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Broncos versus Cowboys has taken over Origin

The Roar logo The Roar 20/05/2016 Dane Eldridge

Johnathan Thurston of the North Queensland Cowboys celebrates a try that was later disallowed during their Round 4 NRL match against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Friday, March 25, 2016. © AAP Image/Dan Peled Johnathan Thurston of the North Queensland Cowboys celebrates a try that was later disallowed during their Round 4 NRL match against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Friday, March 25, 2016. Sorry conservatives but the Queensland derby has surpassed the interstate showdown for guaranteed satisfaction. In fairness, so have the Pacific Tests and the Charity Shield. Nevertheless, it is still quite the feather.

Watching these two Queensland juggernauts go at it in comparison to the imbalanced contest of State of Origin is like sitting on a leather lounge after a few hours bare-bum on an anthill.

The crucial difference between the Queensland derby and Origin is both participants actually have a chance of victory. 

When this peculiar element of uncertainty is added to the most organic league you’ll ever have the pleasure of whiffing, unencumbered by coaching and played at a hellish rapidity, there’s no doubt it is the new king of event footy.

Scientists are still trying to determine what gives the product its magic, but many believe it’s due to reduced dilution resulting from a low count of footballers from New South Wales.

If Queensland decided to become an independent banana federation – a move I’ve heard Maroon fundamentalists seriously discuss – there’s already a ready-made civil war for which they can spruik tickets at disgracefully inflated prices.

Yes, the sky is the limit for this fixture. In fact, it shouldn’t be too long until it is bastardised commercially and made to kick off at 8:55pm with Gus eulogising from 8pm. It truly has earned such regal treatment.

Then from here, it’s only a matter of time before it snuggles safely into the ‘pinnacle of the game’ debate.

For those unaware, the ‘pinnacle of the game’ platitude is one trotted out by footballers before every representative fixture. To learn further of this fluid phenomenon, please have your note pads at the ready.

It works like this: when quizzed on the fuzzy sensation of being selected in a rep side, said footballer lauds said fixture as ‘the pinnacle’, citing the game’s standard, prestige and popularity, when really they are gushing over its plump paycheque.

Origin, Test footy, 18th man for City, it’s all the zenith of the game when a footballer is intoxicated by a fresh jersey and a lump sum.

Soon, playing on the big stage when the Cowboys and Broncos collide will be considered the game’s Everest. Semi Radradra will cite contractual loopholes to turn out in Bronco maroon, while Townsville will annex Kempsey.

If I had to make a composed assessment based on their small sample size of recent ball-tearing matches, I’m 1000 per cent certain the Queensland derby is set to become the arena in which ‘every kid dreams of playing’.

Am I concerned? Of course I am, because it further strengthens the argument that rugby league only reaches its full potential when played by Queenslanders. But at least we get to see them turn on each other.

Bring on tonight, and another chapter in rugby league’s greatest contest.


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