Origin in Melbourne is great for rugby league in Victoria

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    For the sixth time in NRL State of Origin history, the canetoads and cockroaches will clash in Melbourne, this time in game one of the series.

    It will be the second time that the series will kickoff in Melbourne. The first, in 2009, saw Queensland win 28-18 in front of 50,967. Melbourne Storm fans were treated several times, with Greg Inglis crossing the line for two tries and Billy Slater one.

    Being a passionate rugby league fan, I was thrilled when the NRL announced that one of the greatest rivalries in sport would be again making the trip south.

    To have game one of the State of Origin being played away from the two powerful league states is massive news for rugby league in Melbourne.

    Melbourne would challenge any other location worldwide for sporting passion. One thing is guaranteed – the game will be a sell out. Passionate fans and casual observers alike will don either blue or maroon to get behind their team.

    Besides the profits generated via gate takings and sponsorship, the game will have a hugely positive impact for rugby league in an AFL-mad state.

    The game is continuing to grow in Victoria. Like any sport, support starts at the grass roots – in the schools. Although AFL rules Victoria, 50,000 school children attended rugby league school programs in 2010.

    School camps like this provide pathways for prospective league players who traditionally didn’t have many opportunities outside of Australian Rules football.

    In Victoria, the NRL and Melbourne Storm will always be second to the all-powerful AFL. However, the Storm’s crowd numbers continue to rise and the colour purple increasingly lines the Yarra River on game day.

    Aside from those attending the match, the game will promote league in other ways. In the lead-up to the series, Victorian newspapers and television will be unusually full of rugby league.

    Being a Victorian, I chose many years ago to side with the Maroons. This is partly because my father is from New South Wales and I wanted to create an inter-family rivalry.

    I have grown up cheering the likes of Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Alfie Langer and Fatty Vautin. Now, I cheer for Cam Smith, Billy Slater and Jonathan Thurston.

    Last year Melbourne fans were fortunate enough to have 2011 Wally Lewis Medal winner and Melbourne Storm captain Smith along with crowd favourite and 2011 Dally M Medal winner Slater starring in the Queensland side.

    In addition to Smith and Billy, Storm boys Cooper Cronk and Dane Nielsen were in the team. All four are likely to be back in the maroon jersey this year.

    Game two of the series will be back in Sydney at ANZ Stadium. Game three, the potential decider, will take place at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium with Queensland aiming to win their seventh straight State of Origin series.

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    The Crowd Says (169)

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 8:27am
      Paul said | February 23rd 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      You should be ashamed of yourself. SOO,Test Matches even city v Country is about heritage for me. You Dad was a Blue you grew up in Melb and you support QLD, thats a disgrace, Didnt you get along with your oldman or something ? You were suppose to go to the game or watch on TV and cheer along with your dad, not be disrespectful to him just for the sake of it. Shame on you. You prob think its ok that Ingliss plays for the Toads aswell?

      Go The BLUES

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 8:40am
        Patrick Angel said | February 23rd 2012 @ 8:40am | ! Report

        Lol, it starts earlier every season.

        • February 23rd 2012 @ 8:56am
          Paul said | February 23rd 2012 @ 8:56am | ! Report

          Lol, it never stops !!

      • Roar Guru

        February 23rd 2012 @ 11:30am
        Cam Larkin said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        Ha ha, calm down. Nah got along well – the old wager makes it a good time watching the game.

        • February 23rd 2012 @ 11:42am
          Paul said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          lol, i get so passionate about it my wife goes out, If i had a bet aswell i think id explode lol

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2012 @ 8:36am
      Redb said | February 23rd 2012 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Its certainly great news for the Victorian economy with huge numbers from the RL States descending on Melbourne. I remember the crowd at Etihad in 2009, I’d say 80% had NSW or QLD jumpers, the rest Storm fans and the odd corporate guest like myself.

      Long may it continue, it all helps to strengthen Melbourne’s grip as the number one domestic tourist location in Australia, a position it holds due to an events strategy that dates back to the mid 1990s.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 9:16am
        Boomshanka said | February 23rd 2012 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        That’s right Redb, you just keep telling yourself that no self respecting Victorian would actually pay to go to a Rugby league game in Melbourne. They all Kiwis, Queenslanders and expat New South Welshmen.

        Shame when the fans stay on in Melbourne for the weekend they have to endure a four hour delay to watch rugby league on the Friday night. Demonstrates quite nicely to all who visit why and how the AFL is the top rating game south of the Barassi Line.

        • February 23rd 2012 @ 9:32am
          me, I like football said | February 23rd 2012 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          Yeah, that has to be the reason :rolleyes:

        • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:01am
          B.A Sports said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:01am | ! Report

          Everything is delayed by four hours in Melbourne. Ever tried to catch a plane out of the joint!?!


      • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:02am
        Crosscoder said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:02am | ! Report

        Always a pleasure to do our bit for the Victorian economy.
        Read the same stuff from you before.Cut and paste LOL.
        And perhaps as you polled every attendee at that SOO,you extrapolated they were all born north of the Murray,were Nz expats ,and there was no born and bred Victorian ,worthy of mention apart from yourself,in attendance.

        Scoop! we have now established there are northerners ,residing in Victoria,some may be actually Storm fans,but there are no Victorian true believers who attended, unless it was a freebie.Crikey there may be a couple of ru fans in attendance ,wearing a Maroon or Blues jumper.
        That’s the trouble with promotions ,sometimes they are demonstrated in non heartland areas,how unimaginative.

        if 80-90% wore respective jumpers,one can suggest the merchandise counters were doing OK.

        • Roar Guru

          February 23rd 2012 @ 10:14am
          Redb said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          I only reporting a first hand account.

          No self respecting Victorian would wear a NSW or QLD jumper. Your dreaming.

          Most Vics would support QLD but would hardly purchase a jumper.

          • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:23am
            Pot Stirrer said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:23am | ! Report

            Red B, all your posts are just the same old dribble, Biased,negative, & uninformed. How about you have an original idea
            and post something intelligent for a change.

            • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:31am
              Brian said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:31am | ! Report

              Unfortunately Redb those supporters will spend a drop in the ocean compared to what us AFL fans in Victoria are doing to subsidise the NSW economy through GWS. Every year TV rights money paid because Victorians watch AFL is streamed into GWS.

              • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:38am
                Boris said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:38am | ! Report

                With respect Brian, whoise fault is that?

                Red B has a point in saying that Vics wouldn’t buy a Qld or NSW jumper. If there was an AFL game between Qld and Victoria I might poke along but I wouldn’t buy a jersey of either state as I’m from NSW.

              • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:58am
                Boomshanka said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:58am | ! Report

                I’ve lived in victoria for the last 15 years ( I pay taxes and contribute to the economy down here – so call me a victorian).

                I bought a Queensland Maroon shirt in Melbourne a couple of years ago so it does happen.

              • Roar Guru

                February 23rd 2012 @ 11:41am
                Redb said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:41am | ! Report

                Well techinically Brian it’s TV money from networks based in Sydney & generated by subscriptions to Foxtel that has a greater base comes from NSW/QLD.

                Vic fans pay membership to their clubs.

            • Roar Guru

              February 23rd 2012 @ 11:32am
              Cam Larkin said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:32am | ! Report

              Good call Pot Stirrer.

          • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:34am
            clipper said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            Redb – your reporting corresponds with what people from Sydney who went down last time have told me. A very informed comment about how no Victorian would ever wear a NSW or QLD jumper. It does make me wonder if Australia could do a little better if all the states didn’t hate each other so much, put that belongs to politics and the need to abolish the state structure.

            • Roar Guru

              February 23rd 2012 @ 11:39am
              Redb said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:39am | ! Report

              Clipper, yep & the irony of most of these comments is that they were not at Etihad in 2009.

            • February 23rd 2012 @ 4:51pm
              Crosscoder said | February 23rd 2012 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

              And to the people who reside in Victoria and attended,you no doubt canvassed them in toto Clipper LOL.

          • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:34am
            Football United said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            thats rubbish. Heaps of Vic RL supporters have QLD and NSW heritage and eagerly stock up on new merch every year

            • Roar Guru

              February 23rd 2012 @ 11:16am
              Redb said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:16am | ! Report

              Storm ave crowd is 10-12k, 50k at Etihad.

              • February 23rd 2012 @ 1:07pm
                Boomshanka said | February 23rd 2012 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

                And growing!

                2010 Storm Average Crowd 14,340
                2011 Storm Average Crowd 14,897

              • February 23rd 2012 @ 4:52pm
                Crosscoder said | February 23rd 2012 @ 4:52pm | ! Report

                Wrong again RedB.

              • Roar Guru

                February 23rd 2012 @ 5:51pm
                Redb said | February 23rd 2012 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                Origin game was in 2009.

            • February 23rd 2012 @ 8:42pm
              p.Tah said | February 23rd 2012 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

              Boom, but their home attendance is going the other way
              2010 14670
              2011 14244… But really it’s minimal difference.

          • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:42am
            Crosscoder said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            Insecurity RedB,that seems to be the theme of your trolling.

            • Roar Guru

              February 23rd 2012 @ 10:48am
              Redb said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:48am | ! Report

              Insecure how? I said long may it continue. lol

              • February 23rd 2012 @ 11:15am
                Crosscoder said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:15am | ! Report

                Repeating the same old excuse or apparent intimate knowledge of every rl attendee in Victoria,as to their origin and preferences,as soon as any rl match is mentioned in that state.Alarm bells ringing!

                If one was secure within themselves,they would consider it no big deal and get on with life,instead of pretending to speak for all who attended..

              • February 26th 2012 @ 5:33pm
                Boomshanka said | February 26th 2012 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                I was there.

                Redb doesn’t speak for me, nor I feel the people around me, who came from Melton, Glen Waverley and a bloke from Geelong, who well and truly converted to rugby league.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 11:14am
        Renegade said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:14am | ! Report

        The quality of posts from Redb is declining at a fast rate, they seem to be getting more and more delusional….

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 9:26am
      Mark said | February 23rd 2012 @ 9:26am | ! Report

      It is a fact thousands of interstates fly to Melbourne.

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    • February 23rd 2012 @ 9:44am
      Mark said | February 23rd 2012 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      Well……. They must all be Victorians hey. Roll my eyes!!!!!

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      • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:04am
        Crosscoder said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        No one suggested there were no interstate attendees.it ahppens in ALL codes.

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 9:57am
      Xman said | February 23rd 2012 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Interesting these claims that RL is growing in Melbourne. What exactly is this opinion based on? Only a single year’s participation rates were quoted in this article so this cannot be used to gauge growth. The Melbourne Storm have also failed to grow with more people attending their year 2000 season than last year, despite the fact they now play in a spanking new stadium, and their regular appearances in the NRL GF, 5 times in 14 years. Once they become a mediocre team their crowds will dwindle even further.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:40am
        oikee said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        The Storm are better supported outside Melbourne. You have to laugh.
        You are better off living in London than Melbourne if you want to watch the Storm, they show them live.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:45am
        Crosscoder said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:45am | ! Report

        New teams formed in teh juniors such as the NW Wolves.
        Hmm a salary cap scandal in 2010 hardly conducie to growth incrowd numbers in 2011.
        Yes Xman all mediocre teams in non heartland areas ,will suffer downturns.Keep that in mind with your mob.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:47am
        Pot Stirrer said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        My opinion is based on you reading and posting on RL sites and knowing the the stats for the Storm. There are 50 times more AFL fans reading and commenting on RL articles that for me its pretty clear theres more closet RL fans in Melb than vice a versa. Also funny how you all get Jealous about SOO or Test Matches becuase AFL cant offer any thing but your standard comp that can only be won by 3 or 4 teams every year. Unless you count the crap Gaelic Footy thats only plaayed in Ireland who havent won a Major Team sporting event in anything. But they can beat you!!

        • February 23rd 2012 @ 11:47am
          samwise said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          Only won by 3 or 4 teams every year? Hardly.

          Many sports struggle to have a consistently diverse mix of finalists. At least none of the leagues in Australia are anything like the Scottish Premier League!

        • February 23rd 2012 @ 7:11pm
          steve.h said | February 23rd 2012 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

          Ireland has won the 6 nations and triple crown and munster won the Heineken Cup, but I understand what you getting at.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 12:03pm
        Cman said | February 23rd 2012 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        Same could be said about the AFL in Sydney, TV rating are so bad the Swans can’t beat their Saturday night nemesis, the Iron Chef after millions and millions spent over 32 year in Sydney despite the fact they have regular appearances in the finals and 2 AFL GF. Once they become a mediocre team their TV ratings will dwindle even further.

    • February 23rd 2012 @ 10:34am
      Boris said | February 23rd 2012 @ 10:34am | ! Report

      It’s crap that a showpiece match between NSW and Qld is being played in Victoria ‘to grow the game’. It should be in NSW or Qld fullstop.

      Even if some Victorians are interested in the game it does not involve a team from their state so it shouldn’t be there.

      Also the game would be well attended anywhere and the composition of the crowd doesn’t really matter does it? It’s the number of bums on seats that gets recorded.

      • February 23rd 2012 @ 11:20am
        Jeff McGinn said | February 23rd 2012 @ 11:20am | ! Report

        Where it does make sense is that neither team has an unfair advantage of two home games… SOO is a true spectacle that raises passions and may it stay that way forever!. Racing has the Melbourne Cup, Cricket – The Ashes, Soccer the FA Cup … AFL has …. whoops what do they have?… lol

      • February 24th 2012 @ 12:26pm
        oikee said | February 24th 2012 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        Hey Boris, you have got to love Frank’s passion i read this morning on a site.
        Vistoria and New Zealand first need to earn the right to hold the series. They need to suffer years of abuse, neglect, bad calls, backroom deals, player pilfering and biased decisions from NSW before they could ever understand what Origin is all about. We need it to stay in QLD as we still need to take it all in as we grind the opposition into the Lang Park turf. We still have a lot of healing to do and the best therapy for us is always a good thrashing of the Blues at Lang Park. Only when we are satisfied, then we may consider giving thought to giving the game to another venue.

        • February 26th 2012 @ 7:01pm
          Ticker said | February 26th 2012 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

          rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes

          You’ve won six in a row. Enough with the siege mentality already.

          Save your whinging for the ref after the Blues taste glory in 2012.

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