which have been played since the series began in 1982, they have won on just 12 occasions.

Of course, not all Game 3s are made equal. They are either dead rubbers or series deciders, and the former obviously aren’t worth looking into too deeply. Unfortunately for New South Wales, their winning percentage gets even worse when focusing exclusively on Game 3s with the series tied at 1-1. In the 21 occasions that the series has been decided in the final game, the Blues have won a meagre five times. Two of those games were drawn – with the Shield being retained by Queensland on both occasions – while the other 14 were won by the Maroons.

And unsurprisingly, things get even worse at Suncorp Stadium. In total, there have been ten series deciding Game 3s played on Queensland’s home deck. Of those ten, New South Wales have won on just a solitary occasion back in 2005. One other was a draw, while the home side has saluted on the other eight occasions.

So to summarise; Game 3 hasn’t historically been a happy one for the Blues. However, history is just that. For all of the Blues’ past struggles in the final game of State of Origin series, this is an entirely different team and few players have been involved in many, if any, of those struggles. The knowledge of Queensland’s historical ascendancy in series deciders, particularly at Suncorp Stadium, may well have some role to play, but it will be purely between the ears.

NSW Blues Suncorp Stats and Records

The below stats pertain to every game played at Suncorp Stadium in State of Origin history.

Games Played: 58

Games Won: 20

Games Drawn: 1

Games Lost: 37

Points Scored: 845

Points Conceded: 1093

Game 3s Played: 24

Game 3s Won: 7

Game 3s Drawn: 1

Game 3s Lost: 16

Highest Score: 32 (def. Queensland 10; Game 3, 2005)

Lowest Score: 0 (lost to Queensland 30; Game 2, 2008)

NSW Blues Betting Markets

Take a look at some of the odds surrounding the New South Wales Blues heading into this series deciding clash at Suncorp Stadium

NSW Blues Win Betting Odds

History is against the Blues both in terms of winning Game 3s and, in particular, winning them at Suncorp Stadium, but nonetheless they’ve been installed as a relatively soft favourite.

New South Wales Win$1.65

NSW Blues Line Betting Odds

For a little more value than the head-to-head odds, you can get the Blues at close to even money to win by three points or more.

New South Wales -2.5$1.90

NSW Blues Player Betting Markets

Take a look at some of the most popular player props for Blues’ players below.

NSW Blues Player of the Match Odds

Nathan Cleary was the runaway winner of this award in Game 2, and he is justifiably seen as the Blues’ best chance to win it again in Game 3. There are plenty of others who are more than capable though; Tedesco was also fantastic last time out and rarely puts in a bad showing, while at longer odds, Burton is also in fine form.

Nathan Cleary – $4.60

James Tedesco – $6.00

Isaah Yeo – $14.00

Jarome Luai – $16.00

Cameron Murray – $19.00

Jake Trbojevic – $19.00

Matt Burton – $21.00

NSW Blues First Try Scorer Odds

There’s plenty of value to be found in the first try scorer odds for New South Wales. Of particular note is Nathan Cleary down the bottom of the below list; though he hasn’t been scoring a great deal of tries for the Panthers this year, he did score two last game, so could be value at long odds.

Brian To’o – $9.75

Daniel Tupou – $10.00

James Tedesco – $13.00

Matt Burton – $13.00

Stephen Crichton – $16.00

Siosifa Talakai – $19.00

Jarome Luai – $26.00

Liam Martin – $26.00

Nathan Cleary – $26.00

NSW Blues First Half Try Scorer Odds

For a little more security than first try scorer, this market only requires a player to score at any point in the first half.

Daniel Tupou – $3.50

Brian To’o – $3.55

James Tedesco – $4.30

Matt Burton – $4.40

Stephen Crichton – $5.20

Siosifa Talakai – $6.00

Liam Martin – $8.00

Nathan Cleary – $8.00

Jarome Luai – $8.25

Angus Crichton – $9.00

Cameron Murray – $9.00

Damien Cook – $9.25

Apisai Koroisau – $10.00



**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.