Three weeks ago I wrote that only a miracle could rekindle my fading State Of Origin flame as we headed into what I described at the time as the most lacklustre build up I could remember.
Fast forward to Origin 2 Eve and Hallelujah, praise the lord, the excitement is back baby!
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m just a sore New South Welshman loser who is finally a little interested in Origin again because my team finally won something.
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Now while that is pretty much all true and on some level I am nothing but a sky blue sook (touché cane toads, touché), it is worth pointing out that that doesn’t stop it from also being right.
The Blues’ handing Queensland and absolute shellacking on their hallowed home soil at Suncorp was pretty much the only thing that could have happened to revive a myriad of fans from the apathy of our decade of disappointment.
Jumpers not worn since some bloke named Kevin Rudd was running for PM have been put through the deep wash cycle, lovingly and proudly hung out to dry as sky blue flags flap under sky blue skies.
North of the Tweed the Queenslanders have been snapped awake after a dreamy decade of delight, their champions’ backs firmly against the wall as their team travel to Sydney to salvage the series amid questions of loyalty at selection.
Just as NSW fans have revisited the hope and optimism of the mid-2000’s after one magnificent mauling at Suncorp, so too have Queenslanders been reintroduced to concepts of fear, trepidation and even resignation – long-time friends of Blues fans – about what a loss in Sydney will mean.
So an unfamiliar yet captivating stage is now set; can the Blues win the series in 2, head to Brisbane for a possible clean sweep and forever shatter the physiological hold that the legendary Queensland team has had over NSW over the last decade?
Or can the Maroons, inspired by the return of their champion play-maker Johnathan Thurston, stage an upset in enemy territory and force a decider in Brisbane to keep alive the flame of Queensland supremacy for yet another season?
Like Old Gill of Simpsons fame, both sides needed this.