Blues captain James Tedesco believes a win over the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night would complete Brad Fittler's goal of "bringing the pride back to NSW", which the coach set for the team when he took over the role in 2018.
The Blues got out of jail in last year's decider in Sydney with a last-minute try to Tedesco sealing back-to-back series wins but will need to rewrite the history books to keep the shield south of the Tweed.
Not since 2005 have the Blues won a decider in Brisbane, losing the last four live game threes in Queensland since then.
Tedesco and second-rower Tyson Frizell are the only two players remaining from the squad that let a 1-0 series lead slip in 2017 – a series result that led to coach Laurie Daley's departure.
NSW have enjoyed their best success under Fittler since the 2003-05 period but Tedesco said winning a decider in enemy territory for the third time in Origin history would sit highly on his list of career accomplishments.
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 3 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
"We have a great chance to bring the pride back to NSW," Tedesco said.
"The big one for Freddy was bringing that pride back in the NSW jersey when it was pretty lost 10 or so years ago when Queensland were dominating.
"We've shown that in the way we want to play for each other and the jersey.
"I think we've started to build it back the last few years but this would really top if off with three in a row and finishing it off up there.
Maroons v Blues - Origin III
"You can't get it any better than that. Him and Fitzy (Craig Fitzgibbon), Bedsy (Danny Buderus) have all spoken to us about that. It's a big opportunity for us to be mentioned alongside those Origin teams.
"You don't really think about the history and achievements but rather play in the moment.
"[But] if we are to win it would be a cool achievement and be captain of this team it's very special."
Fittler was his usual relaxed self ahead of NSW's final training session on Tuesday but was keeping his cards close to his chest about the fitness of star winger Josh Addo-Carr. The coach said there were no injury concerns but Addo-Carr was on light duties at the captain's run with Nick Cotric filling in out wide.
"When you lose the first one there are so many possibilities because you lose the luxury of losing again," Fittler said.
"But we're finally here and it's what everyone wanted. We're going in with a good footy team who aren't overwhelmed. We go in with a really good chance. It would be an awesome memory."
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Fittler's future as a potential NRL coach has been brought up throughout the Origin series and could intensify should NSW get the job done on Wednesday night.
Fittler coached the Roosters between 2007-09 for a 41.7% success rate and is signed with the NSW side until the end of the 2021 campaign.
Asked if he still had a future in coaching within the NRL, Fittler said he believed it was a possibility.
"I think so, I don't walk away from those nerves on game day," he said.
"Working with elite players is easier without a doubt. They're so motivated, their skill levels are high and the fact is we've got coaches here who are in clubland every day.
"It's the dream job [but] tomorrow is what the gig is about. It either forces you away or drags you in."
Smith says embracing magnitude and history of Suncorp key for Maroons
Tedesco said Fittler drew little comparison to his Roosters coach Trent Robinson in terms of detailed planning but knew a way to bring players together.
"If he wanted to [be an NRL coach] it would be pretty cool. I know it was hard when he went into Roosters early but that was a long time ago," Tedesco said.
"He is more on feel and confidence-building, he brings us together as a team and in these camps and that's the most important thing.
"We all want to play for Fred and the coaching staff. He brings that out in us."
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