Even rival Kevin Walters feels sorry for besieged NSW coach Laurie Daley.
The rookie Queensland mentor reckoned it would be unfair if Daley was sacked if the Maroons sealed a rare State of Origin whitewash on Wednesday night.
Two years after emerging as NSW’s saviour, Daley is facing the axe as the Blues assess yet another failed Origin campaign.
The 2014 Origin winning coach’s time appears up at NSW after losing his second straight series.
Craig Bellamy is the only Blues coach in Origin history to have not been sacked after two consecutive series defeats.
But Walters said he felt for Daley even as he planned Queensland’s fourth Origin series whitewash on Wednesday night.
“I would be disappointed for Loz personally because I know how much work he has put into preparing the side,” Walters said of Daley being sacked as NSW coach.
“He has copped a lot of criticism throughout the series, all of it unwarranted I believe.
“NSW could quite easily come out and win game three – that’s what worries me.”
But Walters added: “NSW won a series in 2014. The belief would still be there for NSW.
“It’s up to us to stop that belief, to make it 3-0.”
Walters believed fullback James Tedesco’s addition and Cronulla young gun Jack Bird’s likely injection at pivot made the game three NSW side the best he had seen yet in his debut series.
“It’s a very dangerous side. And down in Sydney makes it a little bit harder,” he said.
“We have done a lot of work on Tedesco and Bird – we need to limit their damage.
“Talking about it is one thing, doing it is another.”
Walters’ ascension as Queensland coach this year has done nothing to curb the Maroons’ dominance enjoyed under predecessor Mal Meninga.
Queensland have already sealed their 10th series win in 11 years.
Walters did not believe their success was hurting the Origin concept despite small crowds predicted for the 83,500 capacity ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
Organisers are sweating on a big crowd for game three which will also double as NSW skipper Paul Gallen’s Origin swansong.