WITH the State of Origin series squared at 1-1, the NSW Blues will call on the support of a capacity pro-Blues crowd at Stadium Australia on Wednesday 17 July to try and break Queensland’s seven-year reign as Origin champions.
Queensland made sure the 2013 Origin series will go to a decider at Stadium Australia after a convincing 26-6 win over a shell-shocked NSW side in Brisbane on Wednesday 26 June.
Origin III shapes up as one of the biggest games Sydney has seen since the Blues last won a series in 2005. This was also the last time Sydney hosted an Origin decider – highlighting the importance of perochial home crowd support.
Origin night kicks-off at 4pm with a party precinct outside the Stadium with live bands including Sydney’s favourite party band Jellybean Jam, DJs, a monster marquee called ‘The Sheds’ featuring a bar half the size of a football field, and interviews with fans and Blues legends.
Sydney Olympic Park will be alive with music, entertainment and colour, with the Stadium, key landmarks and the more than 30 restaurants and bars around the precinct all dressed in blue for the big decider. All are welcome to soak in the atmosphere before Stadium Australia gates open at 5.30pm.
Stadium Australia managing director Daryl Kerry is urging fans to take advantage of the fact the cost of public transport is included in match-day tickets and that direct trains and major event buses will run for the event.
“Fans are encouraged to leave the car at home, arrive early and soak up the atmosphere of a week in sport that we will all remember for a long time,” Mr Kerry said.
The State of Origin decider will be the jewel in the crown of one of the biggest sporting weeks Sydney has seen: beginning with Origin III on Wednesday 17 July; the world’s biggest football team Manchester United facing an A-League All Stars side on 20 July and concluding Monday 22 July with the South Sydney Rabbitohs tackling bitter rivals the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Of the 31 Origin series played, the team who wins the first game has gone on to win the series 23 times and with a 14-5 winning record over the Maroons at Stadium Australia, the Blues will be confident of celebrating a series win in front of a packed Stadium Australia.