The State Of Origin series one of the greatest success stories the game of Rugby League has ever created. It is looked upon with envy from the liked of New Zealand and England, as they both either wistfully talk about creating a similar series of their own, or trial and fail miserably as we saw with Englands match between Yorkshire and Lancashire.
There is one problem with Origin though, and it’s unavoidable….the disruption it has on the NRL season.
For a good two months of the NRL season we see teams missing players, which leads to teams losing all of their cohesion and as a result NRL clubs are put in a terrible situation where they have to play with backup talent.
Results are a bit all over the place during this time of the year, and you have to think there must be a better way to do this for the game.
Having three free weekends for representative weekends seems to be the way to go. This would allow State Of Origin games to be played on Sunday evening, with other representative games played between Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Putting the NRL on hold for those three weeks might not be ideal, but it would stop the games best players from having to miss NRL games.
The idea of playing State Of Origin on three consecutive weeks that are free from NRL games has been floated before, but it feels a little rushed to me. I don’t think we would be getting the best out of the State Of Origin series if we did that.
We tried State Of Origin at the end of the year, and that didn’t really feel right. It also cuts down your opportunity to play international Rugby League at seasons end.
The only other time to play Origin would be before the NRL season kicks off, but that would be absolutely ridiculous.
The way the schedule is right now, it just is a bit of a mess, and we need to do better as a game. I personally think the representative weekends would be the way to go. It cuts down on disruption to the NRL season and provides more opportunity for international games to be played at the same time.