7 hours ago
Off the Wall
The State of Origin after last night's superb contest is in a great state!
The Maroons extraordinary series winning streak continues - but for as long as we have series like this years State of Origin is more secure than ever.
The Maroons winning run may, in time, be compared with the greatest winning run in the game's history - the 11 premierships the Dragons won in the 1950's and 1960's.
In any close contest there will be debate about rulings. That will happen today no doubt.
But the really good news for the game is that State of Origin has never been more "marketable" - especially as a television and other media "product".
The timing could not be better. Today's ratings should confirm the pre-eminent place of Origin in the national viewing numbers.
It will be interesting to see the Melbourne numbers - which will show whether playing an Origin game in Melbourne has a significant positive impact.
I will be surprised if it does.
The Melbourne Storm may be leading the Premiership, but their home crowd numbers are very disappointing.
Yesterday on Brisbane radio the CEO of the Queensland Rugby League defended playing Origin matches in Melbourne on the grounds that it promotes the "development" of the game.
He needs to give himself a serious upper cut!
But I will return to that issue again in the near future.
Last night was an outstanding contest - and showed our great game at its very best.
But boy aren't we a nation of hard task masters!
The jockey who rode Black Caviar to victory at Royal Ascot has copped a hammering ever since.
And before last nights game there were suggestions Mal Meninga might not be coaching the Maroons next year....if the Maroons lost.
I am sure Mal has the position for as long as he wants it....and he is only in the first year of a new four year contract!
And the Blues should keep Ricky Stuart!
He is irritating at times.....but his coaching contributed to a great - and close - series.
The ARLC needs to capitalise on the extraordinary success of State of Origin as a major "event".
Perhaps a stand alone Origin weekend in the "origin" states in alternate years?