State of Origin 2017: Queensland Maroons captain's run

"If we don't win this game it's another series to Queensland", said Chris Boulous of the first State of Origin match.

The Houdini effort sets up a thrilling decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 12, giving Thurston the opportunity to leave the Maroons a hero in his 38th and final game for Queensland.

Conor Hickey, Paul Roberts and Chris Boulous share their predictions about how the game will pan out on the latest In The Clear NRL Podcast.

The ageing Maroons looked shot to bits when the Blues raced out to a 16 6 lead with two quick tries midway through the first half, but the Blues were held scoreless in the second half.

Queensland made wholesale changes for game two but Daley remained diplomatic on whether the tide had turned to the point that Kevin Walters' squad overhaul indicated that NSW was finally dictating terms on the Origin stage.

It's the key to the Maroons winning 10 of the past 11 Origin series.

Scenes from the Queensland Maroons State of Origin captain's run at ANZ Stadium.

He has also played in 17 victories, however few were as special as Wednesday night's come-from-behind 18-16 success to keep hopes of an 11th series win in 12 years alive.

WAYNE Bennett rarely sticks the boot into rival players, but in the case of Jarryd Hayne's "selfish" blunder on Wednesday night, the supercoach was prepared to make an exception.

"It's one of the best (wins), considering four debutants - and apparently one of the debutants not many people know him", Smith said.

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'It's something that we've looked at already, we addressed it early in the camp where we didn't play so well in game one and the boys are fully aware of what needs to be done in game two.

"He's one of the greatest players to ever play our game, if not the greatest". If the game is close - like it was - select a man-of-the-match from both teams and give the ultimate prize to the player from the winning side. Thurston was momentous against Parramatta in Round 14 in his first club game in two months to prove that he will hit the ground running.

"I think we lost our way and probably didn't play how we needed to".

"We've prepared like it's going to be a real battle through the middle".

David Klemmer of the Blues is tackled by Matt Gillett (left) and Cooper Cronk of the Maroons. He did, however, miss three tackles, one of which against Josh McGuire led to a Dane Gagai try.

"They didn't go to him once at all in the second half".

Thurston is as much magician as he is Rugby League player and his dominance of the Origin arena across 36 straight games up to Game 3 a year ago made him an automatic inclusion the moment he got through an injury return against the Eels in Round 14.

Queensland's back three, with Gagai, Slater and Holmes, is far more risky than what it was in game one and that is a danger for the Blues. And it appears the Blues don't want to make it one to remember. He made 33 metres but made no impact.

NSW again found joy through the middle, with the powerful Jake Trbojevic passing inside to an accelerating Tedesco, who burst into space before feeding Pearce for a third try and a 16-6 lead.

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