State of Origin hype travels

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Question, What does the Melbourne Cup and State of Origin have in common? Both events create invested interest from two nations while on the cheekier side, both have Kiwi flavour. New Zealand you say? Yes, that’s in Queensland, just ask Josh Papalii.


For many NRL fans it’s a frustrating time of the year with the competition stagnating with short rounds, byes and Origin-depleted teams taking the field. 

So Kiwi league fans bite the bullet and ride the Origin hype whilst jumping on a blue or maroon bandwagon over the next eight weeks.

Tonight Origin 1 kicks off at Suncorp Stadium so we asked Kiwi turf managers with an interest in the great game their thoughts on the opening match and the series.

Answers ranged from sentimental to the outrageously impossible, while a number doubled up on who will be the dirtiest player of the series.

Ashley Head (Hagley Oval, Christchurch)

Who do you support? Queensland

Predicted score? Queensland 16 NSW 10

Why will they win? Most likely to try and make Boyd Cordner’s 1st series as captain a losing one.

First try? Corey Oates

Man of the series? Cooper Cronk. Reason is self explanatory – He’s the goods.

Grub of the series? David Klemmer. With Gallen gone he is the next cab of the rank.

Series winner and score? Queensland 2-1



Glenn Gibson-Smith (The Glades, Gold Coast)

Who do you support? NSW

Predicted score? NSW 12 Queensland 10

Why will they win? Hayne magic at the death to win it.

First try? Darius Boyd

Man of the series? Boyd Cordner – lead from the front as captain, tough tough nut!

Grub of the series? Nate Myles because he is and loves the tussle on the ground.

Series winner and score? NSW 2-1, younger fitter stronger.


Joe Johnson (PGG Wrightson Turf, Christchurch)

Who do you support? NSW

Predicted score? NSW 10 Queensland 8

Why they’ll win? Tyson Frizzell

First try? Blake Ferguson

Man of the series? Tyson Frizell – Just a machine and never gives up.

Grub of the series? James Maloney – just because he is.

Series score? 2-1 NSW



Otatara Greenkeepers (Invercargill Golf Club, Invercargill)

Who do you support? We are all Queensland fans

Predicted score? Queensland 68 NSW -2

Why they’ll win? They’ll dominate all aspects of the game and even hold their own at the  urinal after the game.

First try scorer? Billy Slater

Man of the series? Gorden Tallis – He will pack more punch than the Blues attack.

Grub of the Series? Blake Ferguson because he’s a cry baby

Series score? Queensland 3-0


Stuart-reese Baird (Akarana Golf Club, Auckland)

Who do you support? NSW

Predicted score? NSW 20 Queensland 12

Why they’ll win? James Maloney

First try? Jarryd Hayne

Man of the series? Boyd Cordner – he’s the Simon Mannering of NSW and never plays bad.

Grub of the series? James Maloney – he’s the size of one.

Series score? 2-1 NSW


Writers’ pick (Michael Minty)

Who do you support? Queensland

Predicted score? NSW 21 Queensland 20

Why they’ll win? As much as I’d love to see Queensland win, my gut is telling me the Blues will target the Milf and we’ve seen what happens when someone like Jarryd Hayne gets one on one with a half. With JT missing that could prove the difference.

First try? Brett Morris

Man of the series? I’ll take a stab and say Mitchell Pearce to overcome some demons.

Grub of the series? David Klemmer

Series score? Drawn – middle game to be a draw but Queensland win game 3 to retain the shield.