To West Australians, State of Origin is a quaint concept whereby two regions further afar than Jakarta clash over cultural differences and Greg Inglis before cutting away at the 79th minute to something of greater local interest, i.e. The Big Bang Theory.

But in reality, Origin is much more complicated than that.

Rugby league’s greatest rivalry will converge on Perth this Sunday for a blockbuster game two, with the pristinely-new Optus Stadium set to be soiled for the first time with two-headed fans and Josh McGuire.

Naturally, as Western Australia is predominantly ruled by sports like AFL, cricket and open-cut mining, the locals will be seeking a granular insight in to the cultural dynamic between the two states.

What does Perth need to know about Origin? From whom should they protect their children’s eyes? And what makes one state a stagnating backwater forever under the eternal grip of the monarch Wally Lewis, and the other Queensland?

The coaches

Coaches are critical to Origin, mainly for sales of effigies. Brad Fittler currently holds the position for the Blues, which is a proxy caretaker role until the next manic schmo takes the reins of doing whatever Phil Gould says.

Queensland is overseen by Broncos great Kevin Walters, who under instruction from his famous Coach Whisperer now abstains from mentioning the opposition or attending press conferences sober.

The captains

Who has been given the specialised role of pointlessly barking at referees over ruck speed?

The Maroons will be skippered by Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, who as an erudite and statesmanlike gentleman remains widely shunned by the Queensland public. Rate his kicking game though.

As for the Blues, they will be lead by back-rower Boyd Cordner, who has a proven ability to fill the role’s brief of delivering regular concession speeches- and there’s every chance he’ll resume this duty on Sunday after the small blip of being handed the shield last year.

Selection policy

It’s this simple; New South Wales drop everyone and pick anyone, while Queensland pick and stick. This makes the contest an interesting mix of unknown park footballers and blokes who debuted before the Keating administration.

Queensland built their bedrock of loyalty from the 2010’s onwards after falling arse-backwards in to 25 salary caps of sublime artillery, with the policy still current today. Unless they lose, then its Ben Hunt’s fault.

Additionally, the Maroons can reshape geography to ensure a player was born inside state lines. So much so, the current protests in Hong Kong over extradition laws are actually against attempts by Queensland to fill a shortage in the front-row.

As for the Blues, they are dogged by a constant selection headache which sees them restricted to picking New South Welshmen.

This was evident following the game one debacle, with Fittler frenetically overhauling the halves after conceding James Maloney and the retired Braith Anasta were the last options standing, incensing Rabbitohs fans who claimed he overlooked the obvious option, John Sutton.


While NSW’s build-up has been routinely chaotic, it is business as usual in Camp Maroon, with their entire preparation in the grip of hypochondria usually saved for compo frauds sprung on tabloid television.

For those unaware, Queensland Origin camp has been rated by Smart Traveller as more unsafe than Damascus, South Sudan or the concourse of an AFL match, with the gathering constantly returning dangerously-high readings of a victims complex.

Regardless of circumstances, the team is regularly selecting members racing the clock to be fit due to strains or contagion. Some say the entire state should be quarantined and cut adrift in the Pacific, but y’know, ratings.

The Blues will predictably label their preparations as business-as-usual on match eve, provided they can niftily wedge in a drinking scandal beforehand.

Venue issues

Concerns have been raised by the NRL over the quality of the Optus Stadium conditions, with administrators claiming it doesn’t meet heartland standards by being a pile of rubble under a perpetual agenda-driven debate.

In fact, the game may be cancelled if the stadium cannot appear in 17 consecutive Peter Fitzsimons columns by Sunday.

Criminal brutality

While a match of football will be held as per contractual obligations, most curious Perth residents will be attending the match solely on the promise of unfettered criminal disorder.

State of Origin used to known as a vehicle for the horrific rugby league pastime of violence, with pathological grubs flooding the stage to showcase new acts of depravity and groin-twisting origami in a bid to win over casual fans. Tragically, this is no longer.

Unfortunately, Origin’s tough-guy image was corrupted by a back-pedalling Ben Creagh in 2009, before being put out of its misery in 2013 by a rain of blows from Paul Gallen to the acreage on Nate Myles’ forehead.

So unless you’re attending a bonding session, Perth should brace for an underwhelming level of indecency. The most distasteful acts witnessed will probably be ‘handbags’- commonly referred to in AFL as a pinching melee- or worse, Paul Vautin after a Queensland triumph.