Next Wednesday night, Australian rugby league celebrates a major milestone – the 100th State of Origin match. It’s hard now to recall how different the game was back then, prior to 1980, when it was a Sydney-centric affair that thrived on Queensland talent but did little to encourage fans north of the Tweed.
Queensland won that first game, with major contributions from Chris Close and Mal Meninga – and a great interstate sporting rivalry began. And rugby league was on its way to becoming what it is today – the NRL.
It’s equally hard to remember the last time New South Wales won an Origin series. Are they any chance this year? We explore that question on this week’s Phil Staley’s Thoughts on Sports, and reflect on the life of Australian motor sport legend Sir Jack Brabham.