Bring it on! It’s that time of the year when most Queenslanders and New South
Welshmen get passionate about a crazy sporting event called State of Origin—best of three games, over six weeks, in one of the greatest rivalries in rugby league, the showpiece of this fierce, rugged and tough-as-nails sport. National rugby league footballers playing for their state of origin, meaning that they may play against friends who they play with at club level in the NRL competition, hence the ‘mate vs mate’ concept.
Whether you like rugby league or not, most people love to have their say on who they think will win. Friendships get put on hold, banter is aplenty and maroon (Qld) and blue (NSW) become the favourite colours on cars, billboards, food, clothing, you name it.
Queensland have dominated this incredulous icon for the past 11 years, winning 10 of those series, NSW only breaking the cycle in 2014.
This year appears to be critical in the survival of this popular sporting contest. If Queensland win again, interest may start to wane, particularly in NSW where heartbreak has reigned supreme for many series defeats.
Game one—NSW pick a new-look fast young side to play a tried, trusted and experienced Queensland side. The former wins out with a dominant performance running Queensland ragged in front of a shocked home crowd, winning 28–6, NSW one-nil up.
Game two—NSW stick with a winning team, Queensland throw caution to the wind and make seven changes. NSW dominate the first half leading 16–6, and appear to be on top in the early stages of the second half. The blue supporters, understandably, are in good spirits. However, in true origin spirit, Queensland hang in and steal an improbable victory with a try three minutes from full time. Queensland win 18–16.
The scene is now set for an absolute blockbuster in Brisbane. State of Origin is well and truly alive. Bring it on—game three that is.
Why are people, Queenslanders and New South Welshmen alike, so passionate about something that at the end of the day is just a sporting contest?
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could get so passionate about ‘real’ issues such as world peace, poverty, human trafficking, domestic violence etc.? In the book of Galatians in the Bible, it is suggested that we could take on the fruits of the spirit, i.e. joy, love, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control. If each of us could grasp these wonderful characteristics, take them on board and be passionate about them, the world would indeed be a better place and we could still get a kick out of our wonderful Aussie sporting obsessions. Enjoy the decider! (Oh...and go Queensland!)