Justin Hodges: Maroons inspired to win for JT
QUEENSLAND has all the momentum - and a huge amount of emotional charge - going into tonight's Origin series-decider at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
It's one it will want to win for a Maroons legend in Johnathan Thurston.
To be honest, I didn't think we'd get to this stage.
At the start of that second half of game two in Sydney, NSW - already leading 16-6 - had a lot of possession and I thought it was going to run away with it.
But Queensland dug its heels in and really finished over the top of them - in true Queensland spirit.
That was one of the greatest comebacks of all time by a Queensland side.
Especially being in Sydney - it's very, very hard to do down there.
To have Johnno out there with one arm as well, the fight he showed was unbelievable.
It took me back to that 2006 series when a few of the boys were injured, including myself for the game three decider in Melbourne.
But it was incredible to witness that game, the fight the boys showed.
That game turned everything around for us.
NSW will no doubt be confident returning to Brisbane tonight.
Apart from the last 20 minutes of that second half in Sydney, it's been the better team all series.
The way the Blues played up here those first 40 minutes of game one was probably the highest-quality football we've seen from them.
And now there's no Darius Boyd, no Nate Myles, no Sammy Thaiday and no Thurston.
But they are going to come up against a very strong team, with a lot of support, and a lot of emotion.
It's devastating Thurston won't be out there. You want to see your great players play.
He loves that Queensland jersey. You hear every time he speaks about it he gets emotional.
It's just a shame we don't get to see the great man out there one more time in a maroon jersey, especially at home.
But even though he's not playing, it's his last series and they will want to make sure they win for him.
In place of Boyd and Thurston come Cameron Muster and Ben Hunt - two great young players coming through the ranks.
Munster will have his combinations there with Cameron Smith and Billy Slater. It will be pretty normal to them. A lot faster, but he's got that connection to fall back on.
Hunt is a fantastic player and this experience is only going to make him better.
Being in camp again with coach Kevvie Walters has been the best thing for him.
Expect Michael Morgan to also have a bigger impact.
Morgo is probably his own worst enemy because he's so good coming off the bench and filling those roles.
At some stage you have to reward him with a starting spot and he will go out there and do his job.
They've got great leaders in that team and they will be in great hands making sure they've prepared well and ready to rumble.
And hopefully win another shield.