Rugby League State of Origin: Wikis

  
  
  

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State of Origin
State of origin logo
Sport Rugby league
Instituted 1982
Inaugural season 1980
Number of teams 2
Country  Australia (ARL)
Shield Holders Queensland colours.svg Queensland (2009)
Most titles Queensland colours.svg Queensland (14 titles)
Related competition City vs Country Origin

State of Origin is an Australian best-of-three series of rugby league football matches between the Maroons, representing the state of Queensland and the Blues, representing the state of New South Wales.[1] Described as "sport's greatest rivalry",[2][3] the State of Origin series is one of Australia's and the region's premier sporting events, attracting a huge television audience and usually selling out the stadiums in which the games are played.[4] Despite the existence of international tournaments and State of Origin being a domestic competition, it is frequently cited as being the highest-level of rugby league played anywhere in the world.[5][6][7][8]

Players are selected to represent the state in which they played their first senior football, hence the name 'state of origin'. Prior to 1980 players were only selected for interstate matches on the basis of where they were playing their club football at the time. In both 1980 and 1981 there were two interstate matches under the old selection rules and one experimental "State of Origin" match. From 1982 onwards a best-of-three match series has been played around the middle of the rugby league season. Since the inception of the series, total victories for each side are extraordinarily even, although in recent years Queensland has started to dominate, winning every series since 2006.

Contents

Teams

Since 1908 Australia's two major rugby league-playing states, Queensland and New South Wales, have played representative matches against each other and this has continued into the "state of origin" era which began with the 1980s. The two states' teams are frequently referred to as the Maroons and Blues, reflecting the respective colours of their jerseys. The Maroons team is administered by the Queensland Rugby League and the Blues, by the New South Wales Rugby League.

NSW Blues.PNG
New South Wales Blues
Queensland Maroons.jpg
Queensland Maroons

Players of the Queensland team are sometimes referred to as the cane toads and the New South Wales players as the cockroaches, due to a marketing campaign used in the 1980s where the respective teams were depicted in such a manner. More recently, the NSW representatives are sometimes referred to as 'Cattledog', following the controversial tactics employed by former coach Tom Raudonikis during the 1997-1998 series.

Whilst other Australian states have also had representative rugby league sides, they have not competed in State of Origin.

History

Interstate Rugby League Prior to 1980

The first calls for a state of origin selection policy in interstate rugby football came before the schism between the union and league codes eventuated in Australia. In 1900 a journalist known as 'The Cynic' wrote in The Referee that star rugby player and recent immigrant to Queensland, Stephen Spragg, should be able to play for his home state of New South Wales.[1]

Since the beginning of Australian rugby league in 1908, an interstate competition between Queensland and New South Wales has been conducted from time to time. Until 1979 each team drew its players from the clubs based in that state. No consideration was given to the origins of the players themselves.[2]

The first of these interstate games was played at Sydney's Agricultural Ground on 11 July 1908, before Queensland had even commenced its club competition. New South Wales easily accounted for Queensland in a 43-0 victory. The local media were unimpressed.

There can be no doubt the NSW men are improving a good deal... They cannot be blamed for the farce, for it was nothing else. If the Australian team depends on Queenslanders to strengthen it, one is afraid it will be found wanting. They are quite the weakest lot of footballers I have even seen come down from Queensland. The play needs no detailed description as it was simply a practice match for NSW, and certainly did not advantageously advertise the new game.
-The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 July 1908[3]

Apart from a golden period for Queensland in the 1920s, the interstate series was dominated by New South Wales. From 1922 to 1925 Queensland defeated New South Wales 11 times in 12 matches. At the end of the 1925 season a Kangaroo team was to be picked for touring Great Britain. Instead of announcing an Australian team dominated by Queenslanders, the Australian Rugby League Board of Control informed the media that the Rugby Football League had decided that the Kiwis would provide stronger opposition, and that there would be no Australian tour.[4] The period spanning 1922 to 1929 saw no Australian team play in Great Britain, the only such hiatus outside the two world wars.[5]

The New South Wales dominance of interstate football increased after 1956 when gaming machines were legalised for all registered clubs in New South Wales. This provided New South Wales football clubs with a revenue source unmatched by Queensland clubs. From this time on an increasing number of Queensland players moved to the Sydney competition, becoming ineligible for Queensland state selection. Paul Hogan famously told a Queensland Rugby League gathering in 1977 that "every time Queensland produces a good footballer, he finishes up being processed through a New South Wales poker machine."[6]

Prior to 1956, Qld had won 25% of series played. From 1956-1981 this number dwindled to only 3.8% with only 1 series win, in 1959.

The Conception of State of Origin football

By the 1970s the prestige of interstate matches had been seriously downgraded. Matches were played mid-week, so as not to interfere with the Sydney club competition, and the small crowds in New South Wales were hosted at suburban grounds.[9] Interstate football reached its nadir in 1977 when the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) declined to host the Queensland team, and both interstate games were played in Queensland.[7]

Former Queensland captain and Australian vice-captain Jack Reardon, who had later become a journalist, was the first to suggest that Sydney-based Queenslanders should be available for selection to represent their state[10]. However the southern code of Australian rules football would play a role in instigating the conception of State of Origin. In that sport there was a situation similar to the Sydney drain of Queensland representatives; there was an increasing drift of talented players to the Victorian Football League (VFL), depleting other state leagues and representative teams. In 1977, at the instigation of Perth sports marketing professional, Leon Larkin, Western Australia (WA) played Victoria in an Australian rules "State of Origin" game at Subiaco Oval, Perth. QRL chairman Ron McAullife attended, at the invitation of VFL president Dr Allen Aylett. Larkin invited a Queensland business contact, Barry Maranta (the future co-founder of the Brisbane Broncos).[8] Also in attendance were Brisbane Courier-Mail reporter Hugh Lunn, and Maranata's business partner Wayne Reid. They watched WA stage a historic reversal and triumph over Victoria, in front of 40,000 fans.

Lunn, Maranta and Reid played a part in persuading McAuliffe that the concept could be used in rugby league.[9] Lunn told McAullife that "you can take the Queenslander out of Queensland, Ron, but you can't take the Queensland out of the Queenslander."[10] McAuliffe was initially sceptical. "What if we recall our boys from Sydney to play, and we are beaten. Where would we go from there?" Reid spoke to NSWRFL president Kevin Humphreys and suggested that a one-off state of origin match could be used as a Test Match selection trial. [11]

New South Wales clubs were reticent in their support of the concept and set two conditions:

  • If the third game was to decide the series it was not to act as a selection trial, and
  • that the expatriate Queenslanders would be under the supervision of a representative of the NSWRFL whose duty it would be to protect the interests of both the NSWRFL and the clubs to which they were contracted. (From 1980 this role was filled by Bob Abbot, a Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks official.)

Three Sydney clubs remained opposed to the plan: St. George Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Eastern Suburbs Roosters. As these clubs were refusing to release players, Humphreys threatened to make the game an official Australian Rugby League trial, which would make release mandatory. The clubs backed down. [12]

Experimentation

After Queensland lost the first two interstate matches in 1980 (35-3 and 17-7, the second game in front of only 1,638 Sydneysiders) it was announced that a 'state of origin' match would take place on 8 July at Lang Park in Brisbane. The New South Wales media gave both the event, and Queensland's chance of winning it, little credence, calling the game a "three day wonder". Australia's 1978 captain Bob Fulton called the match "the non-event of the century". Ron MacAullife however, was now committed to the concept and vigorously promoted the match. Thousands of tickets were sold before the game had been officially sanctioned. Although interstate matches in Brisbane had still been well attended (24,653 had attended the opening match of the 1979 series), few expected the sell-out crowd of 33,210 Queensland rugby league fans, delighted to see their heroes in the likes of Arthur Beetson representing their home state for the first time ever. Queensland convincingly beat New South Wales 20-10.[13]

I was strongly against such a match, but last night's gripping clash showed that such a fixture would be a welcome addition to the League program.[11]

Alan Clarkson, journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 October, 1980

In 1981 the first two interstate matches were again played under the old selection rules. As New South Wales won the first two matches in the series, state of origin selection rules were used once more in the third match. Although New South Wales ran out to an early 15-0 lead in the game, Queensland rallied to win 22-15.

Adoption

The first State of Origin shield, depicting Queensland's Wally Lewis and New South Wales' Brett Kenny.

The interest generated by the experimental state of origin matches of 1980 and 1981 and the potential for financial rewards were enough to convince the authorities to play all three games under state of origin rules the following year.[14]

The State of Origin format is the only possible way to allow the interstate series to survive.

Frank Hyde (2 June 1982)[12]

Despite the Maroons' success so far in the State of Origin experiments, the New South Wales media dismissed the seriousness of the Queensland threat to the Blues' long-held dominance in series wins. Queensland however, under the leadership of immortal captain Wally Lewis, was inspired by this, and for the first two series Queensland won 2 matches to 1.

In 1985, under the leadership of captain Steve Mortimer, New South Wales won the deciding match in front of 29,068 spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground, claiming the series for the first time. The following year the Blues were able to go one better and complete the first state of origin whitewash, taking the series 3-0.[15]

1987: American Controversy

After Queensland had won the 1987 series 2-1, a fourth game was played at Long Beach, California to showcase rugby league to the American public.[16]

In Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980-2002 (2003) Jack Gallaway tells the story:

There was one additional Origin contest played in 1987.. The Queenslanders had climbed the mountain and at no point did they take the project seriously in any competitive sense. The State of Origin trophy was safely stowed in the Queensland Rugby League board room at Lang Park, and for the Maroons the visit to the United States was their end-of-season outing, the game an exhibition... Such was the Blues' disappointment at the loss of the State of Origin series that they would go to any length to restore some vestige of their lost pride. The New South Wales Rugby League hierarchy told their men to prepare for the contest as though it was a deciding test match.[17] The match was played at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California in front of 12,349 fans. The Blues won the game 30-18.

In 1987 the Australian Rugby League (ARL), New South Wales Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League agreed that the match would count towards the players' individual statistics, but that the match would not count towards the states' overall records. On 15 July 2003 the Australian Rugby League announced that the fourth 1987 game was to be classified as an official match, and that a win in the state of origin match on 16 July 2003 would take New South Wales into the overall lead.

ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said: "There had been some debate over whether the Origin fixture . . . in 1987 was counted as an official match but a search of ARL records has confirmed the status conferred on that clash by the game's governing body at the time. In announcing the match in Big League in April 1987, Ken Arthurson, the ARL's chief executive in 1987, was quoted as saying 'It's an exciting experiment but the match isn't and won't be billed as an exhibition match'." However, he later contradicted himself, saying: "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind it was an exhibition game and should not count towards official match scores."

1990s: The Super League War

After the controversy of the match played in the United States, the Queensland halves pairing of Allan Langer and Wally Lewis lead the Maroons to their most dominant period where in the last years of the '80s, won both the 1988 and 1989 series 3-0. It wasn't until the Blues formed a formidable halves combination of their own in Ricky Stuart and Benny Elias who brought New South Wales back from defeat with two wins in the opening games of the 1990 series. It was evident that as the rivalary between the two states grew, the Origin matches had become much more physical forward orientated game than the open running play seen in earlier series.[18]

As the great Queensland players from the late 1980s began to retire from Rugby League, the Maroons struggled with a team of fresh faces and considerable inexperience. The 1992, 1993 and 1994 series all went to NSW as the experience of Blues players such as Laurie Daley, Ben Elias and Ricky Stuart gave the Blues the edge when the games were on the line. It wasn't until the upheaval of the Super League war in 1995 that the Maroons were able to get back a series win.

A main cause for concern for Queensland was the fact that the Brisbane Broncos, its players and many other Queenslanders were not aligned with the ARL prohibiting any players signed with the Super League to play for the Maroons. Despite this the Queenslanders won the 1995 series 3-0 in a shocking white-wash. The 1996 series saw the off-field contract dramas put the side as all players were allowed, regardless of contract, state of origin selection. Having the majority of the Queenslanders back didn't help the Maroons though as the Blues 1996 white-wash with a 3-0 series win of their own.

The 1997 saw arguably two origin series. Under the Super League banner there was a Tri-Origin series as a New Zealand side was added to the competition although the Australian Rugby League stuck to its traditional format.

1998 saw the end of all the political bickering within rugby league as the Superleague & ARL formed the current National Rugby League. The series proved to be enthralling as both sides won a game each away from home, setting up a decider at the Sydney Football Stadium where 39,000 fans witnessed the visiting Queenslanders take the series 2-1.

The end of the '90s era saw a dramatic series that was arguably a main reason for the implementation of the golden-point extra time rule, when the 1999 series was locked up 1-1 and Game 3 ended in a draw, Queensland were awarded the series. It was the rules that as previous holders of the Origin Shield, a draw was enough for them to retain the interstate honours.

2000s

The 2008 series was won by Queensland making it three series in a row. New South Wales won Game 1 on 21 May 2008, however Queensland won Game 2 on 11 June 2008, and also Game 3 on 2 July 2008.

Selection rules

Under State of Origin rules players are selected for the state in which they first played senior (or registered) rugby league.[19] Players must also be eligible to represent Australia at international level. This has proved controversial as players, such as Karmichael Hunt, who are eligible for more than one country have chosen to be available for Australia in order to play State of Origin.[20] Because State of Origin football is so highly esteemed, players eligible to represent Australia as well as another country often choose Australia, not only to play for the national side, but also to play State of Origin (as was the case with Tonie Carroll and Karmichael Hunt).

Another issue of contention has been the selection of players such as Ken Nagas, James McManus, Israel Folau and Greg Inglis. Inglis and Folau were born and raised in New South Wales but are eligible to play for Queensland as they played their first senior Rugby League match in Queensland. Ken Nagas was born and raised in Queensland but played for New South Wales, while McManus was born in Scotland and was raised in the Northern Territory, but has been ruled eligible to play for New South Wales in the 2009 series.

Anomalies

  1. In 1995 and 1997 Super League players were made ineligible for the ARL state of origin selection. This included most of Queensland's usual team, who now played for the Super League affiliated Brisbane Broncos. The ARL hence decided to relax the rules in those years, allowing Queensland to select Adrian Lam who had previously played for Papua New Guinea.
  2. During the 2000 World Cup a number of Australian players were granted dispensations to appear for other nations under the grandfather rule. The players affected were David Barnhill (NSW), Kevin Campion (Qld), Tonie Carroll (Qld), Graham Mackay (NSW), Willie Mason (NSW), Luke Ricketson (NSW), Lote Tuqiri (Qld) and Adrian Vowles (Qld), [21] [22]

State of Origin results

For full results and statistics, see Rugby League State of Origin results and statistics

Year by year

The table below shows the results of the one-off games of 1980/1981, and the subsequent series in accordance with statistics used by the Australian Rugby League[23], New South Wales Rugby League[24] and Queensland Rugby League[25]. The colour of the year denotes the team that has won or retained the shield, except 1980 and 1981 - NSW had already won the Shield in both series (2 wins to nil), under non-Origin rules. In years with a drawn series (1999, 2002) the shield has been retained by the team that won the previous year however is classified as a 'Drawn Series'.

Year Winner/holder of shield Wins Losses Drawn
1980 Queensland 1 0 0
1981 Queensland 1 0 0
1982 Queensland 2 1 0
1983 Queensland 2 1 0
1984 Queensland 2 1 0
1985 New South Wales 2 1 0
1986 New South Wales 3 0 0
1987[26] Queensland 2 1 0
1988 Queensland 3 0 0
1989 Queensland 3 0 0
1990 New South Wales 2 1 0
1991 Queensland 2 1 0
1992 New South Wales 2 1 0
1993 New South Wales 2 1 0
1994 New South Wales 2 1 0
1995 Queensland 3 0 0
1996 New South Wales 3 0 0
1997 New South Wales 2 1 0
1998 Queensland 2 1 0
1999 Queensland 1 1 1
2000 New South Wales 3 0 0
2001 Queensland 2 1 0
2002 Queensland 1 1 1
2003 New South Wales 2 1 0
2004 New South Wales 2 1 0
2005 New South Wales 2 1 0
2006 Queensland 2 1 0
2007 Queensland 2 1 0
2008 Queensland 2 1 0
2009 Queensland 2 1 0

Super League

In 1997 the rugby league premiership was split between the ARL and Super League. In addition to the ARL's State of Origin, a Super League Tri-series was played between New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand. The teams were selected using origin rules, and New South Wales and Queensland met twice. These matches do not count towards the official state of origin record.

  • New South Wales defeated Queensland 38-10 (Aussie Stadium 11 April 1997)
  • Queensland defeated New Zealand 26-12 (Ericsson Stadium 9 May 1997)
  • New South Wales defeated New Zealand 20-15 (Bruce Stadium 14 May 1997)
  • New South Wales defeated Queensland 23-22 (ANZ Stadium 19 May 1997)

Footnotes

  1. ^ The canonicity of the fourth match in 1987 is disputed. In 1987 it was agreed by both states that this match would be an exhibition match, and was described as such by media in both states. Media and governing bodies based in New South Wales (Australian Rugby League, New South Wales Rugby League, Nine Network) now include this match in the overall tally. Media and governing bodies in Queensland (Queensland Rugby League, The Courier-Mail) include the match in individual player tallies, but not in the overall tally.[27] For example, The Courier-Mail noted after game 3 in 2005 that "It took NSW 25 years to draw level with Queensland in overall Origin clashes..." when other statistics from New South Wales show the tally to be 37-36.[28] RL1908 lists the match as a "Non-series match" [29] and The World of Rugby League lists the match as an "Exhibition Game" [30].

References

  1. ^ Melissa Jane Johnson Morgan & Jane Summers (2005). Sports Marketing. Thomson Learning Nelson. pp. 8. ISBN 0170128598, 9780170128599. http://books.google.com/books?id=R-Kn3jVW39gC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=&f=false. 
  2. ^ Tasker, Norman (2005). State of origin: twenty-five years of sport's greatest rivalry. Caringbah, New South Wales: Playright Publishing. ISBN 0949853933. 
  3. ^ Queensland Rugby League. "State of Origin III Coin Toss". qrl.com.au. QRL. http://qrl.com.au/display.php?pg_id=1917. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  4. ^ Susie Ashworth, Paul Smitz, Carolyn Bain and Neal Bedford (2004). Australia. Lonely Planet. pp. 132. ISBN 1740594479, 9781740594479. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Bq0eVvyvK7MC&dq=tuqiri&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  5. ^ Harms, John (2005). The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. 105. ISBN 0702235369, 9780702235368. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OFE2EZ7JyEkC&source=gbs_navlinks_s. 
  6. ^ Webster, Andrew (April, 2004). "A few drinks with Ray Warren". Inside Sport (Australia: insidesport.com.au). http://www.insidesport.com.au/is/index?pg=adrenalin&spg=drinks/drinks_ray_warren.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  7. ^ Vanessa Battersby, Paul Smitz, Barry Blake (2007). Australian language & culture. Lonely Planet. pp. 83. ISBN 1740590996, 9781740590990. 
  8. ^ Mackay, Jamie (2009-07-17). "State of Origin in league of its own". The Southland Times (Fairfax New Zealand Limited). http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/columns/mackays-the-limit/2601445/State-of-Origin-in-league-of-its-own. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  9. ^ Middleton, David (2008). League of Legends: 100 Years of Rugby League in Australia. National Museum of Australia. pp. 27. ISBN ISBN 9781876944643. http://www.nma.gov.au/shared/libraries/attachments/league_of_legends/rugby_league_a_work_in_progress/files/22453/F_RL_work_in_progress.pdf. 
  10. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's greatest contest 1980-2002. Australia: University of Queensland Press. pp. xi. ISBN 0702233838, 9780702233838. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3nDbsx3Hk7QC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0. 
  11. ^ Clarkson, Alan (1980-07-10). "Football lessons by Maroons". The Sydney Morning Herald (John Fairfax and Sons Ltd.): pp. 48. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2IARAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6-YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2406,2937858&dq=state-of-origin&hl=en. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  12. ^ Hyde, Frank (1982-06-02). "Time to combine the old and new". The Sydney Morning Herald (John Fairfax and Sons Ltd.): pp. 30. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=8kURAAAAIBAJ&sjid=G-cDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5446,167778&dq=state-of-origin&hl=en. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 

History

  1. ^ Fagan, Sean (2005). The Rugby Rebellion. RL1908. ISBN 0-9757563-0-3. 
  2. "NSW v Queensland: 1908 - 1980" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, retrieved November 15, 2005
  3. ^ "The First State of Origin" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, retrieved November 15, 2005
  4. ^ "State of Origin History 1981-2004" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, retrieved November 15, 2005
  5. ^ "The Origin of State of Origin" by Sean Fagan, RL1908, retrieved November 15, 2005
  6. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2001). The Brisbane Broncos: The Team To Beat. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0702233420. 
  7. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980-2002. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-3383-8. 
  8. ^ McGregor, Adrian (2004). Wally Lewis: Forever the King. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-3434-6. 
  9. ^ "Overseas Players and State of Origin" by Jeff Wall, Crikey April 12, 2005, retrieved November 18, 2005
  10. ^ "The Origins of State of Origin" by Jeff Wall, Crikey May 23, 2005, retrieved November 15, 2005
  11. ^ "We Still Want Hunt" National Rugby League, March 21, 2005, retrieved November 18, 2005
  12. ^ "How it all began" stateoforigin.com.au, no date, retrieved May 8, 2007

General records and statistics

  1. ^ Fagan, Sean (2005) "State of Origin Results 1980-2005" RL1908, retrieved November 15, 2005
  2. ^ "History: State of Origin Results 1980-2003" by the Australian Rugby League, retrieved November 15, 2005
  3. "State of Origin Matches 2004-1980" by the National Rugby League, retrieved November 18, 2005
  4. ^ "History" by the New South Wales Rugby League, retrieved November 15, 2005
  5. ^ "State of Origin Records" by the Queensland Rugby League, retrieved November 15, 2005
  6. ^ "State of Origin Statistics" by World of Rugby League, retrieved November 15, 2005
  7. ARL article suggesting that the 2002 drawn series was a series win to Qld because they retained the title [31]
  8. ^ Official State of Origin website "History and results" , retrieved November 15, 2006

Sources disputing the 1987 Los Angeles match

  1. ^ Colman, Mike (July 7, 2005) "Rampant Blues Level Age Old Score" The Courier-Mail
  2. ^ Colman, Mike (November 26, 2005) "Assigning History by asterisks" The Courier-Mail (page 61)
  3. ^ Dick, Barry (July 16, 2003) "Origin Battle Rages On and Off the Field" The Courier-Mail (page 1)

Player lists

  1. ^ "Past Origin Players" by the New South Wales Rugby League, retrieved November 18, 2005
  2. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2000 Country-by-Country" retrieved November 18, 2005
  3. ^ "Playes for each State of Origin game/series listed clearly" retrieved November 15, 2006

See also

Further reading

External links








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