Greg Prichard July 04, 2012
What if we lose? ... The Blues themselves haven't come out and made any outrageous predictions. Photo: Getty Images
What if we lose? No, seriously, what if we lose? We meaning NSW, since the push for the Blues to win the series-deciding State of Origin III and stop the Queensland rot is so strong it's like everyone on this side of the border is involved - or at least meant to be.
But, really, what if we lose? It is a possibility, you know, even though the suggestions that NSW are finally ready to end a Maroons run that has stretched to six straight series, that it is our time, are running rampant.
A lot of it is coming from the media, and whenever we get sick of saying it we find a former NSW player to say the same thing. That isn't hard. You only had to read yesterday's Herald.
''I just think it's their time,'' Craig Fitzgibbon said. ''I think they believe they can. Every player lives for these opportunities. The script's written; this is the best opportunity they're going to get as players. I'm sure they'll get it done.''
Mark Gasnier: ''They can win this one because they had the same opportunity last year. We really mucked it up [in game three]. There are a fair few in there that experienced that. They can learn from it … Over the last two years, I think our forwards have been a bit more dominant. If we get an even amount of possession I think we'll win.''
But what will happen if we lose? Will NSW coach Ricky Stuart and his players be forced to wander some vast Origin wasteland, where, similar to a post-nuclear scene, only cockroaches and people who have invested in fallout shelters are at reasonable odds to survive?
The Blues themselves haven't come out and made any outrageous predictions, but they have gone to great lengths in talking about their mateship and brotherhood, and their belief in their ability to win.
''State of Origin won't stop for these players after Wednesday night,'' Stuart said in his newspaper column. ''We believe we will be getting together in years to come for what we will do on Wednesday night. We believe we're making history. Our own history.''
Blues captain Paul Gallen said in yesterday's Herald: ''The self-belief and the bond we have got is great.''
Meanwhile, there have been suggestions, on the NSW side of the border, of course, that Queensland coach Mal Meninga has gone mad.
Now, for the last time, what are we going to do if we lose? What would we say going into next year's series?
I can't bear to think about it. Let's just win.