Wednesday, July 13, 2011

State of Origin gives hotel, Queensland something to cheer about

It's kind of like the Superbowl.

And also like the MLB World Series.

And the rivalry is just as serious as game day at Death Valley when the Gamecocks are in town.

It's the State of Origin, an annual three-game knock-down drag-out between the best of the best from Queensland and New South Wales' rugby teams.

Best out of three wins but even if the duel is settled in the first two meet-ups, the two teams play a third game...just to give rugby fans something to drink to, bet money on and fight about.

State of Origin night at Hotel Corones was something to get excited about.

We had drink specials, the game on all three big screen tellys and the house was divided (the owners, husband and wife, cheer for different sides).

Rugby is a very physical game, similar to both American football and soccer. The ball can only be passed backward and punted forward.

The pace is quick and the players don't wear helmets or shoulder pads.

Although I don't know all the game technicalities, I've really gotten in to Australian rugby, or "footy" as it's known in Queensland.

The Queensland Maroons won the State of Origin title and it was good to be out here, toasting to their victory.

Of course, being a journalist, I was interested in how the game would be documented the next morning in the paper.

Besides normal game coverage, I read a beautifully-crafted article in the Courier Mail about retiring Maroons footballer Darren Lockyer.

Even for people unfamiliar with rugby, the article is a superb example of sports feature writing.

With the Queensland win, rivals New South Wales will have to fly the Maroons flag over the Sydney Harbour Bridge: the consequence of a long-running bet between the two states.  

You can't experience Queensland without delving into the footy and the State of Origin game is as big as they come!

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