Maroons take 15-year advantage into Origin decider
New South Wales has not won a series deciding match at Suncorp Stadium since Andrew Johns inspired the Blues to victory in 2005. The Maroons went on to win the next eight series in a row.
The Blues have a terrible record in deciders in Queensland since Origin went to a three-game series in 1982, winning only two of the 11 contests (1994 and 2005). They have lost the past four deciders in Brisbane.
Watch The State of Origin II Full & Mini REPLAY on Kayo with no ad-breaks during play and Fox League Commentary. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly
Interestingly, in both of those winning years the Blues lost Game One of the series, as they did in Adelaide a fortnight ago before squaring the ledger in Sydney last Wednesday.
Queensland has a strong overall record in deciders, winning 13 compared to NSW's five, while two have ended in draws.
Queensland coach Bennett is expecting the Maroons to find another gear in their first appearance at home since June 5 last year.
Bennett said the Blues had a distinct advantage at ANZ Stadium last week as Queensland's border closure prevented Maroons fans from heading south for the game.
"It's the same as going to Sydney, tomorrow night gets tougher because they have no NSW people travelling up," he said.
"Our guys noticed it last week in Sydney, they couldn't believe the atmosphere in Sydney with regards to the Blues because they heard nothing for themselves.
"The guys said the stadium was all blue."
The Blues must also overcome the same-day travel challenges that Queensland experienced last week.
"It is an issue, there's no doubt about that, but I don't know how much you put on that," Bennett said.
"It's easier for us to get on a bus to Brisbane tomorrow than get a bus, get to the airport, get a plane to Sydney, sit around in a room for a couple of hours then go to the change room, you go out and all the crowd is blue.
"Tomorrow it will be reversed and all Maroon."
The Maroons were well off the pace in last week's 34-10 loss to the Blues, prompting Bennett to make numerous changes to his team.
He will blood four debutants in Corey Allan, Edrick Lee, Brenko Lee and Harry Grant and is hoping the Maroons will click into gear as they search for their first series win since 2017.
Bennett said Queensland had the potential to win the game, but it would come down to their attitude and commitment.
"It's going to be all that, that's the key," he said.
"We got it right in the second half in Adelaide, we played the way we wanted to play and in Sydney we were off the pace.
"They played a good game of football, they maximised their strengths and we found all our weaknesses. Tomorrow will be as much mental as physical."
Originally published as Maroons take 15-year advantage into Origin decider