Since its official institution in 1982, the State of Origin has been one of the most hotly anticipated events in the country’s sporting calendar. It is widely regarded as Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry, so it’s no surprise that many online sports betting sites like this one experience a spike in traffic and revenue when the match rolls around each year.
The competition features just two teams: the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons. Players are picked based upon the state in which they played their first professional rugby league game, with the eventual winner decided over the course of a best-of-three series of matches. But which team has triumphed most often?
Queensland on top
According to the latest statistics, Queensland have a clear advantage over their New South Wales counterparts. Of the 39 full series that have been contested to date, QLD have claimed a total of 22 victories in comparison to NSW’s 15. Two of the ties were recorded as draws, with the regulations changed after the second instance to introduce the “golden point” rule and settle the contest.
Much of that domination owes to recent history. Indeed, as recently as 2005, NSW were the long-standing authority in State of Origin matches. However, QLD have been in imperious form in the last decade and a half, recording 12 out of 15 wins (including a particularly hot streak of eight consecutive titles between 2006 and 2013).
A different story
While QLD are very much in the ascendancy in recent times, it was a different story prior to the formalization of the competition in 1982. Indeed, the history of the State of Origin is far older, dating all the way to the inception of the Australian rugby league itself in 1908. The first interstate match was played in that year, though its regularity and rules were not standardised for several decades more.
Over the course of those informal matches, NSW were much the more accomplished outfit, outstripping their rivals in terms of matches won quite comfortably. Indeed, at the outset of the modern tournament, the local media were so bullish about their chances and so dismissive of their opponents that QLD were inspired to take an early lead in the series, defeating NSW in all three of the first competitions.
A turn of the tide in 2021?
With this year’s incarnation of the tournament now upon us, the Blues will be chomping at the bit to right the wrongs of recent years and re-establish themselves as the dominant state in the tie. They will be further buoyed by the news that the Maroons have been beset by a raft of injuries, forcing them to name an expanded squad for the upcoming games.
NSW won’t be coming into the competition with a full roster to choose from, either. Several key injuries to their preferred starting line-up mean they will also be forced into fielding a slightly weakened team, though the passion on the pitch will still be full strength. The title will be decided over the course of three matches on June 9th, June 27th and July 14th. Watch this space!
Queensland are currently the team to beat when it comes to the State of Origin grudge match – but New South Wales are unlikely to take another beating lying down this year and will be desperate to turn the tide against their more illustrious opponents.