It is that time of year again in Rugby League. State versus state. Mate versus mate. It is Origin time!
There are big hopes for NSW this year - probably just like preceding years. It has been 8 years since they have won the series. That is a long time of Queensland domination.
Wednesday night saw the series opener kick off at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. The NSW Blues were at a home ground advantage and they capitalised, winning the game 14 - 6. Game Two sees them travel to Suncorp Stadium in Queensland on Wednesday 26 June.
It is only game one so NSW supporters should not get ahead of themselves, but with game three also being played in Sydney, you would be hopeful in thinking that this could be the year they win the series.
The main news headline coming out of game one was the clash between Paul Gallen and Nate Myles.
During a tackle Gallen hit Myles with a swinging arm, which lead him to give Myles a one-two combination straight on the chin.
Gallen was placed on report with a grade two striking charge and faces a one week ban. Considering Origin II isn't for three weeks, I am sure he will be playing in QLD.
Gallen said of the incident, "I don't have to tell you some of the things he's done to our players." Citing incidents where Myles led with his head when tackling Jarryd Hayne and last year when he knocked out Robbie Farrah with a head clash.
Gallen also said, "He's been very dominant. We didn't want to be pushed around. That's all there was to it. It's Origin. He plays the game very tough. We've just had enough of being bullied."
NSW Coach Laurie Daley said, "That's a great Origin moment as far as I'm concerned."
Queenslander Billy Slater said, "That kind of thing is expected on the field."
Is this a case of the bully, Myles, being put in his place by Gallen? Had NSW had enough of his tough-man tactics and decided it was time for some chin music?
Growing up watching Origin football it was common place to see some biffo during the game. It was almost unusual not to see it. Origin is touted as being very passionate and physical, does this mean a bit of bif is okay?
Times seem to have changed though. The role of footballers has changed. They no longer have day jobs and play football on the weekend. Football is their job. They are now serious role models for our children. Does this kind of behaviour still have a place in Origin football? Should it be expected and the norm?