Queensland fullback Billy Slater takes a high ball during Queensland v New South Wales State of Origin Game 3 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Queensland fullback Billy Slater takes a high ball during Queensland v New South Wales State of Origin Game 3 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Queenslander! Melbourne is no neutral ground for Origin

MELBOURNE may supposedly be a neutral venue for Origin game two, but Queensland will feel right at home in the Victorian capital.

Not only do Maroons stars Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Will Chambers play for the Melbourne Storm, but when it comes to sporting contests, Victorians also love to hate New South Wales.

Queensland has won the past three Origin clashes between the teams in Melbourne, dating back to game three in 2006 when the Maroons came from behind to claim the match 16-14 at Docklands Stadium, and the series, the beginning of a record-breaking run that was only stopped last year.

This match will be just the fourth at the MCG, with the ledger standing at 2-1 in favour of the Blues.

The first was played in front of a then Origin-record crowd of 87,161 in 1994, coach Phil Gould leading NSW to a 14-0 victory. The second came a year later and featured the biggest brawl in Origin history.

Both sides were ready to 'get it on' from the start of the game, and a 'Queenslander' call from the Maroons front row ignited an all-in brawl that took five minutes to control.

That won't be repeated tonight, but bookmakers suggest the result of the match will the same ... a Queensland victory.

STORM CONNECTION: Queensland stars (from left) Cameron Smith, Will Chambers and Billy Slater will have strong Melbourne support tonight against NSW at the MCG.
STORM CONNECTION: Queensland stars (from left) Cameron Smith, Will Chambers and Billy Slater will have strong Melbourne support tonight against NSW at the MCG. GETTY IMAGES

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