Thursday, 13 July 2017

State Of Origin - A Brief Historical Overview

Rugby league in Australia has two main states playing the game, New South Wales and Queensland. The game was administratively controlled by NSW too. NSW had the stronger, wealthier competition in Sydney so the best players gravitated there. When there was an interstate match, NSW nearly always won for that reason.

Queensland felt like the little brother being looked down on. It irked that its best players represented NSW so proposed an interstate game with players representing where they came from rather than where they played. There was little interst in the one sided affairs anyway. It was agreed to go with SOO and the first one off game was held in 1980. Queensland won 20-10 in front of a sell out local crowd.

In 1981, the second SOO match was played, again won by Queensland 22-15 at home.* That led to the official series kicking off in 1982, to be a three game arrangement. From 1982-4 Queensland won each 2-1. In each of those series, Queensland had two home games where there was greater interest in the concept. NSW then won the next two series 2-1 and the first ever 3-0.

The years have rolled by and up until 2005, it was amazingly even. NSW won 12 of the 24 series with two drawn. Then from 2006 to 2016, Queensland won every series except 2014. That meant the Maroons went into the 2017 series ahead 20-14-2.

Seven of the series were won 3-0, thirty three 2-1 and two 1-1-1. So how would 2017 go?

*In 1987 the was a SOO game played in the USA, won by NSW, counted as a SOO game but not counted in the series held that year.

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