The 2015 State of Origin series decider (aka Christmas at Commentary Box Sports) will get underway at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane at 8:00pm, Wednesday July 8.
There’s many questions to be answered as NSW enter the series in the unfamiliar defending champs role and Queensland endeavour to take the shield back north of the border: Do the Blues have the cattle to get the job done without Hayne, Farah and Bird? Is the Queensland side too old? Did Laurie Daley get his halves selections right and will Mitchell Pearce finally stand up at Origin level? Can Slater, Inglis, Thurston, Cronk and Smith be contained? How will series debutants Klemmer and Jackson handle the Origin pressure-cooker at the Cauldron?
But for the 34 players involved, this game is so much more than that. It’s their chance to put their imprint on the Origin legacy and help propel their state to glory.
Origin football is littered with countless moments of heroism, shattering mistakes, unlikely heroes, superstars lifting to another level, sensational tries, equally stunning saves, incredible finishes, massive hits, furious fights and, after the game, unbridled emotion win or lose.
Names like Beetson, Raudonikis, Lewis, Kenny, Meninga, Sterling, Mortimer, Langer, Dowling, Vautin, Pearce, Daley, Stuart, Belcher, Jack, Walters, Roach, Clyde, Sironen, Gillmeister, Larson, Moore, Harragon, Bella, Elias, Johns, Lockyer, Lam, Brasher, Fittler, Webcke, Civoniceva, Hindmarsh, Gasnier and Hunt have lit up the Origin arena over the course of 35 previous seasons of interstate warfare.
Lewis v Geyer in 1991; Tallis rag-dolling Hodgson in 2002; Morris and Folau climbing high to score epic tries in recent years; Slater and Hayne’s kick-and-chase tries as Origin rookies – each as brilliant as the other; the match-winning plays by Finch, Bowen, Lockyer, Cronk, Timmins and Coyne; and dream farewells for ‘The King’, ‘Freddy’ and ‘Locky’ – they’re all moments frozen in time.
And they’re all included in Commentary Box Sports’ exclusive 2015 State of Origin hype-up video. If this doesn’t get the blood pumping and the hairs standing up on the back of the neck, nothing will. Fire up!