Melbourne to host 2018 stand-alone State of Origin

Discussion in 'Rep Footy' started by rhugh89, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Aug 12, 2012
    Melbourne to host 2018’s stand-alone State of Origin Sunday blockbuster at a packed-out MCG

    Gilbert Gardiner, Herald Sun
    March 13, 2017 7:20pm
    Subscriber only

    MELBOURNE is set to host next year’s landmark stand-alone NRL State of Origin Sunday blockbuster.

    The NRL is committed to returning the Origin juggernaut to Melbourne in 2018 and game two of the best-of-three series will be played on a Sunday night, probably in June.

    Likely to be fixtured during the AFL bye rounds, a crowd in excess of 90,000 would be expected to fill the MCG.

    With no NRL club games on the weekend — a first — all eyes would be on Melbourne.

    The Herald Sun has established the NRL is obliged to playing a “live” Origin game in Melbourne, which rules out the potential for a game-three dead rubber.

    The Victorian Government will pay a seven-figure fee to secure the 2018 Queensland v New South Wales match.

    While the government and NRL were tight-lipped on Monday, the Herald Sun has established game two is Melbourne-bound.

    Melbourne last hosted Origin in 2015 — also game two — when New South Wales defeated Queensland 26-18 in front of a series record 91,513 attendance at the MCG.

    The success of that match — the first Origin clash at the ‘G in 18 years — would make it the hot favourite over rival venue Etihad Stadium.

    “We are currently working through the 2018 season structure,” an NRL spokesman said in a statement to the Herald Sun.

    “With regards to State of Origin, we are excited to be returning to Melbourne and we are working closely with the Victorian Government to finalise details over the coming months.”

    There have been eight New South Wales v Queensland grudge matches played in Melbourne since 1990, with the MCG drawing two of the four biggest crowds.

    The 2018 NRL premiership season will be played over 25 rounds — down from 26 — to accommodate the stand-alone representative round.

    NRL clubs have lobbied the league for many years to adjust the Origin format to reduce the burden on players during the season.

    Origin games are traditionally played on Wednesday nights, during a six-week block, midway through the NRL season.

    But NRL chiefs signed off on the radical Sunday shift in 2015, as part of the latest TV rights negotiations.

    The Victorian Government would not comment on the timing for the Melbourne Origin game.

    Queensland has dominated New South Wales since 2006, winning 10 of the past 11 series, including the last two.

    The 2018 Origin game will be the icing on a blockbuster 18-month NRL calendar for Melbourne, including Thursday night’s Storm v Broncos blockbuster at AAMI Park and two Rugby League World Cup games later in the year.

    Melbourne will host the Australia v England World Cup opener on October 27 and a quarter-final on November 19.
  2. ryan.berger.56

    ryan.berger.56 Todd Bates

    Dec 29, 2014
    No please no no no no
    Good idea but Queensland have 90% of the Melbourne support so you can't put it there as it's not neutral ground. Need to be on neutral ground or keep it how it is. Don't change something that isn't broken...and keep Wednesdays too it's tradition
  3. Tasgirl

    Tasgirl Tasgirl

    Nov 29, 2010
    Ditch the whole thing...can't stand State of Convenience.:p
  4. Kurriboy

    Kurriboy Todd Bates

    Aug 24, 2016
    Unfortunately another decision pandering to the TV execs. And we shorten our season by a round to accommodate it.

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