State Of Origin

Maroons draw first blood

Trailing 18-16 with seven minutes to go and down to 12 players with Thomas Flegler in the sin-bin, the Maroons were seemingly out on their feet in front of 48,613 enthralled spectators.

But they refused to give up, and late tries to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Cameron Munster saw them claw their way over the line to take a 1-0 series lead.

The Maroons, who led 10-6 at half-time, were forced to play much of the match without back rower Tom Gilbert, who left the field with a dislocated right shoulder in the 19th minute.

NSW suffer big blow as Mitchell ruled out of Origin game 1

The Blues confirmed this morning prior to their flight to Adelaide that a calf injury would prevent the South Sydney superstar from featuring for Brad Fittler's side.

Mitchell's place in the centres will be taken by 19th man Stephen Crichton, with Canterbury five-eighth Matt Burton called in to act as additional back-up for Wednesday night's game at Adelaide Oval.

Mitchell missed the entirety of last year's series with a hamstring injury as the Blues lost the series 2-1.


Fiji hyped as possible State of Origin venue

This is believed to have been discussed during the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum, last week between Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Pacific counterparts.

Apart from Fiji, Papua New Guinea is also a possible destination in 2025.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama confirmed there have been some discussions about the possibility of Fiji hosting a match.

PNG has already put in a proposal to have a team in the National Rugby league competition in Australia, and PM Albanese is keen to see a Pacific team in the competition.


New South Wales beat Queensland 44-12 to level series

The Blues, who have won three of the last four series, edged a tight first half 14-12 before scoring five unanswered tries in the second.

Penrith Panthers half-back Nathan Cleary, 24, converted all seven NSW tries, scoring two himself and kicking a penalty goal for a 24-point haul.

Queensland won game one 16-10 and host the decider in Brisbane on 13 July.

After Cleary's early penalty for the Blues, Queensland second row Felise Kaufusi touched down and Valentine Holmes converted to put them 6-2 ahead.

Tupou, Crichton fined for Origin tackles

Tupou was charged with grade one dangerous contact on Maroons forward Patrick Carrigan in the 52nd of the match while Crichton's lifting tackle on Cameron Munster a minute later saw him attract a grade one dangerous throw charge. 

The pair will both be fined seven percent of their Origin match fee after they accepted the early guilty plea under the new judiciary system announced this week.

They will both be available for their respective NRL clubs in round 14. 


80,000 fans expected to be in attendance for Origin 1

James Tedesco will captain a Blues side which includes debutants Ryan Matterson, Kotoni Staggs and Stephen Crichton in the 17.

Billy Slater's first Origin squad as coach features four debutants - Cowboys duo Reuben Cotter and Jeremiah Nanai along with Broncos Patrick Carrigan and Selwyn Cobbo.

Game 1 begins at 10 tonight (FJ Time).


Five-year Sydney drought 'irrelevant' to new breed: Slater

Slater would go on to play three more Origins and retire as one of the Maroons’ all-time greats, likewise Thurston, whose rep career ended that night with 37 Origins to his name.

The great ‘JT’ had hoped to get an Origin swan song in Game Three and then be part of Australia’s World Cup campaign at the end of 2017, but shoulder surgery put paid to those plans.

Holmes, meanwhile, suits up for Queensland for the 11th time on Wednesday night, while Josh Papalii and Dane Gagai were also there five years ago and get their shot at breaking the Sydney hoodoo in Game One.

Injury scare won't stop Staggs fulfilling Origin dream

Staggs suffered the injury during a tackling drill, and he was in discomfort after the session as it took about five minutes for NSW medical staff to get the ring finger on his left hand back in place.

However, the 23-year-old centre, who trained alongside Tongan team-mate Daniel Tupou on the NSW right edge, has worked too hard on turning his life around to let the hand injury affect his Origin debut.

Queensland Maroons come out on top against NSW Blues in State of Origin face-saver

Absent for the first two matches due to injury, the Newcastle superstar showed the Maroons just what they'd been missing with a leading hand in Wednesday's 20-18 win over NSW on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Ponga led the Maroons with 182 running metres, recorded three tackle busts and one line break.

More importantly, he was at the heart of Queensland's best attacking moments at CBUS Super Stadium.

A kick return early in the first half set the platform from which the Maroons would score their first try of the night through debutant Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Cherry-Evans keen to attack Blues and build pressure

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans admitted the Maroons still had plenty of work to do on their defence after NSW's scoring juggernaut won the first two games with a remarkable 76-6 aggregate.

But Cherry-Evans believed their attack may prove the key to an Origin III upset.

The Maroons playmaker said a fast start was crucial and, armed with a backline boasting debutant speedster Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, was keen to finally put some scoreboard pressure on the Blues in Wednesday's dead rubber.