Winners when it counts: Queensland triumph late in game two, 2017. Photo: Getty ImagesIf you’re from Queensland then you already know that you have the superior State of Origin team.
And you already know that dominance is built on a defiant, never-say-die attitude.
No Thurston? Who cares. The Maroons always step up when it counts. And now we have the data to prove it.
Fairfax Media has crunched the figures on the 109 State of Origin games to date, and what’s clear is just how dominant Queensland have been in what US sports broadcasters call ‘the clutch’ – those key moments when the game or series is on the line.
Proud tradition of success: Wally Lewis, Allan Langer and Gary Belcher in 1987. Photo: Fairfax Media
The numbers paint a bleak picture for the Blues and revealQueensland’s empire is built on two pillars: dominating the second half and dominating game three.
The overallpictureThere have been 35 completed three-game Origin series, plus two individual matches in 1980 and ’81, and two matches this year (for the purposes of this exercise we’re ignoring the California excursion of 1987).
Queensland have won 22 titles to the Blues’ 13, while the overall games tally and points scored remains relatively close.
Comeback kingsWatching Origin can sometimes feel like a David Attenborough documentary on repeat.
Off skip the New South Wales gazelles, frolicking happily as they get out in front, only to be mown down by eternally ruthless Queensland lions.
The data supports this, with NSW having actually led at halftime more than Queensland.
As we saw in Game II this year, the Maroons are justifiably famous for their never-say-die attitude.
Thirteen times Queensland have been behind at half-time only to go on to win the match, compared with eight for NSW. The Blues have never come back from more than six points down at half-time to win. Queensland have done it four times.
Winning the tight onesWhat do Cooper Cronk, Allan Langer and Mat Rogers have in common?
They’ve all kicked field goals that won Queensland an Origin. Actually, Cronk’s done it twice.
Of course, not all game threes mean that much. Out of 35 completed three-match series, there have been 17 dead rubbers and 18 series deciders, when Queensland again go up a gear.
The Maroons have beenthree timesmore likely to win in game threes that count.
But it gets worse for Blues fans. Because this chart leaves off Queensland’s wins in the first two Origin titles, which were only one match.
And there have been two draws in Origin history. Both came in game three and resulted in drawn series. But both times Queensland was the defending champion, and so retained the trophy.
Taking this into account, there have been 20 times when both teams showed up at the ground with honours even and the trophy on the line. Queensland have taken home said trophy 16 times.
So can someone remind me again why NSW are favourites for Wednesday night?