IT’S one of the most fierce rivalries in Australian sport and captivates millions of Australians every year.
State of Origin - Queensland versus New South Wales -the ultimate showdown in rugby league.
Queensland has dominated the best-of-three series with eight wins in a row - but that’s all about to change, just ask the keen rugby league followers from Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School.
In fact, of the 30-plus Catherine McAuley students asked by the Central Western Daily at Tuesday’s David Peachey Shield and Russell Richardson Cup rugby league carnival, there was only one brave student who bucked the trend.
That student was Oliver Connaughton and despite copping plenty of stick from his mates, Oliver was adamant the cane toads would win again.
“They’ve won eight in a row already, they’re unstoppable,” he said.
“I reckon they’ll be too good. With Greg Inglis at fullback, there’s no one who can stop him.”
One of Oliver’s good friends, Jack Martyr, disagreed. He believes this year will be the year of the cockroach.
“I’m sick of Queensland winning but NSW will win this year because they’ve got the best players,” he said.
“They’ve been practising a lot and will be ready to play.”
Daniel Tupou’s inclusion in the NSW squad was a favourite with the students, while many backed captain Paul Gallen to be the best player tonight.
Paul Willoughby from Willoughby’s Models and Cars said this year’s State of Origin sales had been steady, with plenty of optimism surrounding the new-look Blues.
“We had really strong sales for NSW gear last week but it’s been a bit slower since Saturday and I’d say because the first game is in Queensland that might have something to do with it,” he said.
“But the overall opinion out there is that NSW can turn it around this year - let’s just say they’re a better chance than they have been in the past few years.”