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Category: State of Origin

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Adelaide to host South Australia’s first State of Origin match in 2020

Game to be staged outside NSW and Queensland again‘Another massive coup’ for the Adelaide OvalAdelaide will host a State of Origin match when rugby league’s fiercest series hits the road again in 2020.The deal on Wednesday between the NRL and the South…

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Brad Fittler confirmed as NSW State of Origin coach

Former NSW assistant beats Michael Maguire to the positionFittler takes on a team that has won just one of the last five OriginsBrad Fittler has been appointed NSW coach, with the former captain taking the reins after a three-month search for Laurie Da…

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Laurie Daley’s State of Origin reign ends with no new NSW contract offered

  • Coach pays price for winning just one series from taking over in 2013
  • Blues begin search for replacement capable of ending Maroons dominance

Laurie Daley’s time as NSW State of Origin coach is over after the NSW Rugby League confirmed it would not renew his contract.

Daley’s spot was under pressure following this year’s series capitulation to Queensland, which marked the fourth defeat in the Blues legend’s five-year tenure.

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‘I had tears in my eyes’: jubilant Queenslanders bathe in Origin glory

The famous come-from-behind State of Origin series victory amply rewarded those Maroons fans who made the pilgrimage to Suncorp Stadium

After full-time, as supporters spilled out of Suncorp Stadium, Mario De Vecchi emerged grinning ear-to-ear from a sea of maroon. “I just had to give Wally a kiss,” he said, nodding to the iconic Wally Lewis statue. “Amazing – I had tears in my eyes about three times during the game.”

Related: State of Origin 2017 Game 3: Maroons clinch series after Valentine Holmes hat-trick

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State of Origin 2017 Game 3: Queensland Maroons v NSW Blues – live!

  • Live updates on the series decider at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane
  • Get in touch with Paul on email or via Twitter @PFConnolly

12.03pm BST

What a half from Qld, and they’re unlucky not to be ahead by more. They have dominated every facet of this game. Smith and Cronk have been magnificent. It’s not over but boy do NSW need something special to win it from here.

Tim Griffiths, in Swindon, speaks for all NSW fans when he writes: “It’s not the despair, the despair I can cope with… It’s the hope that kills you…”

12.01pm BST

40 min: As the hooter sounds, Cronk attempts a 40m drop-out that falls short.

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A generational talent, Johnathan Thurston leaves representative arena having achieved it all | Nick Tedeschi

He won’t get the fairytale Origin farewell but it will matter little because his entire career has been one never-ending story of success, joy and triumph

The Origin career of one of Queensland’s true greats has come to a sad and unfulfilling end, Johnathan Thurston ruled out for the remainder of the 2017 season at a run-of-the-mill press conference in Townsville.

It is a cruel and bitter blow for the most durable player in State of Origin history, a player who defied size and the years to play an incredible 36 consecutive matches in the Maroon. A rotator cuff injury sustained in State of Origin II requires immediate surgery and a six-month recovery.

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Johnathan Thurston’s State of Origin career is over with player to undergo surgery

  • Thurston set for operation on shoulder and will not play again this year
  • Maroons star will miss Game III, rest of Cowboys’ NRL season and World Cup

Johnathan Thurston has taken his final bow in the State of Origin arena with the Queensland great to undergo surgery on his shoulder, ruling him out of next month’s series decider in Brisbane as well as the remainder of the NRL season and the Rugby League World Cup.

His club, the North Queensland Cowboys, confirmed on Friday the 34-year-old, who is to retire from representative football at the end of the year, will not play again in 2017.

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Never write off a champion: cool, smart Maroons prove old adage true | Matt Cleary

With a quartet of champion veterans on the field against New South Wales in Game II it was perhaps foolish to doubt Queensland’s State of Origin dynasty

After 50 minutes of Game II of State of Origin XXXVI this journalist – and I would suggest several other chroniclers of recent history – was cranking up the keyboard with variations of “It’s over – Queensland dynasty busted by marauding blue hordes”. Thirty minutes later I wondered how I could be so naïve, so foolish. How could I forget the old but true edict, “Never write off a champion”.

Related: Queensland keep State of Origin hopes alive with thrilling late win over NSW

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State of Origin 2017 Game 2: NSW Blues v Queensland Maroons – live!

Live updates from the second game of the series at ANZ Stadium in SydneyGet in touch with Paul on email or via Twitter @PFConnolly 12.57pm BST 76 min: NSW knock on a dangerous Qld kick right on their own line! Qld scrum, 10m out. 12.56pm BST 75 min: Pe…

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State of Origin 2017 Game 2: NSW Blues v Queensland Maroons – live!

Live updates from the second game of the series at ANZ Stadium in SydneyGet in touch with Paul on email or via Twitter @PFConnolly 12.57pm BST 76 min: NSW knock on a dangerous Qld kick right on their own line! Qld scrum, 10m out. 12.56pm BST 75 min: Pe…

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Queensland look to Johnathan Thurston to get back on State of Origin script | Sam Perry

There were signs of desperation in the Maroons’ opening performance but with their talisman back for Game II in Sydney, any NSW concern should be justified

In State of Origin, it’s common practice to explain one team’s triumph through the prism of the game’s tiny, innocuous moments. Not, as is probably the case, because one has far better players than the other.

Listen to certain pundits on Channel Nine enough, and you’ll note that Queensland has largely trounced NSW for the best part of a decade because ‘they’re first to dive on the loose ball’, because ‘they play the last five minutes harder than the first’, and so on. That Queensland do this is both true and admirable, but this explanation presupposes that the gap between both sides is so infinitesimal that the inches prove the difference. If only Gal had dived on more balls, maybe Queensland wouldn’t have won eight straight.

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‘So much bigger than everything else’: the religion that is State of Origin in Queensland | Joe Gorman

No other sporting event will ever be able to galvanise and reflect the state quite like Origin, an annual event that even non-rugby league followers pay heed to

By midday a crowd of thousands had formed at Southbank, on the edge of the Brisbane River, for the inaugural Maroon Festival. Fierce young men with neck tattoos and wraparound sunglasses. Blonde women in white skirts or shorts. Murris in loud football jerseys sponsored by Deadly Choices. Elderly couples with lanyards and Sunday Mail show-bags. One man dressed in North Queensland Cowboys shorts, a Queensland jumper and a broad bushman’s hat. A Kiwi woman sported a maroon t-shirt with a gold rather than silver fern, emblazoned with the slogan MarooNZ. As proud parents snapped photos, three young children stood in front of an inflatable State of Origin gladiator and yelled, “Go Queensland!”

Related: Queensland in radical shakeup in bid to hit back in State of Origin Game II

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‘So much bigger than everything else’: the religion that is State of Origin in Queensland | Joe Gorman

No other sporting event will ever be able to galvanise and reflect the state quite like Origin, an annual event that even non-rugby league followers pay heed to

By midday a crowd of thousands had formed at Southbank, on the edge of the Brisbane River, for the inaugural Maroon Festival. Fierce young men with neck tattoos and wraparound sunglasses. Blonde women in white skirts or shorts. Murris in loud football jerseys sponsored by Deadly Choices. Elderly couples with lanyards and Sunday Mail show-bags. One man dressed in North Queensland Cowboys shorts, a Queensland jumper and a broad bushman’s hat. A Kiwi woman sported a maroon t-shirt with a gold rather than silver fern, emblazoned with the slogan MarooNZ. As proud parents snapped photos, three young children stood in front of an inflatable State of Origin gladiator and yelled, “Go Queensland!”

Related: Queensland in radical shakeup in bid to hit back in State of Origin Game II

Continue reading…

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‘So much bigger than everything else’: the religion that is State of Origin in Queensland | Joe Gorman

No other sporting event will ever be able to galvanise and reflect the state quite like Origin, an annual event that even non-rugby league followers pay heed to

By midday a crowd of thousands had formed at Southbank, on the edge of the Brisbane River, for the inaugural Maroon Festival. Fierce young men with neck tattoos and wraparound sunglasses. Blonde women in white skirts or shorts. Murris in loud football jerseys sponsored by Deadly Choices. Elderly couples with lanyards and Sunday Mail show-bags. One man dressed in North Queensland Cowboys shorts, a Queensland jumper and a broad bushman’s hat. A Kiwi woman sported a maroon t-shirt with a gold rather than silver fern, emblazoned with the slogan MarooNZ. As proud parents snapped photos, three young children stood in front of an inflatable State of Origin gladiator and yelled, “Go Queensland!”

Related: Queensland in radical shakeup in bid to hit back in State of Origin Game II

Continue reading…

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A new generation of Blues come of age in fast and furious win over Maroons | Nick Tedeschi

In a defining match in State of Origin history, NSW ripped out Queensland’s heart and showed it to them at Suncorp Stadium. But the series is not over yet

You can never write off a champion but for all intents and purposes, the long and brilliant Queensland dynasty is dead after New South Wales slayed the Maroons at Suncorp, a 28-4 defeat that is Queensland’s worst in over a decade. In nearly every facet of the game, the Blues dominated.

The match was a defining one in State of Origin history, the game the Blues blasted the Maroons with some almighty roundhouses and took the ascendancy back. It will be a few years at the very least before Queensland gets it back.

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State of Origin 2017 Game I: Queensland Maroons v NSW Blues – live!

11.00am BST

Laurie Daley has just been interviewed and he admits to nerves but says NSW are as well prepared as they could be. His Qld counterpart Kevin Walters was on earlier, and he unsurprisingly dismissed any notion that Qld were vulnerable due to the notable names missing on their team sheet. Daley and Walters are good mates and they certainly come across as good natured, decent blokes.

Speaking of nerves, here are a couple of, ah, intimate pics. Can’t blame them, though. If I was playing tonight you wouldn’t get me off the john. Still, you wouldn’t think Cronk would be so nervous give he’s played 19 Origins so far:

FINAL TEAMS

Laurie Daley has confirmed his 17 for #Origin Game One tonight.

https://t.co/LijeBLhI7W pic.twitter.com/1qgWOrjYaQ

MAROONS CONFIRMED

These are the men we’ll face in just under an hour.https://t.co/0LKn8TCKTQ pic.twitter.com/JD9BAKzD88

10.55am BST

The officials!

Matt Cecchin and Gerard Sutton are your referees for Origin I.

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State of Origin: absentees mean Maroon empire looks vulnerable for once

Johnathan Thurston’s will to win, leadership and confidence under pressure is a massive loss for Queensland’s hopes of prevailing over New South Wales

History tells us, if we’re inclined to pay attention, that all empires come to an end. Some come crashing down, others slowly fall apart, but in the end most wind up as ruins, tourist attractions beside which to sell ice-cream and overpriced tat.

It may seem a surreal thing to contemplate for those currently basking under the Queensland sun, but we can take from this the certainty that the Maroon empire will fall, just as the empires of Babylonia, Rome, Britain, and St George fell before it. What we don’t know is precisely when this will happen. There seems little doubt, however, that the reign of the Maroon empire looks as vulnerable as it has since it came to prominence in 2006.

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Mitchell Pearce given another chance as Billy Slater’s Origin career hits end of road | Nick Tedeschi

The Rooster’s inclusion in the Blues’ team for this year’s Origin opener will divide opinion as much as the omission of Slater leaves a state in shock

Mitchell Pearce has been recalled by NSW coach Laurie Daley on the same day Billy Slater’s long and storied career with Queensland appears to have been ended by Queensland mentor Kevin Walters.

Pearce, channelling the cockroach name the NSW side has colloquially became known as, was thought to have had a black line ruled through his name after his infamous pre-season scandal last year but has been given yet another lifeline by a Blues coach smitten with his club form.

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Mitchell Pearce given another chance as Billy Slater’s Origin career hits end of road | Nick Tedeschi

The Rooster’s inclusion in the Blues’ team for this year’s Origin opener will divide opinion as much as the omission of Slater leaves a state in shock

Mitchell Pearce has been recalled by NSW coach Laurie Daley on the same day Billy Slater’s long and storied career with Queensland appears to have been ended by Queensland mentor Kevin Walters.

Pearce, channelling the cockroach name the NSW side has colloquially became known as, was thought to have had a black line ruled through his name after his infamous pre-season scandal last year but has been given yet another lifeline by a Blues coach smitten with his club form.

Continue reading…

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Mitchell Pearce given another chance as Billy Slater’s Origin career hits end of road | Nick Tedeschi

The Rooster’s inclusion in the Blues’ team for this year’s Origin opener will divide opinion as much as the omission of Slater leaves a state in shock

Mitchell Pearce has been recalled by NSW coach Laurie Daley on the same day Billy Slater’s long and storied career with Queensland appears to have been ended by Queensland mentor Kevin Walters.

Pearce, channelling the cockroach name the NSW side has colloquially became known as, was thought to have had a black line ruled through his name after his infamous pre-season scandal last year but has been given yet another lifeline by a Blues coach smitten with his club form.

Continue reading…