NSW fans have reason to believe heading into the must-win return Origin clash at Suncorp Stadium – provided they have long memories.
The Blues will head north on June 22 trying to send the series to a decider, having lost Wednesday night’s opener on home turf 6-4.
NSW have won 18 times at Queensland’s spiritual home since the inception of the Origin concept in 1980, but have not won a must-win game in Brisbane since the Andrew Johns-inspired victory in game two in 2005.
Since then NSW have lost four make-or-break games at Suncorp Stadium, including the 52-6 hammering in last year’s decider.
Of the 12 must-win games held at Lang Park/Suncorp Stadium since 1980, NSW have won just three times.
“It’s tough going to Queensland to try and win,” NSW coach Laurie Daley said after Wednesday night’s game.
“We’ve got to make sure that we go up there and prepare well and do the best we possibly can.”
No matter how well they prepare though, the mere thought of the Queensland colosseum is enough to give NSW the blues.
NSW have won just one of 10 matches at the ground since 2006 where the series was still alive – the opening match of 2014 when Maroons halfback Cooper Cronk went off early with a broken arm.
After Johns worked his magic in his comeback series in 2005 – when the Blues came from 1-0 down to claim victory – NSW’s next must-win game in Queensland came in 2010, when they were flogged 34-6 in game two as part of a 3-0 whitewash.
A reinvigorated side under Ricky Stuart then returned the following season with hopes of clinching the series, but the Maroons beat them out of the blocks to lead 24-0 and eventually take the match 34-24.
A similar fate followed in 2012 when a Cooper Cronk field goal claimed a seventh straight series win for Queensland, before last year’s lop-sided decider.
NSW MUST-WIN MATCHES AT SUNCORP
2015: Game Three – Lost 52-6
2012: Game Three – Lost 21-20
2011: Game Three – Lost 34-24
2010: Game Two – Lost 34-6
2005: Game Three – Won 32-10
1999: Game Three – Drew 10-10
1998: Game Two – Won 26-10
1994: Game Three – Won 27-12
1991: Game Three – Lost 14-12
1988: Game Two – Lost 16-6
1987: Game Three – Lost 10-8
1983: Game Three – Lost 43-22