Locals tip Maroons in State of Origin battle
THE Kangaroo and the Jillaroo from Killarney both expect Queensland to win tonight but the Kangaroo has tipped a much bigger margin.
State of Origin original Rohan Hancock and daughter Stephanie, a Jillaroo's women's World Cup rugby league winner, tip a comfortable Queensland win, Rohan goes for 30-12 and Stephanie 18-10.
Both have played for Australia with Rohan an Australian Kangaroo tourist in 1982.
They agree on the most likely man of the match, Maroons prop Matt Scott.
Looking back on that first game in 1980, Rohan said he knew from the start the Origin concept was special but didn't expect it to reach the heights it had.
"State of Origin was serious from the moment Queensland captain Artie Beetson punched his Parramatta team-mate Mick Cronin in the first game," Rohan said.
"The rest of us thought, well Artie's fair dinkum. State of Origin was the next thing to playing for your country."
Rohan is the last player to make it to the top level from the country and recalls his biggest pay cheque being $4000. He stayed at home in the family abattoir business at the time rather than play in the big smoke.
"Now Australian players are on $500,000 a year," he said.
He might have been a forward but Rohan scored one Origin try when he ran 35 metres after receiving a pass from halfback Mark Murray.
Stephanie has many fond memories of Origin and made sure she requested tonight off on her work roster.
"I remember Dad taking us up to Col Ragh's house to watch it. I used to love the soft drink, chocolate, food and most of all the footy."
Maroons Origin legend Dale Shearer played his first footy as a junior for the Blues in Warwick but won't be at Lang Park tonight.
"I am organising a property investment seminar in the Bowen Basin" he said.
"I sounds like we have dominated but there have been minimal points between the two teams in the past eight years, six or eight games won by six or less."
He puts the Queensland winning streak down to pulling it off at the finish line like Darren Lockyer picking up a loose ball to score and Cooper Cronk landing a field goal for two wins.
Shearer, who once had the Maroons try-scoring record, secured one win when he scored in the corner in the final five minutes of one game.
"Graham Lowe was coach and I was on the bench and thinking when was he going to put me on to win this game," Shearer said.