By Jeff Wall, Crikey’s rugby league writer


I am often asked why I believe State of
Origin arguably remains as successful now as it was in its early, heady
years when Queensland reversed decades of NSW domination of interstate
rugby league competition. I think there are three reasons, which are all explained in more detail on the website here. The first is “passion”, the second is
“unpredictability” and the third is “evenness”.

And to
understand how and why rugby league’s State of Origin series began, look no further than what
preceded it and at the nature of the man who unquestionably, and almost
single-handedly, achieved it.

The game owes Ronald Edward McAuliffe, who died in 1988 undoubtedly satisfied
the Origin concept would live on forever, a substantial debt of gratitude.

Driven by the reality of a lop sided interstate series in danger of
collapse, and by a visionary QRL President who simply never took “no” for an
answer, State of Origin is regularly the top rating television program in
Australia.

The full story on the origins of State of Origin is on the site here.