Two great Queensland rugby league events
July 18th, 2011
Recently I was very fortunate to be in attendance at two great Rugby League Events. They both exude the true Queensland passion for Rugby League. They are both Queensland to the core and coincidently had their origins in the same year – 1980. One of these events was the Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Confraternity Shield at St Brendan’s College, Yeppoon; the other was SOO 3, 2011, at Suncorp Stadium.
SOO 3, 2011 was just unbelievable. It was one of, if not the greatest game of Rugby League that I have seen. It is difficult to write about because no words or any amount of superlatives can describe the atmosphere in that Stadium. A mate of mine, who was watching the game in front of his plasma, texted me to say that he could feel the emotion and he could hear the crowd in the broadcast – he was pumped as well and he was 1500 kilometres away. When Darryn Lockyer led his Maroons out onto the grass of Suncorp, the noise was deafening. Every person stood and applauded Locky, even the Blues support immediately in front of me. I normally don’t become too emotional or excited at a game, but I gave my Chairman, Geoff Murphy a hug when Jharel Yow Yeh kicked the ball away from Anthony Minichello’s desperate grasp to score thus capping off thirty minutes of perfect State of Origin Rugby League and taking the score line to 24 to NIL. It was our time and our game from then on.
For me, the rest of the game was a bit of a blur. The crowd was euphoric and even though the Blues managed some good football, our Maroons had the ascendancy and were not going to let this history making moment elude them. We all stayed on after the final bell for the presentations and speeches. No one wanted this to end – it was the stuff of dreams.
The week before SOO 3, we were at the Confraternity Shield at St. Brendan’s College, Yeppoon. There were less people there and no massive replay screens or towering grandstands but I saw the passion of Queensland Rugby League in its truest form. There was no euphoric memory blur at SBC but as a Rugby League fan I felt proud and happy to be able to witness this pure presentation of our great game. The teams performed their war-cries before and after the games; the hits could be heard from the sidelines and the open play running would make Greg Inglis and Billy Slater proud.
Make no mistake our future State of Origin players were out there at SBC and playing the game as it was meant to be played – fast, aggressive and in a magnificent spirit of fairness and good sportsmanship. I congratulate all concerned, especially the team and event officials who worked tirelessly as volunteers over the week to produce a great Rugby League event.
Both Rugby League events were memorable and both made me proud to be a Queenslander who loves his Rugby League.