Time to end a 30- year hoodoo or perish
QUEENSLAND must overcome a 30-year Origin hoodoo if they are to save the series and set up a Suncorp Stadium decider.
Not since the famous “Queenslander” call was coined in 1987 have the Maroons rescued a series in Sydney after losing game one in Brisbane.
That is the mountain Kevin Walters’ crew must climb as he prepares to field Queensland’s least- experienced team in seven years at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.
After axing veterans Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday and Jacob Lillyman, Walters will roll out a team with four debutants and 197 games of Origin experience.
But youth could be the answer. The last time Queensland went into a series with less experience was 2010 and Mal Meninga’s men romped home with a clean-sweep victory.
In 1987, the Wayne Bennett-coached Maroons were staring at a third straight series defeat after losing the opener in Brisbane, prompting the team to come up with the inspirational “Queenslander” call.
The Maroons went on to win the next eight games — a record that still stands.
“Leading up to that game we came up with the Queenslander call,” former Maroons fullback Gary Belcher said.
“We were in a meeting at Rushcutters Bay Travelodge and Fatty (Paul Vautin) came up with the call. There was so much on the line and Wayne made that clear. That could have been the third series in a row we lost.
“It would have been the end of our Origin careers for a bunch of us. That was made pretty clear. We certainly knew NSW were on the verge of big things. It was desperate stuff and we had to play that way.”