10 State of Origin facts to impress your mates with
The battle has been raging for more than 25 years (since 1980) for the bragging rights and glory that comes with winning the State of Origin. Held between New South Wales and Queensland, the number of wins on each side have been remarkably even.
So how much do you really know about this epic league battle? Here are 10 facts that you can pretend you already knew and use to impress your mates with!
1. Who won the very first match?
Back in 1980, Queensland won the historic first game with a score of 20 - 10. Back then, the series was only one match.
2. Longest winning streak
Queensland can claim the longest winning streak of the sides, with nine consecutive years from 2006 to 2013.
3. When State of Origin became a three-match series
For the first couple of years, the sides only played each other once for the title. It wasn't until 1982 that it became a three-match series.
4. Most points in a single series
New South Wales can brag about their clean sweep in 2000 when they scored a whopping 146 points in the series.
5. The youngest ever player
Ben Ikin first played for Queensland at the tender age of 18 years and 83 days, making him the youngest Origin player ever.
6. Largest crowd
As a sign of the growing popularity of State of Origin matches, 2015 saw the largest ever crowd when 91,513 people turned up at the MCG on June 17 to support their teams.
7. Longest-serving coach
Mal Meninga has been heading up the Queensland side for a decade, covering 30 matches and making him the longest serving coach in Origin history. Now retired, 2016 will be the first year without Meninga at the helm.
8. Most games played
Both Darren Lockyer and Cameron Smith of Queensland each played 36 matches for the Maroons.
9. First tie
The first ever tie between Queensland and New South Wales was in 1999 with a final score of 10 - 10.
10. Current overall winners
The team that currently holds the title as the overall winners is Queensland, with 23 series wins over New South Wales' 13. With the 2016 series about to begin, which team will add another point on its winning tally?
There are Kingpin Bowling centres in New South Wales and Queensland, so show your support by turning up for bowling wearing your favourite team's colours!