APRIL 1 2020 | Mike Colman

APRIL 1 2020 | Mike Colman


We Need State of Origin

I reckon Greg Alexander and Darren Lockyer were spot on when they said that State of Origin has to be played this season even if the NRL doesn’t get back up and running. Origin has been the saviour of rugby league twice before in its darkest hour and there is no reason why it can’t do it again.

Back in 1980 the game was in a sorry state. Crowds were down, TV ratings were falling and the interstate series was a joke. Origin was seen as little more than an exhibition game down south but the passion show by Artie Beetson and his team, - and the way Queenslanders embraced the concept - provided the biggest shot in the arm any Australian sport has ever experienced.

Fifteen years later, with the Super League War tearing the code apart, Fatty Vautin and his ‘Neville Nobodies’ produced one of sports'  greatest upsets when they thumped the star-studded Blues 3-nil. How important was that result and the interest it created to the future of the game?

You only had to see ARL boss Ken Arthurson plant a kiss on Fatty’s cheek in the dressing room after full-time in Game 1 to get the answer to that. Now, 40 years since that very first game and 25 years since Fatty’s boys made history, Origin is once again being called upon to resuscitate a game in trouble.

I reckon regardless of whether the NRL competition is on, regardless of whether crowds are filling the stands or not, rugby league needs an Origin series in 2020 – and Origin, like always, will deliver.

What do YOU reckon?