The Queensland Maroons ahead of last year's State of Origin III.

Sam Thaiday looks around the Maroons change room and knows that the 16 men he is about to enter battle with are going through the exact same emotions that he is now feeling.

There is anticipation; validation that the work has been done in the 10 days prior to ensure victory; and, yes, even a touch of fear.

When the two-minute bell goes just after 8pm on Wednesday night the nervous energy that comes with playing in a State of Origin decider will consume 34 players at once as they realise that one of the biggest moments of their career is now just seconds away.

 

It's what they dreamed of as kids but now the time is upon them any doubts flood the consciousness as more than 52,000 fans in attendance and millions of Australians at home inch a little further forward in their seats.

"This is like playing in a grand final and trying to win a grand final," says Thaiday, who has played in four Game Three Origin deciders dating back to 2006.

"We've gone through the two games and it's one-all and you want to win the big one. If you are successful in winning a decider it's such a great feeling. It's a great feeling of relief, a great feeling of accomplishment and you're proud of your achievement as well. Very, very hard to do.

"You'd much prefer to seal it in two if you're going to do it. There's that bit of extra pressure now to really perform and make sure that you're ticking every box and doing everything right because you do need to do everything right to win a decider.

"You can win a game sometimes without doing everything right but if you really want to win the series and clinch the series in a decider, you have to do everything right."

By icing the 2012 series with a field goal in the dying moments Cooper Cronk has shown he is a man who revels in the big occasion and says that nothing is bigger than a Game Three decider at Suncorp Stadium.

"There's a moment in rugby league you'd never swap for anything and that's the two-minute bell that goes off before you run out to an Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium," Cronk said.

"The intensity and the passion and the fear and anxiety as you run out... You hear the flames from the fireworks go off and hear the screaming fans… it's why you play football. It's the one single moment that makes you realise you're living out a boyhood dream.

"The fact you're about to play a pretty important game is something special as well.

"I can't fully explain why it is about Origin deciders at Suncorp but it's something and I'm just glad I have a chance to have an impact on the outcome."

Having made his debut in Game Two, 2006, Jacob Lillyman will be playing in just his second Origin decider and although he will once again start the game from the bench, said that the two-minute bell is when the nerves kick in.

"A few nerves, that's the moment you know it is real," said Lillyman.

"You have gone through all the prepapration, the week in camp, the warm up in the shed, once that bell goes you look your mate in the eye and shake his hand, that's when it becomes real.

"She's on from there."

Before Thaiday runs out he goes through in his own mind the job that is ahead of him and seeks solace in the faces of his teammates who are in the same stage of their preparation, preparation that is about to be exposed over 80 brutal minutes of rugby league.

"The biggest thing is that you don't want to let anyone down," says Thaiday ahead of his 25th game for Queensland. "You're trying to make sure in your own head that you've got a simple plan to go out there and make sure that your first run or your first tackle is spot on and where it needs to be.

"You're looking around to try and find comfort within your teammates as well to know that they're going through the same thing that you're going through and they're probably thinking the same thing that you are.

"Once you're out on that field and you're standing there singing the national anthem, you've got arms wrapped around each other, you know it's on.

"I always look into the crowd and try and find my family if I can and try and stare them down the whole time as I'm singing the national anthem because at the end of the day they're a big reason why I play and they're a big reason I play the way I do play."