For those of you keen to get into Origin fever, we’ve compiled a Ampol State of Origin starter guide to prepare you for this Sundays match.

Background info
First things first, you should know that Game I has taken place, with the Maroons upsetting the Blues 16-10 at Accor Stadium.  

Both sides will turn their attention to Game II, taking place on 26 June at Optus Stadium, where the Blues last beat the Maroons in 2019 to level the series.

How to watch the game
You can still get tickets via Ticketmaster, but if you miss out, you can head into the City sports bars, or tune into Channel 9. 

Always refer to this sport as Rugby League 
Don’t give yourself away as a total novice before the game even starts. Never refer to this game as just rugby, it’s always rugby league, or simply just league. 

There are only two teams
There's New South Wales and Queensland, who play against each other in an annual best-of-three rugby league matches. You may also hear New South Wales referred to as the Cockroaches or Blues, and Queensland referred to as the Cane toads or Maroons. All of which we are told are completely acceptable. But seriously… cockroaches? 

About the name
Players from the National Rugby League competition are selected to represent the Australian state in which they first played their senior rugby league game, hence the name 'state of origin'. However there has been controversy over the years. To keep it simple (not), new eligibility rules were approved by the Australia Rugby League Commission in 2012 and you can now refer to this handy decision tree

Aim of the game
The aim of the game is simple: score more points than the other team. Each team is given six tackles or chances to score. If, after six tackles, they have not scored, the ball is handed over to the other team who then get the chance to score with their six tackles. 

The best part about any game is celebrating the scores! So, to keep it simple, this is the scoring system:
  • Try is 4 points / Conversion: 2 points
  • Field Goal/kick: 1 point
  • Penalty kick: 2 points

General things to know

  • The game features the best 18 NRL players from each state
  • There are 13 players per side on the field at a time
  • 10 interchanges allowed per game
  • The game has two halves, 40 minutes each
  • If scores are tied then the teams enter “Golden Time” 

Key rules

  • Passing in rugby league may only be in a backward or sideways direction 
  • Teammates must remain on-side by not moving ahead of the player with the ball 
  • The ball may be kicked ahead for teammates, but, if they are in front of the kicker they are deemed off-side
  • Tackling is a key part of the game, however only the player holding the ball may be tackled
  • A fumble of the ball on the ground forces a handover, unless the ball is fumbled backwards

Origin facts to impress your mates 
Want to take your knowledge to the next level? Memorise some of these pearlers. 

  • Brad Fittler will stay on as the Blues coach for 2022, aiming for a fourth series win in five years.
  • The Queensland Maroons will be aiming to bounce back from last year's Origin series defeat, and have acquired the services of recently retired former star player, Billy Slater. 
  • The State of Origin started in 1980, only one game was played, Queensland beat New South Wales 20 to 10
  • Queensland had the longest winning streak which lasted eight consecutive years from 2006 to 2013
  • 49 series have been played, QLD have won 22, NSW have won 16, with 2 series drawn
  • Since 2003 the Wally Lewis medal has been awarded to Man of the Series. Last year the medal was awarded to Tom Trbojevic from New South Wales.

Big news regarding Game II
We're awaiting team line ups which will no doubt create plenty of conversation. On the topic of announcements, Grinspoon will rock Optus Stadium as the confirmed half-time entertainment. 

Social Media
Join the conversation on Twitter by searching #StateOfOrigin and #Origin. You can also head direct to the team pages which are @QLDmaroons and @nswblues

So now that you are full bottle on the Ampol State of Origin, it's time to lock in plans to settle in and watch this great game!