An entertaining 2020 State of Origin series will reach a conclusion on Wednesday when the Queensland Maroons take on the New South Wales Blues. 

Queensland recorded a surprise 18-14 win in Adelaide to open the series, only to be brought back down to earth last week when NSW triumphed 34-10 in Sydney on the back of a man-of-the-match display by Nathan Cleary. 

That means the series is intriguingly poised at 1-1 ahead of Game III at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. 

With the help of Opta statistics, we take a look at some of the key talking points ahead of the decider. 

Queensland have won the last five Game III deciders which have been played outside New South Wales. The most recent of those, in 2017, saw Valentine Holmes score a hat-trick as Cameron Smith was named man-of-the-match.

The Maroons have also won six of the last seven State of Origin matches at Suncorp Stadium, including the previous two at the venue despite trailing at half-time.

NSW, though, triumphed in the last two Origin series and are aiming to seal a third consecutive victory. If achieved, it would be their joint-longest winning run in the format, with NSW previously achieving a three-peat between 2003 and 2005 after their first such streak from 1992 to 1994.

The Maroons will have to improve defensively, having conceded 26 or more points in three of the last four State of Origin matches, three of which have been losses. They had only leaked that many points once in the 11 games prior.

Daly Cherry-Evans was man-of-the-match in Game I. He has 11 one-on-one tackles, the most of anyone in this series so far. Queensland players also come second and third in that ranking, thanks to the efforts of Dane Gagai (10) and Kurt Capewell (eight).

Phillip Sami has made a joint-series high two try saves for Queensland in this State of Origin campaign, level with Gagai (two) and as many as the entire New South Wales team combined (Tyson Frizell and Daniel Saifiti have one each).

Josh Addo-Carr has scored a series-leading four tries in 2020 and the New South Wales star needs one more to equal the record for the most in single edition. That is jointly held by Ryan Girdler and Lote Tuqiri, who had five each in the 2000 campaign.

Deciders played in Queensland have typically seen NSW start fast. They have led at half-time on nine previous occasions, going on to win in six of those fixtures (L3).

Having won last year’s decider 26-20, New South Wales will be looking to claim back-to-back victories in Game III for only the second time in State of Origin history. 

They have only previously done so in 2004 and 2005. The 2019 decider saw them edge an entertaining encounter 26-20 courtesy of a last-gasp James Tedesco try in Sydney.

New South Wales’ Tedesco has scored three tries in his last two appearances in Origin deciders. In those contests, he has also made four line breaks and 13 tackle breaks.