Time to face facts people, State of Origin footy died on Wednesday night.
In a two horse race, you cannot have one horse flog the other by the length of the straight and still get excited for the next race.
Whether you follow the blues or the maroons or are just a lover of sport in general, no enjoyment could have been found from the shockingly one-sided affair that was State of Origin Game 3 on Wednesday night.
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Ok, so if you’re a Queensland fan you probably got a small amount of happiness out of the game.
Make sure you should enjoy it while you can, because Origin will never be the same again.
When you bill a contest as ‘Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry’ it had damn sure better live up to the hype.
Origin no longer does.
In an ironic twist it seems the mighty Qld maroons are at risk of being a little bit too good.
And they will not be getting any worse.
With the likes of Papali, Granville, Hunt, Gillett, Morgan, Gagai and Chambers Queensland have a ready-made nucleus to take them all the way up to 2020 and beyond.
Just look at how the Queenslanders sent off Justin Hodges and Corey Parker on Wednesday night – imagine what will happen when Slater and Smith hang up the boots, or GI and JT?
Oh yeh, and then there is the ten million dollar man who can’t get a run in the team in Daly Cherry-Evans.
The NRL are in the unenviable position of having to promote a one-sided contest for the next decade.
Or, make a change.
Now, we all know how good the NRL are at changing with the times, but right now they have a great chance to give SOO footy the injection of competitiveness that it so desperately needs.
I just happen to have a solution.
Take the ‘state’ word away and rebrand the concept simply ‘Origin’.
You have four teams – New Zealand, Queensland, New South Wales and a Combined States side that allows players from the other Australian states (yes, even Tassie!) as well as PNG, Fiji and Samoa etc to play rep footy outside of world cup years.
You have three weekends per season where there is no NRL played, and on Friday and Saturday nights during those weeks the four teams play across two games.
The winner and finishing order is determined by win/loss and for and against over those three games so literally every try in every game will count, meaning the Combined States side will become everyone’s second favourite side each year.
In twenty years’ time we will remember that 52-6 score line as the day the music died, the day that Origin footy ceased to become that game that mattered.
It took New South Wales 80 minutes to destroy 35 years of history on Wednesday night.
And there is no going back or pretending like it didn’t happen.