Johnathan Thurston of the Maroons reacts after his kick which won the match during State of Origin Game II between the NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.
Johnathan Thurston of the Maroons reacts after his kick which won the match during State of Origin Game II between the NSW Blues and Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. DAVID MOIR

Greatest rivalry set to move

Comment: How many die-hard AFL fans will attend a game that does not have any importance to them?

State of Origin is headed to South Australia.

The NRL announced recently Adelaide Oval would host a State of Origin game in 2020.

One of the greatest rivalries in sport, the contest has been a fierce competition between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues.

It's one of the many ways the NRL is looking to expand the game but at what cost? It is a juggling act, trying to keep the current fans, while trying to kickstart NRL followers in South Australia.

What about the prospects of taking a game to Townsville 1300SMILES Stadium, or Cairns Barlow Park? Shouldn't we look towards stadiums in Queensland or NSW before going interstate?

Working and living in North Queensland, you can't walk a few metres without spotting a Cowboys or Maroons fans proudly wearing their colours all year round.

The Newman Government upgraded the Broncos facilities but the Cowboys had to fight to get a new stadium. Johnathan Thurston, after winning our first grand final, said: "The last thing I want to say is that North Queensland deserves a new stadium."

Children in the north have grown up watching Billy Slater and Thurston, dreaming about putting on the maroon jersey and playing rugby league in the big stage. What has the NRL got against North Queensland?

Holding Origin in Adelaide without a look to the North is a snub to North Queenslanders. My partner, a Blues fan, and I still argue about whether Jarryd Hayne's foot was or was not on the line. I do not know how many AFL fans would understand the meaning.

Gympie Times


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