They’re calling it the greatest rivalry in sport. Time Out thought this a slight exaggeration..... up until the dying minutes of Game One. Astoundingly, Greg Inglis’ in-goal fumble was deemed a try by the video referee (who ain't no hi-def, that's for sure). This absolute stinker of a call destroyed the hopes of our beloved Blues as well as the credibility of the match officials.
Now we’re mad. Really mad.
The Maroons have held the title for a record six years now. Their outright dominance beggars belief. But if our boys want to avoid another year of misery and another preachy post-mortem from ‘oracle’ Phil Gould, then we must defeat those banana-benders on in Game Two next Wednesday at ANZ stadium.
So grab a last-minute ticket, slip on your Blues jersey (or bluest item of clothing, at least), jump on the train from Central and get ready to scream your heart out. The drought must end!
The Strawberry Hills Hotel
is perched on Elizabeth Street just up from the station entrance. Talk tactics over a few ales, or a $25 jug of PImms perhaps in the rooftop courtyard (because though you love your footy, you are in touch with your drinking-in-a-British-garden-party side) and hit the bistro at pace if you need to carbo-load.
Who to watch
State of Origin is the apex of Rugby League. Thirty four stars will take the field and give it their all. Long story short: watch everybody. That said, there are some players who are simply on another level. Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Jonathon Thurston and Cameron Smith are the four best players in the game, and they ain't showing any signs of slowing up. The bad news: they’ll all be in Maroon jerseys.
The Blues will need a near-flawless effort to stop the aforementioned and company running riot. Captain Paul Gallen was downright ferocious in Game One, just watching him was exhausting. We need his fellow forwards to join the charge and for five-eighth Todd Carney to step up and prove his greatness on the big stage.
Queensland’s continued success is no accident. This Maroons side is one the likes of which we have never seen before; if they walk off the field losers, it will be an upset. But the Blues showed the right brand of origin mongrel down in Melbourne, so Time Out is daring to dream. Blues by four.
The Strawberry’ll still be good for it. Or head the other direction to the Hotel Hollywood
if you’re keen for something dingy yet delightful. But if the on-field action simply wasn’t enough, scoot to World Bar
or the Flinders
, both connoisseurs of the midweek party (though you might do well to lose the footy apparel beforehand).
Did you know?
The call to play Game One in Melbourne was widely criticised by League purists, but few will recall the controversy of 1987 when a fourth exhibition match was played in Long Beach, California. The Blues won 30-18 in front of 13,000 confused locals.
Missed out on tickets?