State of Origin fixture returning to Petersfield

Wednesday 11th May 2022 2:09 pm

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ROYAL NAVY Rugby League is returning to Petersfield Rugby Club on Friday for the 18th staging of the State of Origin fixture.

The Royal Navy Origin fixture pits the best of the Royal Navy players against each other for the bragging rights as Origin champions for the year.

The contest also allows senior coaches to monitor and assess the fitness and performance of the players vying for selection for September’s inter-services competition.

The concept of the fixture is based on the Australian State of Origin series competed for between Queensland (the Maroons) and New South Wales (the Blues).

The Royal Navy Rugby League Origin states are designated by a line from the north of Scotland down to Southampton – ships and units based west of this line play in Maroon while the Blues are made up of ships and units based east of the line.

From its beginnings as a selection fixture Origin has developed a life of its own with players fiercely proud of being part of the Maroons or Blues, leading to some entertaining fixtures over the years.

This year promises to be something special as it is the first Origin fixture for two years because of Covid-19 restrictions. In this time Royal Navy Rugby League has recruited a new batch of young and exciting players, many of whom have previous experience with Super League sides as well as the top amateur clubs in the country.

The current state of play is that the Blues have 12 wins to the Maroons’ five victories.

The Maroons have had a good run recently and since winning their first match in 2009 they have triumphed five times in the past ten outings, so they will hope to close the gap to the Blues further.

A Royal Navy Rugby League spokesman said: “We are extremely grateful to Petersfield RFC who have stepped up to host the fixture at short notice and we are all looking forward to descending on Penns Place.”

Friday’s match kicks off at 7.30pm. Admission is free for all spectators.

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