Like most people, I have been fascinated by postcodes for as long as I can remember. So when I found out Queensland players would be wearing their postcodes on their sleeves for Game 2, my excitement could barely be contained.
I was looking forward to this wonderful celebration of the Queensland postal service, but sadly this was a match that failed to deliver. Like most viewers, I spent the match trying to read the postcodes, match the player to a town and just generally not look at the scoreboard. If you missed the final score, here’s a clue: Brigalow, postcode 4412.
To understand Queensland postcodes you need to know that we begin in the heart of Brisbane with 4000 and then as a general rule the numbers increase as you head north. You can learn a lot about the importance of the bush to Queensland rugby league by seeing how few players started from a Brisbane postcode. Four of the squad, however, originated from Mackay 4740 (Kalyn Ponga, Dane Gagai, Daly Cherry-Evans and Thomas Dearden) while Thomas Flegler, Jeremiah Nanai and Valentine Holmes all have postcodes starting with 48, indicating they come from even further north.
Some viewers may have been confused trying to figure out why Ben Hunt (4702 Dingo) had a postcode between those of Munster (4701 Rockhampton) and Harry Grant (4703 Yeppoon). If you remember your central Queensland geography from school, you’ll know Rocky and Yeppoon are close neighbours, while tiny Dingo is a few hours drive west. The mystery is solved when you learn that 4702 is the postcode shared by all small towns covered by the central Queensland mail exchange. If Corey Oates gets a start in Game 3, he’ll also wear 4702, even though his home town of Baralaba is quite a few stubbies drive (in the oldspeak) from the three towns mentioned above.
If you’re confused, imagine how some of the players must have felt. I felt particularly sorry for Cameron Munster. Channel 9 told us he’s representing Rockhampton, but the Rockhampton postcode is actually 4700, so by wearing 4701 Cameron was actually representing only the north side of the river.
For example, if postcodes had been worn in the first Origin match back in 1980, Rod Reddy, as a proud Rocky South boy, would have insisted on wearing 4700. However, Munster grew up on the north side of the river and so actually represents the North Rockhampton postal region 4701. Through no fault of his own, by wearing 4701 he may have alienated half the viewers in his home town.
From the moment he ran on I sensed that something was troubling him. Surely for Game 3 a solution needs to be found, perhaps 4700 on one sleeve and 4701 on the other.
I was wondering which postcode had produced the most Origin players when it suddenly dawned on me that there’s a good chance it might start with a two and be somewhere west of Sydney around the foot of the mountains.
Finally, next year we have a new club to look forward to with the Dolphins. The postcode of Redcliffe is 4020 – forty, twenty! If that’s not an omen I don’t know what is.