It all started with over a million people watching the Womens State Of Origin match on Friday Night and ended with over 3 million watching New South Wales belt Queensland. In between those games we saw an incredible festival of international football that still has the whole game buzzing…and we want more!
The stand alone representative round in 2019 was an outstanding success.
It all now has people looking towards the future and what can be built for the game going forward. Can we make representative round something bigger and better? Can we move towards three representative rounds full of quality football and contests that get people looking forward to more of these rounds?
As always, the effect on State Of Origin football is key. The series generates so much interest and so much money for the game overall that it needs to be protected.
In the past the shorter 7 day buildup was a bit of a concern. This last weekend proved that those concerns are not warranted. The weeks buildup was just fine for both teams and it allowed plenty of promotion for the game that resulted in just under 60,000 attending the match at Optus Stadium in Perth.
There is talk that we might see an expansion of the Womens State Of Origin series and possibly seeing the game move from North Sydney Oval. There are some concerns that the physical toll would be a little bit too much for the women to play three Origin games close together, the preparation for these games and the recovery especially is apparently quite different from the men, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we at least saw a second Womens State Of Origin match added to the calendar some time soon.
Then we have the international football, which was outstanding!
The Cook Islands showed they need games against higher quality opponents with their demolition of South Africa. That would be a possibility with three representative rounds as we could see the Cook Islands take on the likes of Lebanon with more opportunities to play games.
New Zealand stepped up against Tonga and put on a big scoreline. Do you reckon Tonga would love a return match in Tonga to try and level the score?
How would an improved Samoa go against Tonga? How much better can Fiji get with regular games?
As for Papua New Guinea, with how they tear into any opposition put in front of them, sign me up to see them play many more games!
With the possibility to fly in the likes of France, the United States, Canada and Jamaica, we could see three representative games a year grow into something so special.
The great thing is that Rugby League supporters, and sports fans in general, have shown that they embrace all of these contests and appreciate the break from clubs games.
We want more of these representative rounds. Lets hope the games administrators are taking notes and they give the people what they want!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com