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Queensland is great, NSW is not, Origin is dead. Now what do we do?

Matt Cleary Columnist

By Matt Cleary, Matt Cleary is a Roar Expert

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    So – where to now, NSW Blues, if that really is your name, for so forlorn was that performance Wednesday night that we, the people of New South Wales – Believers, damn you! Rate-payers! – have just about given up and are asking aloud in disbelief, in the time-honoured way: who are you people?

    Scrap that: ‘Just about’ given up? No – it’s over. We are done. Let’s give up. The NSW Blues may never win again. Ever or indeed ever. And State of Origin, as a concept, as a contest, as a 34-man monster mash of interstate mate hate is done and done, and done.

    It’s done. It’s over.

    No it’s not. For doth did a record crowd of 55,450 people watch the match from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, and 55.4 bazillion million watched on TV around the world, and the Origin leviathan lives on, a repeating soap opera of death in which the same character dies over and over and over again.

    And therein lies the strength of Origin: there is only ever one winner and it doesn’t matter. Such is the strength of the brand that everyone still turns up.

    That’s a brand, there, that brooks no argument: there is only ever one winner and if you don’t like it, suck it up, you dirty little Cock-a-roche, suck it up.

    Your correspondent and some golf mates bravely watched some of the first half of Origin III up in Noosa in a pub that couldn’t make the Channel Nine coverage work for extended periods – one job, Laguna Jack’s, one job – so we went over to the Noosa Surf Club and sat among Queenslanders who revelled and quite verily in the ritual disembowelling their boys were meting out.

    Queenslanders love beating NSW in State of Origin. It never gets old.

    I asked one of those mates from golf, former Blues and Bears man Donny McKinnon, what do you reckon, Donny – does Laurie Daley survive? And he said, in a sort of illuminating way: “I dunno. Does he want to?”

    Laure Daley NSW Blues State of Origin NRL 2017

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Which leads to an interesting thought: Does coach Daley even want to hang around these Blues men and thus dull his legacy by attaching himself to an annual painful ritual disembowelling?

    I mean, he’s got other things to do, Laurie. He’s not short of a quid. He could go on the telly and just talk about footy, talk about some other shmo being belted by Canetoads each year, over and over and over again. That would have its allure.

    Know what I reckon he’ll do? Good bloke that he is he’ll fall on his sword and say it’s time for someone else to have a crack. I’ve given it everything and I’m done. And lo the people of rugby league would say, yes, you probably are, Laurie Daley, go well.

    Is that it for Cooper Cronk? Maybe. But you’d wonder why given how good he is, how enjoyable beating up on the Blues is. Ditto Billy Slater and Cameron Smith upon whom you could’ve got $7 to be man-of-the-match for, which seems obvious now given he’s Cameron Smith and, you know, he’s Cameron Smith.

    Maybe those guys and Johnathan Thurston could play Origin only. Become that New Breed of Footy Player, the rep-only man. Maybe they could retire from the weekly grind of the NRL and thus enjoy life, and keep fit, and six weeks a year emerge to beat up on the poor, puzzled, pizzled NSW Blues.

    Hey, they thawed out Alfie. Perhaps they can herald the New Queenslander, the Uber Queenslander – the super man who comes back only to play three games a year and continue to beat up on the Blues, to continue the pain that their fellow Queenslanders find so enjoyable.

    Or maybe they could just retire.

    The Blues? Who to pick? Who to drop? Would any of it even matter?

    I’d go with Matt Moylan in the No.6 and retain James Maloney in the No.7, and I plumped for that pre-series but they didn’t listen to me. And, well, how many lifeboats can you put on the Titanic.

    Josh Dugan NSW Blues State of Origin 2017

    (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

    Get rid of Mitchell Pearce? Well, yes, you could get rid of Mitchell Pearce, and that would assuage those modern day vocalists of the popular zeitgeist, the Haters, whoever they are, people who yell things at others without the fear that Mitchell Pearce can watch them saying it, and respond, and all that.

    Or maybe they just don’t rate Mitchell Pearce.

    But here’s the thing: Mitchell Pearce is the best halfback in the state of NSW. And that’s the state of the state of NSW – Mitchell Pearce is the best halfback in NSW.

    Could we get Daly Cherry-Evans? The Queenslanders don’t want him. Surely he qualifies in terms of citizenship. He lives near Dee Why, Narrabeen, somewhere there. He’ll do!

    Might they recruit Sam Burgess? He could certainly get Australian citizenship though he would probably play for Queensland because a) England, as we know, is in Queensland, and b) Queensland is really good and NSW is not really good, and why play for the dud state if you’re going to cross the largest of Rubicons and change your very citizenship, you may as well do it for the state that’s not prone to choking on the grandest stage in front of 59.4 bazillion million people.

    Get rid of Brett Morris? Who would you put in his stead? Josh Morris? Maybe it was Josh Morris who played the other night. Maybe neither Morris played, so starved of ball and unsighted was the person meant to be on the left wing for NSW it was hard to tell.

    Jarryd Hayne? Anonymous. Which is not what you want from your star, the one you look up to rip off the funky. Our Hayne Plane was grounded, in the hangar, crashed in the Andes waiting for the Uruguayan rugby team to emerge and eat each other.

    Jarryd Hayne NSW Blues State of Origin NRL Rugby League 2017

    (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

    Oh? Bring in Tommy ‘Turbo’ Trbojevic? A man whose name is spelled by throwing up the alphabet and taking out all the vowels? Yes, pick him. Tommy. He is very good.

    My man Donny used to be a copper in North Sydney and worked with a Russian bloke who didn’t have a vowel in his name until the seventh letter. Old mate arrested Roger Rogerson.

    This is nothing to do with State of Origin but is a tidy little yarn, and a better one than State of Origin story which is dead as fried chicken.

    No it’s not.

    But Tommy T’s going to be in a blue jumper next year, along with his brother Jake, and the pair will be mainstays until 2027 when NSW might win a series once the Uber Queenslanders Slater and Cronk and Smith and Thurston (and Inglis and Scott and Boyd) are well into their 40s and tired of tormenting the NSW Blues with their high-skilled and super-fine rugby league.

    So: Queensland is great, NSW is not, and Origin is dead.

    Anyone got any other ideas?

    Matt Cleary
    Matt Cleary

    Matt Cleary is a sports writer from Sydney. He enjoys golf, footy and Four Pines Pale Ale, and spends as much time as conscience allows at Long Reef GC. Tweet him @journomatcleary, or read him at his website.

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    The Crowd Says (97)

    • July 14th 2017 @ 7:53am
      Bert said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      State of Origin only works if Queensland beats NSW.

      It is great that the Melbourne Storm and a few ring ins can beat NSW.

      Nothing better than to hear every NSW biased commentator bleat like a cut sheep.

      Go Storm!

      • July 14th 2017 @ 8:05am
        Hugo au Gogo said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        But they won the first three halves!!! 120 minutes!!!!! When it didn’t count!!!!!!!!!!

        • July 14th 2017 @ 8:31am
          JohnB said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

          Plus NSW beat themselves in the last game, so that should make the series 2-2.

          Strange how things move in circles – many moons ago one Andrew Johns couldn’t get into a strong NSW side, and there was a serious suggestion (I think from a then first grade coach, possibly Johns’) that the eligibility rules be changed to allow Johns (or other surplus NSW players) to be picked for Qld, to improve the series and give those players exposure for higher honours.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 9:00am
        Olo said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        how many times ya used that one line now bert?

      • Roar Guru

        July 14th 2017 @ 9:20am
        sheek said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report


        This is mostly true. I say mostly, because winning 11 out of 12 series is taking the agreed contract too far in one direction.

        Imagine if NSW had won 11 of the past 12 series? We wouldn’t even be having this discussion. State of Origin would have been shut down by now.

        To recap the history lesson, the whole point of SOO was to give Qld back their stars who had migrated south to Sydney for the big bucks. Old had hardly won anything for 50 years.

        More galling still was seeing a handful of their stars pulling on a blue jersey instead of a maroon jersey.

        Imagine if NSW had continued to win SOO in those first five years, 1980-84?

        The concept would have died there & then.

        The fact Qld won 8 out of the first 11 matches set the concept on its way.

        Yep, state of origin is an artificial concept. It can only work in a two state environment.

        But the divine law underpinning it is that Qld must win more often.

        Say, every 2 of 3 series, or occasionally every 3 or 4. But 11 out of 12 is ridiculous!

        Some people will disagree with me, but I much prefer the rugby concept of five provinces, with players able to move from one province to another for money or lifestyle.

        The problem with rugby is that they just don’t have any worthwhile players.

        Imagine spreading the rugby league talent across five rugby union provinces. That would be something to see!

        • July 14th 2017 @ 9:55am
          col in paradise said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          so the five provinces would be..and all based on the Junior origins of players..Sydney, NSW Regional, Brisbane, Qld Regional and a ACT/Riverina/Victoria…

          Or alternatively as I think you are suggesting – set up the five provincial teams and let them buy and recruit players like Super Rugby and the Big bash…franchises rather than representative teams as above.

          • Roar Guru

            July 14th 2017 @ 10:40am
            sheek said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

            No Col,

            Perhaps I’m confusing you.

            I’m just saying I prefer the rugby union model to rugby league model, irrespective of the popularity of state of origin.

            I like the fact rugby union has five provinces (soon to be four, then three, maybe back to two).

            Rugby league can only ever have two states.

            Nor am I a fan of BBL.

            • July 15th 2017 @ 10:03am
              Norad said | July 15th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

              If NRL had state teams like before 1980 based on residential rules Victoria would be the third state and would be the best!

            • July 15th 2017 @ 7:20pm
              Sir Col in paradise said | July 15th 2017 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

              OK agreed – thought you were proposing it as a solution – and yes BBL sucks !!!

        • Roar Rookie

          July 14th 2017 @ 10:06am
          steveng said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

          Nobody cared about SOO pre 1980, I’m sure that most RL fans (especially the young fans) didn’t know when it was on and didn’t care. The score was in the papers and NSW use to win all the time, the only good thing in those days was the biff that use to happen and the send offs.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 14th 2017 @ 11:57am
            steveng said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

            Just a reference to a 1971 Queensland v New South Wales SOO game and what I meant above lol

          • July 14th 2017 @ 7:02pm
            Art Vanderlay said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

            The fact that State of Origin didn’t exist before 1980 might have something to do with no one caring about before 1980 do ya reckon brainiac?

          • July 14th 2017 @ 7:06pm
            Peter said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

            You’re not much of a history student, are you? There WAS NO State of Origin before 1980. Back then it was where you were playing at the time. One memorable “NSW” team included seven Queenslanders!
            Back then the NSW bleat was “This is boring. We keep winning. Scrap it!” Now it’s ” This is boring. We keep losing. Scrap it!”
            At least the bleating’s consistent.

          • July 15th 2017 @ 9:49am
            Mitcher said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            This is the best comment ever. It’s so wrong it’s 100% right. Thanks for the Saturday morning chuckle.

        • July 14th 2017 @ 10:21am
          Sydneysider said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          Sheek, I pose to you that the ARL Commission (and the NSWRL) will try to ensure that NSW are competitive again and win a series, because the way things are going – state of origin will become like the Bledisloe Cup ie. an annual 3 game series that only the die hards care for from one side of the contest, and the other side will watch in lesser numbers.

          If NSW weren’t competitive you would be seeing ANZ Stadium struggling to be filled, just like the Bledisloe Cup game scheduled in August this year at that venue.

          11 out of 12 series is almost as bad as 15 straight years of NZ winning the Bledisloe Cup. In an annual 2 horse race, that isn’t a good thing.

          • Roar Guru

            July 14th 2017 @ 10:44am
            sheek said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

            Please don’t mention the Bledisloe Cup! That’s a horribly one sided contest if ever…!

            Look at the Cambridge vs Oxford boat race – 82 to 80 with one deadbeat & I think one no contest when both boats sank.

            These guys first raced each other in 1829 & annually since 1856.

            Agreed, a two horse race works as long as one team never gets too far ahead.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 14th 2017 @ 2:21pm
          Russell Neville said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

          NSW just simply don’t know how to lift their level with passion. When I was a little boy in country Qld I used to listen to the inter-state games on the radio and year after year we were thrashed by NSW. Of course 2 or 3 of the players in the NSW team were from QLD and all the other great Qld players were playing in Sydney for the big bucks (i.e., Poker Machine money) and of course under the old rules couldn’t play for QLD. No disrespect to the boys that tried hard but in vain for QLD for all those years. Between 1956 to 1981 Queensland won only one series in 1959. So the point here is that the QLD State of Origin passion is based on that history and long may QLD dominate the Origin series and rub the NSW arrogance in their noses. I too prefer Rugby Union as a game but our struggles at the moment maybe have their origins back to 96 when the game went professional and no free to air TV contract was created. I still love to revel in a QLD victory however.

      • July 15th 2017 @ 9:56am
        Norad said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report said: “Nothing more surer than the growth of #AFL in NSW has had a negative impact on their #Origin team.” Dreamer.

    • Roar Pro

      July 14th 2017 @ 8:34am
      Ben Sewell said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      Origin just works because QLD hate NSW. Give it time and NSW will begin to understand this hate. There’s kids atm in NSW who’ve only seen their side win once their whole lives. Eventually they’ll grow up to understands QLD’s point of view.

      • Roar Guru

        July 14th 2017 @ 9:23am
        sheek said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report


        “Origin just works because QLD hate NSW”.

        If this is true then Australians are grossly stupid & ignorant. We are after all, part of the same country.

        Unfortunately, some people, mostly Queenslanders, are likely to take this idea to extremes.

        I don’t know if it’s related to a low IQ.

        Anyway, I love Qld, great lifestyle! (Shame about the natives)

        • July 14th 2017 @ 9:48am
          Jimmmy said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

          What a load of tosh . Sporting hatred is just that , sporting hatred . I grew up with a visceral hatred of Brisbane Norths. They really were the devil to me.
          Hating a sporting club / team is a carthartic practice . If that is the worst of our hatred what a peaceful place this world would be.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 9:54am
            Haradasun said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

            Pretty sure that was tongue in sheek there.

            • July 14th 2017 @ 10:03am
              col in paradise said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

              yes agree sporting hate and rivalry is a core of the sporting contest…yes for us older generation it was embedded..I am finding though the younger generation are not getting so loyal and passionate about teams..or even the sport…I have three boys and all very into sport – both NRL and AFL…increasingly reason is they are not happy how NSW are going and sick of loosing to Qld..especially as we have been mainly based/living in FNQ for 15 years..another is the two dimensional play, the loss of real scummaging and players moving around all over the place and even mid season…if NSW keep losing okay it may bring some increasing sporing hared and passion to the older fans..but the younger fans I think may walk away and look elsewhere in the longer term and that is when SOO may meet the fate of its preceding inter state clashes….

            • Roar Guru

              July 14th 2017 @ 10:45am
              sheek said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report


            • Roar Pro

              July 14th 2017 @ 5:22pm
              Kurt S said | July 14th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report


              But I think you are right, but it won’t stop a few north of the border spitting bile and being used at the next origin camp.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 11:00am
            Raugeee said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

            Agree with Jimmy. Melburnians hate the AFL clubs which aren’t theirs, yet sit happily on the tram home next to each other. I feel sporting hatred is actually a refined and genteel way of expressing aggression. I grew up with a wonderful suburban BRL comp. You could cheer players you went to school with, or played with at a local club. SOO is a real representative contest. I couldn’t give a damn about QLD in Super Rugby. It’s just a franchise.

            • July 14th 2017 @ 12:29pm
              Jimmmy said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

              That’s you and me Raugee. Refined and genteel. Perhaps I failed this test a little bit on Wed night at Suncorp .

        • July 14th 2017 @ 11:02am
          Olo said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

          “shame about the natives” ??

          c’mon mate. no place for that here.

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 12:38pm
          Nat said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

          “Usually Qlders” sheek? We sat side by side with Blues fans all night and had a laugh with them walking to and from the game. Until 1 blues tosser started an argument with a 14yo girl who couldn’t care less about origin. Qld is what it is because of the people. We create the culture and the lifestyle. The only shame is that we cannot close the border to those who want what we’ve created. Feel free to go home sheek.

          • Roar Guru

            July 14th 2017 @ 1:10pm
            sheek said | July 14th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

            Settle down Nat, rugby league is just a sport.

            • July 14th 2017 @ 2:42pm
              Sydneysider said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

              Agreed Sheek, it is only a sport.

              Nat, we are all Australians at the end of the day, and when things get tough we all help each other out.

              “The only shame is that we cannot close the border to those who want what we’ve created.”


              It’s only a sport Nat.

              • Roar Guru

                July 14th 2017 @ 3:23pm
                Nat said | July 14th 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

                Exactly my point guys. I highlighted the fact we, all fans irrespective of the result, were respectful to each other for a night of entertainment, except for one NSW fool arguing with a young girl.

                Sheek, you just insinuated the “usually Qlders” or “Natives” are the trouble makers and linked that to IQ. That’s got nothing to do with sport friend. Just an idiotic and insulting statement being called out for what it is.

                As mentioned just below, Sheek you are usually much better than that.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 11:03am
        Agent11 said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        It’s only in sports. Queenslanders don’t hate anyone and are generally very laid back and welcoming to people from all states in the country. The fierce parochialism only extends to sports and that’s it.

        Now if we’re talking about people from inner Sydney or inner Melbourne, there is some self important toffs who think they are better than everyone else in the country.

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 12:30pm
          Nat said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

          Agreed Agent. Ol’ Sheek, usually informed and a bit funny has lost his marbles on this one.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 16th 2017 @ 9:31am
        mattatooski said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        We Queenslanders don’t hate NSW, we just really, really love beating you guys at State of Origin. It is as simple as that …..

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:43am
      Bert said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      NSW and their biased commentators are up their own backsides.

      It is a laugh a minute when they lose.

      As NSW have a sense of entitlement about Origin.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 9:08am
        Hugo au Gogo said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        First comment I agree with, last comment is ridiculous.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 11:11am
        Raugeee said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

        For e.g Fox website – after Game 2 – rating QLD players an ave of 5.5 and NSW players 7.5? 😀

        • July 14th 2017 @ 12:53pm
          JohnB said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

          Different individuals did the ratings so strictly speaking you can’t compare them. The ratings were each more or less internally consistent – just that one was calibrated about 1.5 or 2 higher than the other. You’re certainly right that it was very silly to have done it this way given it was inevitable the two sets of ratings would be compared.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 9:08am
      Duncan Smith said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      I’ve got it.

      The true interstate rivalry has always been NSW vs Victoria. Origin is in Melbourne next year too. So the definitive solution is from now on, forget about Queensland. Origin will be NSW v Victoria.

      Yes, that’s it. Tipped for Vic selection are Young Tonimapea and Mahe Fonua, along with some players from the powerful Melbourne local league.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 9:29am
      FnQ said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      I hear Cooper Cronk is looking for a Sydney gig next year.

      Canetoad Cooper Cronk Coach of the Cockroaches ?!!!

      • July 14th 2017 @ 8:55pm
        Bee bee said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

        I have a nightmare scenario where in a few years. All the Storm stars are finished with League. Bellamy Quits the Storm and takes on the Blues coaching gig again. However, he then convinces Cam Smith and Cronk to betray their state and become his assistant coaches. I wonder what price they would ask to make that happen. As a Queenslander I hope the answer is ……. priceless.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 14th 2017 @ 9:49am
      steveng said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      For me, next year I won’t be watching or following SOO. To me (as I’ve said before) SOO means nothing and I will switch right off for this period of time and follow other sporting events e.g. Tour de France, AFL or whatever, there are plenty of other sports that I can watch and follow besides SOO in this 6 weeks that the NRL club games are ruined or as like next year, there will be a new format or compromise. SOO has to be moved and played after the NRL season is over!!! That is what the NRL should consider and do it urgently!!! That is and if most NSW supporters will support NSW and this SOO series??? NSW are not fair dinkum and have gone that low, that they don’t give a stuff, so why should all us fans support them and be fair dinkum??? This is becoming a joke and a big embarrassment!!!

      • July 14th 2017 @ 10:05am
        Jimmmy said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

        Come back you coward. NSW RL has suffered a mere flesh wound. You can always bite our ankles.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 14th 2017 @ 10:26am
          steveng said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          ‘can always bite our ankles’??? Flesh wound for 12 years, that is a massacre or its been mass murdered!!! I’ve been following RL since I was a kid in the 50’s, mate, I don’t need SOO to make me keen and/or enthused by the NRL or RL, as a matter of a fact ‘it puts me off’ its all a con and a contest we had to have. Give the NRL comp all the encouragement it needs as the AFL and other sports are overtaking it by a mile, each year! Have you ever flicked to an AFL game on a Friday compared to an NRL game? A normal game has more spectators than a SOO decider, why do you think that is happening, even here in Sydney with the SWANS and GWS? The AFL had SOO and gave it up and concentrated on the AFL comp, that is one of the reasons why AFL is so successful!!!

          • July 14th 2017 @ 10:47am
            Jimmmy said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

            Steven , I understand your point of view and I appreciate it comes from a genuine concern for the game but I just can’t agree with it .
            Origin is a showcase of what our game offers . It attracts a national audience that draws attention to us . Attention we would not get otherwise. It puts us at the front of a very crowded sporting market for the period it’s on.
            I am usually in Darwin at Origin time. Darwin is an AFL town but at Origin time it is owned by League. For two months of the year we are the game. Went back to QLD for game three. It is ALL anyone I met wanted to talk about. Origin is a rare jewel that keeps giving to our game.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 14th 2017 @ 11:16am
              steveng said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

              ‘Jimmy’ that’s fair enough but, the NT is not and never ever will be an NRL state, it’s a perfect example why NRL hasn’t gone up there as a game. Most kids play AFL and have no intention of playing in the NRL. It’s great that SOO brings a ‘One Off’ (e.g. like the soccer world cup for an NRL fan) interest and it does that Australia wide and world wide, at that time of the years but, the NRL comp is RL and that is the future of RL, not the SOO which comes and goes every year and the NRL comp suffers from it ‘at an immense overall level’ and for 6 weeks ‘mid-season’ which SOO makes no difference to the NRL!!! Crowds are pathetically down in most NRL games and they look ridiculous, with 7000 crowds at ANZ stadium, which makes it look embarrassing and a 2nd rate game. This is a perfect example and it’s because of how the NRL are running and promoting things, they are counting their ‘pennies instead of counting the dollars’ and not promoting RL ‘Australia Wide’ like the AFL do. The NRL comp is suffering and haemorrhaging ‘each year’ and the NRL are oblivious to it.

              • July 14th 2017 @ 11:54am
                Sydneysider said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

                “This is a perfect example and it’s because of how the NRL are running and promoting things, they are counting their ‘pennies instead of counting the dollars’ and not promoting RL ‘Australia Wide’ like the AFL do. The NRL comp is suffering and haemorrhaging ‘each year’ and the NRL are oblivious to it.”

                Apart from the Queensland clubs, the overall trend is down for crowds in the NRL especially Sydney clubs.

                Those Sydney clubs haven’t grown their crowds from 2005. Apart from the Brisbane Broncos, the NRL clubs crowds have stagnated:


                Maybe the natural level is 15,000-16,000 but I do recall this:


                The article is dated 2012, and the 5 year plan was to achieve average crowds of 20,000 – fast forward 5 years and the average is stuck at 15,000.

                The target of 700,000 rugby league “participation” as well wouldn’t have been met either.

                This isn’t an uncommon theme because A-League football average crowds have stagnated at the 12,000 mark, rugby union (Super Rugby’s) have dropped considerably. Football’s participation numbers continue to grow whereas rugby union has dropped off a cliff.

                The only 2 sport competitions that haven’t dropped are AFL and BBL.

                Lots to think about for the ARL Commission, but with so many vested interests, and with state of origin clearly overshadowing the weekly domestic competition, there is plenty to think about for the NRL and just sitting on origins popularity in Queensland won’t solve anything. Maybe they need to introduce 2 more Queensland teams.

                Interesting times ahead…..

          • July 14th 2017 @ 7:35pm
            The Big Red V said | July 14th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

            For the sake of the exercise, let’s stand the SoO apart from the club games and appreciate how HUGE (ode to the late Darryl Eastlake) this “spectacle” is around the world. Having worked in 10 countries and most states of Australia, apart from the AFL grand final (forget the NRL GF), there is NO Australian sporting event that gets close to the hype this generates year in year out. Poms and Yanks alike clammer for a place to watch it and pubs in places like Germany and Portugal are full of locals and expats alike vying for the best vantage points in front of teles.

            Unless there is a total fark-up in the handling of the series (ie. adminstration or television rights dispute) then it will last for a long time to come.

            For those who say it’s dying, nope. For those that say they don’t care, you do. For those that want to see the Blues win a series, as a Queenslander, so do I – eventually…..

      • July 15th 2017 @ 10:03am
        Mitcher said | July 15th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        Of course it means nothing to you. You thought it existed before 1980.

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