Last night the Queensland Maroons took on the New South Wales Blues in the third and deciding State of Origin match for 2005. Queensland won the first match. New South Wales took out the second. And so it was with great hopes that Brisbane hosted the third match at Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park).
State of Origin is like life and death here. Last night I ducked down to the supermarket to do the week’s shopping. There were only two people shopping. The pre-match commentary had replaced the muzak on the speakers. Of course I was home in time to watch most of the match!
Before moving to Australia I often wondered what this “State of Origin” was. Growing up in Rugby Union territory the Rugby League world was on the edges of my awareness. Only time I ever played league was at lunchtimes during my time in market gardening. Little did I know that ‘state of origin’ referred to the rivalry between Queensland and New South Wales. Most Queensland NRL players tend to gravitate to the Sydney teams. New Zealand players likewise. That’s where the money and the chances have traditionally been. However each year each state is able to call back its home grown players for three intensely fought matches.
The history of the State of Origin, and indeed Rugby League in Australia, is outlined at RL1908.com, courtesy of Sean Fagan.
The official State of Origin merchandise store is online at www.stateoforigin.com.au There you can buy official match programs, clothing, head gear, banners, beer gear, DVDs/videos, gift packs and memorabilia.
State of Origin has an entry in Wikipedia which picks up on the Australian Rules State of Origin series that is no longer played. The entry suggests the development of a similar series in NZ, between the South Island and North Island, or between Auckland and the rest of New Zealand.
So how did last night’s game go? The Cane Toads were whipped! Until the last few minutes of the game it looked as though this was going to be a record defeat with Queensland failing to get onto the scoreboard. However a couple of tries remedied that.
Queensland Cane Toads 10
New South Wales Roaches 32
See my post on Castlemaine XXXX, one of Queensland’s sponsors, at Duncan’s TV Adland.