The ‘state Of Origin’ Rugby League

Few would deny that there’s nothing like Origins in the entire sporting landscape in the land Down Under. The Holden State of Origin Series kicked off recently, making this the perfect time to take a look back at the extraordinary history of the State of Origin series.

The History

For the uninitiated, the State of Origin series is a best-of-three Australian Rugby League Football match.  The annual sporting event between two state representative sides, the Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues. Often referred to as ‘Australian sports greatest rivalry’ the Origins series is considered to be one of the premier sporting events of the year in Australia. Although the series takes place in Australia, it is seen as the pinnacle of rugby in comparison to international rugby competitions. In short, the State of Origins series is a big deal, not just for the players, but for the fans as well.

Origins of the Name

The players that are selected to take part in the State of Origin rugby series represent the State where they played their first senior rugby league game, hence the name ‘State of Origin’. Before 1980, those who were selected for the rugby series were only selected for interstate matches, based on which rugby club they were playing for at the time.

The Beginning

Since 1908, two of Australia’s established rugby clubs, Queensland and New South Wales have played matches against each other which later on continued into the State of Origin series. In 1980 and the following year, two interstate matches were played using the old selection rules along with one experimental ‘State of Origin’ competition. Since 1982, a best of three match series has been played around the middle of each rugby league season in Australia. The winner of that competition gets the coveted State of Origin shield.

The Winners

Since 1982, 36 full series have been played. While the results were mostly even during the initial years, since 2006, Queensland has taken home all the shields, except for 2014. Queensland has won a total of 36 times at the State of Origin series, with New South Wales coming in second place winning the competition a total of 21 times, with two series ending in a draw. Due to a controversy surrounding the second drawn series the rules were changed. The rule that draws the competition has been abolished, with equal points close to full time being resolved by using the ‘Golden Point’ rule.

The amount of talent and ferocity that’s exhibited in the State of Origin series is unlike anything found in sporting events in Melbourne or anywhere else in Australia, making it an impressive venue to play in, and possibly put money on. Those looking forward to cash in on the biggest sporting rivalry in Australia as the cockroaches and cane toads battle it out at the biggest sports stadium in the country, can head on down to to learn more about the event and support their favorite team with their hip-pocket.

Annie Daniels

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