Queensland

State of Origin: The key numbers as NSW Blues hope to make home advantage count in decider

After the bitter blow of losing to Queensland Maroons in Brisbane first time out, a thumping 38-6 victory for the Blues in Game II was a stark contrast.

Yet ahead of this week's crucial game, Queensland can point to having won on four of their last seven visits to the former Olympic Stadium, while they also possess a supreme recent record in deciding games.

We look at key facts and figures with the help of Opta numbers ahead of Game III.

Queensland win Origin opener

A try-scoring double by man of the match Dane Gagai helped the Maroons overcome an 8-0 halftime deficit and a string of missed chances to draw first blood in front of 52,191 fans.

It was a dream start for Queensland's new Origin era as they look to reclaim the title.

And it was a pretty good look for polarising mind coach Bradley Charles Stubbs.

Ahead of his fourth campaign, Maroons coach Kevin Walters was looking for inspiration as his side began an Origin series without the last of their future Immortals, Billy Slater and Greg Inglis.

NSW seal Origin series in Sydney

Blues coach Brad Fittler, new to the role this year, guided New South Wales to victory in his first match in Melbourne and they wrapped up just their second series win in 13 years with a game to spare on Sunday.

Unlike in 2017, NSW were able to build on their opening victory, even with veteran Billy Slater back from injury for the Maroons.

NSW set to rival Queensland for Indigenous representation

While the Origin teams aren't named for another three weeks, there are more players of Indigenous heritage under genuine consideration for Blues selection than in any previous series, with the possibility of a three-quarter line-up featuring Blake Ferguson, Latrell Mitchell, James Roberts and Josh Addo-Carr.

Wade Graham is expected to be selected if fit, while Tyrone Peachey is in strong contention for a utility role, and Jack Bird and Nathan Peats are incumbent members of a Blues team which last year fielded more Indigenous players than the Maroons for the first time.

Hunters arrive in Sydney

Hunters team and management arrived in Sydney on Friday afternoon and are settling in well.

A little jet lagged, Queensland champions SP PNG Hunters arrived at the Parkroyal Hotel in the Suburb of Parramatta just outside Sydney.

Hunters have put in the hard yards and although the Queensland Intrust Super Cup challenge is done and dusted, the journey goes further than that for these local heroes.

Upon arrival, coach Michael Marum was his usual cool, calm and collected self when checking in at the Parkroyal Hotel Parramatta.

​Barras lose final 50 over match

The Barras batted first and were bowled out for a 226 runs in 48.3 overs.

Captain Assad Vala top scored for the Barras with 43 runs, while Dogodo Bau (36), Lega Siaka (32), Mahuru Dai (31) and Vani Vagi Morea (22) all chipped in with some runs in the top to middle order.

D’Arcy Short did the damage with the ball for Australian Indigenous finishing with (5/34).

The Australian Indigenous side encountered little trouble chasing down the target reaching it inside 34 overs.

MAF offers flight training in PNG

With a ‘One Training Centre - Two Campuses’ approach, the two training campuses are Mount Hagen, Western Highlands and Mareeba, Queensland, Australia.

MAF is planning two intakes each year, with the opportunity for up to four PNG students to begin training at each intake.

Within two years, the MAF Training Centre (TC) aims to produce professional and competent pilots with relevant licenses, ratings and approximately 240 hours flying experience.

US Marines feared dead off Queensland

Twenty-three of the MV-22 Osprey's crew were rescued in a search and rescue operation after the aircraft "entered the water" about 4pm during "regularly scheduled operations" on Saturday, according to the III Marine Expeditionary Force.

The tilt-rotor aircraft had been in Queensland as part of the Talisman Sabre joint training exercise between Australian and United States military forces, which ended on July 25.

The exercises were taking place in Shoalwater Bay training area near Rockhampton in Central Queensland.

Emotions get the better of Slater

Slater feared at times his career would end prematurely after season-ending shoulder injuries in the past two seasons. 

The former Kangaroos fullback was visibly emotional during an interview on-field following the side's two-point victory and Slater admitted the successful comeback got the better of him with the Maroons pulling off a miracle to level the State of Origin series at 1-1 heading into the decider at Suncorp Stadium in July 12. 

Cowboy’s Matt Scott to lead Trukai Fun Run

Currently sidelined with injury, Scott will add an extra sprinkle of stardust to an already impressive roster of sporting celebrities at the Trukai Fun Run.

Scott will lead as the 2017 Trukai Fun Run Ambassador on Sunday June 11 at the Sir John Guise Stadium.

He will be joined by another Cowboys favourite, retired Australian and Queensland centre/winger, Brent Tate.

The duo will also have alongside them SP Hunters players and Team PNG athletes.