CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
The 2018 Holden State of Origin series decider is on at Suncorp Stadium tonight, as NSW go in search of their first clean sweep since 2000.
Billy Slater’s final match in the mighty Maroon colours will be the catalyst for the side to play their best game of the series, after his band of Immortal brothers from yesteryear pulled the pin with intermittent retirements over the last 12 months.
The grunt of Jai Arrow and Josh Papalii up front and Daly Cherry-Evans’ organising ability will be pivotal on getting Queensland home as they match up against a new breed of inspired and very fast 20-something blues players.
With the Blues already carrying two Ws in the series, only two things can come from tonight, The Blues win the series with Queensland taking a weird dead rubber match on an anti-climatic winter weeknight.
…Or the Blues win the clean sweep and instantly heal the battered confidence and trauma left behind by 12 years of misery.
Either way, the fans know one thing. Football is leaving home.
It’s the newest chant for Blues fans currently littering the streets of Brisbane, as NSW prepares to take the State Of Origin shield back down south, over the border and away from the heartland of rugby league.
Rugby league, one of the two codes of rugby, is thought to have originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.
That’s one theory. Many others feel as though rugby league was started by drunken Irish convicts and indentured Italian cane-cutters in North England in 1883, which is roughly eight years before the English claim to have invented it, and funnily enough the same number of years that Queensland held onto the trophy in a record breaking Origin streak.