State of Origin: Go Hard or Go Home

State of Origin: Go Hard or Go Home

Written by Heather

Topics: Life in Oz

State of Origin. Six hours of the most intense, thrilling rugby league (or any sport) you’ll ever witness. Each year two teams face off in a series of three games (spaced three weeks apart from one another) for state pride and bragging rights until the next year’s series.

I’ve already written about my love of sports and how I came to adore State of Origin four years ago (so what are you waiting for — if you missed it last month, check it out!). And if you love Origin, it’s because you are a passionate supporter of your team (which, by the way, should be the Queensland Maroons)!

Queenslander! May 26, 2010

It’s been fun to surprise people with my dedication to Aussie sports — especially Origin, where only folks with ties to Queensland or New South Wales care about the outcome. But BOY do they care!

Photo from the first game courtesy of the lovely couple who sat beside me. Joanne & I in the Queensland Supporter Bay.
Queenslander! May 26, 2010

Game 3 could have been anti-climatic this year since the Maroons had already won the first two matches and thus the series. However, they had not swept the series by winning all three games since 1995. With game 3 being held in Sydney, the pressure was on for the New South Wales Blues to pull out a victory on home turf while the Maroons wanted to seal the series with a whitewash.

Fellow fans sitting in the Queensland Supporter Bay — we received a free t-shirt and wig with the purchase of our ticket for games 1 and 3.

Queensland Supporter Bay, Game 3

Queensland Supporter Bay, Game 3

While my boys started off with the lead, the Blues soon mounted a comeback, scoring a couple of tries to nearly even things up! When Lockyer successfully kicked a 1-point drop kick in the first half, I had a feeling that one point could be the winning point by game’s end.

Darren Lockyer (aka Lockey), team captain and one of my three favorite players

One of my 3 favorite Maroons

For my fellow Americans, instead of a touchdown, players score tries, and they are worth 4 points instead of 6. Instead of the point-after-touchdown kick or 2-point conversion option, a player kicks the ball through the uprights to score a 2-point goal after the try — making a typical score 6 points instead of the 7 in American football (aka Gridiron to the Aussies). The drop-kick that Lockyer nailed is rare — at least from the games I’ve watched.

With the game nearly tied at 13-12 in favor of Queensland, the second half was an absolute nail-biting heart attack. The Blues put another try on the board, but that was soon answered by the Maroons. The Blues pressed on, nearly scoring another 4 or 5 tries in a row, but each time the Maroons stopped them within a metre or less of the line. And by game’s end, the Maroons had put another try on the board to end the game at 23-18. Lockey’s one point didn’t make the game, but it was a brilliant move. Go hard or go home!

Cane toad mascot celebrating with fans
Queenslander!

Celebrating having already won the series for an unprecedented 5th consecutive year. “5-0 must give you the blues”
5-0 must give u the blues

After the game, I hopped on the free train from Olympic Park back to Central Station. Being in NSW, I figured I would be surrounded by Blues fans with the blues. The gentleman next to me congratulated me on the victory, and his hearing my “thank you” launched us into a discussion about sports and how an American woman came to love the Maroons. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of people wanting to have that conversation.

I finally arrived at the hostel at nearly 11pm, and one of the staff was waiting for me to return so we could celebrate the victory together :-) When I stayed there six weeks ago to attend game 1, I was just as surprised to learn he was a Maroons fan as he was to learn that I was one too. “I just can’t get over it,” he laughed. “Half of the men here would marry you on that alone — you’re a woman who loves and understand sports and you’re not even from here.”

We popped over to the pub next door, and after eying our options, I knew I wanted to order Tooheys New, a NSW brew. I don’t recall seeing the Queensland beer XXXX (“four x”), but I’ve heard it’s rubbish.

“Is it completely sacrilegious to order a Tooheys New,” I asked my friend.

“No…and I think it even rubs it in just a little,” he said with a smile.

Here’s hoping the boys can take the series again next year! Doesn’t hurt that games 1 and 3 will be played in Brisbane instead of Sydney. I hear there’s nothing like Origin at Suncorp Stadium.

Can’t get enough of Origin?! I don’t blame you! Check out my friend Jack’s review of seeing game 3 in 3D! And Bobbi Lee has done a fantastic job of describing what State of Origin is all about.

Queenslander!

10 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Melissa says:

    Heather this was an awesome post. I’ve never heard of State of Origin and now you have me all over it. Can’t wait to find out more about. Congrats on your team’s win, and …

    I saw a little big of Aussie in your everyday “speech:” but I’ve heard it’s rubbish.” You said rubbish Not gross, worthless, bad, disgusting, gross, not worth it, etc, but rubbish. I think there’s a small chance you were meant to be an Aussie. ;-)

  2. Dennis says:

    “Half of the men here would marry you on that alone — you’re a woman who loves and understand sports and you’re not even from here.”

    that’s amazing!

  3. Andi says:

    Haha, this is great!!! Good on ya, as my Aussie mates would say. :)

  4. Jack McClane says:

    You haven’t experienced origin until you’ve been to Suncorp Stadium, the home of the mighty Maroons!

    I’ve witnessed Origin in Sydney and it is nowhere near as good.

    It was great to spend a little time with you mate. See you soon.

    Jack

  5. Dad says:

    And where did this love of sports come from pray tell?

  6. Percy Arek says:

    Best state of origin ever played was in Suncorp Stadium and still the best game 1999. Wow love the Game.

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