'Hard to watch': Fans divided over 'joke' State of Origin call

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Jai Arrow (pictured middle) celebrates with teammates after winning State of Origin.
State of Origin Game 1 has been moved to Townsville, which has divided the NRL world. (Getty Images)

Fans have taken to social media with mixed reaction after it was confirmed State of Origin Game 1 would be held in Townsville.

The Origin opener was scheduled to be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 9, but Victoria's Covid-19 situation left league officials scrambling to find an alternative venue.

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And on Monday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state had secured the first ever regional State of Origin in Townsville.

Fans took to social media in both joy and displeasure after hearing the news.

Many fans that had bought tickets to the opening match at the MCG were left frustrated at the news.

NSW fans felt two games in Queensland gave the Maroons a huge advantage.

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While others praised the decision for the NRL to make the landmark decision that a regional town could host the showpiece event.

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Braith Anasta slams Townsville move

Former NSW star Braith Anasta was fuming at the potential move on the weekend, as news emerged the NRL was considering the option.

“It’s a joke. It’s a disgrace,” Anasta told Fox League’s Big League Wrap.

“It’s all about Queensland. It’s a huge disadvantage (to NSW).

“It should be (neutral territory). You have to go up to Townsville, you have 25,000 crazy Queensland supporters.

"We’ve been there. When you play against Queensland in Queensland it’s a huge advantage. They thrive off it, so why would you give them that advantage?”

Maroons great Corey Parker agreed that the situation would offer his former side a massive advantage in the best-of-three series, with Game III to be held in Sydney on July 14.

“The home ground advantage is enormous, they will come from absolutely everywhere, it’ll be a packed house, down into Suncorp for the second game," Parker said.

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