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Qld predict brutal Origin decider

The man who sparked the "one punch and you're off" rule might be missing for NSW but Queensland have not ruled out more fisticuffs in what they predict will be a brutal State of Origin decider.
Qld predict brutal Origin decider
by AAP

By Laine Clark

COOLUM, Qld July 13 AAP - The man who sparked the "one punch and you're off" rule might be missing for NSW but Queensland have not ruled out more fisticuffs in what they predict will be a brutal State of Origin decider.

Maroons veteran Brent Tate said Queensland would not drop their guard despite NSW skipper Paul Gallen's withdrawal or be surprised if more punches flew in Origin III in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Tempers have boiled over in both Origin clashes to date.

Gallen's infamous game-one fight with Queensland forward Nate Myles was followed by NSW prop Trent Merrin's Origin II "cheap shot", resulting in four players being sin binned - including the victim, a surprised Tate.

Tate did not expect the trend to change in what he believed would be an intense decider at ANZ Stadium as Queensland vied for eight straight series wins.

"No one goes out there to start a fight or thinking there is going to be a fight," he said on Saturday.

"The incidents in the first two games, that's going to happen when there is so much pressure and pride - sometimes it gets really heated.

"There is so much riding on these games. It doesn't matter whether it is a series decider or a dead rubber.

"You want to win every one you are playing (and) tempers do get frayed."

The other Queenslander binned in game two for the second-half incident sparked by Merrin's punch, Justin Hodges, predicted early fireworks.

"The first 20 minutes are going to be pretty brutal," he said.

"Both sides are going to come out and try and stamp their authority.

"We expect a bit of fireworks, I guess."

But Hodges backed Tate's view that Queensland would not be looking for a stink.

"This is the biggest game of our careers. We are going out there to win the game," he said.

Hodges said they would not be underestimating NSW despite their nightmare preparation being capped by Gallen's loss.

"It (Gallen's injury) is a massive blow - he's their leader. It does leave a hole in the team," he said.

"But it doesn't matter who they bring in - they will be ready to go.

"It's all about attitude, how they prepare now and how they take the field."

Tate expected Cronulla juggernaut Andrew Fifita to start for the Blues after Gallen succumbed to a foot injury.

"For us to be thinking it weakens them as a side would be a bit foolish," he said of Gallen's injury.

"That's something we will have to be wary of.

"I just know that when your back is against the wall and you have a few injuries, it can really steel you. We've been in that situation before."

Queensland will ramp up preparations on Sunday when they move out of their Sunshine Coast camp and fly to Sydney.


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