The talking is over. The gloves are finally off. The destination of the 2012 State of Origin shield will be decided on Wednesday night in Brisbane.
After a campaign of one-upmanship and off-field tit-for-tat from coaches Mal Meninga and Ricky Stuart, the two old rivals and close friends outside of the Origin bearpit, will sit back in what is sure to be an emotional occasion at Suncorp Stadium.
The game will see Queensland warhorse Petero Civoniceva bow out for the Maroons, following a brilliant 14-year career.
It will also be the first time Queensland prop Matt Scott has played since his mother passed away from throat cancer last week.
Scott will pack down against his Kangaroos teammate Robbie Farah, who also lost his mother just four days after his brilliant display in game two for the Blues last month.
Meninga said he felt for both players, but said the pair would know they have to put their grief to the backs of their minds.
"Origin's an emotional arena. And it's sad obviously what happened to both families," Meninga said.
"Those sorts of things you've got to try and put them to the back of your mind.
"Tomorrow night is all about getting involved in the game itself and thinking about your own performance and making sure you don't let your teammates down.
"That will be the major focus of Matty of Robbie."
Stuart has warned his players not to let the emotion of the occasion get to them as they look to end a run of six successive series defeats against one of the greatest sides ever to play the game.
"The only way you can take the crowd out of it is by playing well," Stuart said.
"It will be an emotional evening when we get there tomorrow but we can't let that affect us."
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