(Image: AAP/Dave Hunt)

It was NSW v Queensland; the State of Origin v the ABC and its core viewers. Who will win the great battles of Wednesday night? Well, on the field, the newbies of Queensland pulled off another famous win, beating the hotly faved NSW Blues 18-14 after trailing 10-0 at half time.

While Queensland was triumphant, the game did OK for Nine. There will be a long post mortem today as it was not the rating bonanza many might have thought. In fact it was a bit like the US elections: a bit of a letdown. The ratings were not very good compared to past series. Perhaps it was the shift from the mid-season timing because of COVID-19.

Origin averaged 2.37 million, the lowest national figures since they started being recorded in 2003 (previously there had been metro figures only). It was also around 25%, or 800,000 viewers, down on the 3.20 million people who watched game one in 2019, while the metro figure of 1.59 million was the lowest since game one of 2001 (and also down sharply from the 2.17 million for 2019).