Origin III to be played on the Gold Coast
Written by Tony Salerno on 11 July 2021
The Gold Coast will host game three of State of Origin after the NRL decided to change the venue due to growing COVID concerns in NSW.
This will be the first time all three games are played in Queensland after game two was moved from Sydney and game three was shifted from Newcastle.
Former Queensland Origin player and Gold Coast resident Kevin Campion says Newcastle’s loss is Queensland’s gain.
While the Gold Coast will appreciate the fixture, he doesn’t believe it will have the same impact that State of Origin had in Townsville.
“We (QLD) wouldn’t say no but I don’t think it would have the atmosphere like it did in North Queensland.
“They’ve just done such a fabulous job with that (Townsville) stadium, it’s just so close and central to the town.
“It was pumping (Origin) that night and I don’t think it would get that atmosphere here on the Gold Coast,” Campion said.
Townsville was the first regional town to host a state of Origin game.
The result did not go the hosts way as they were thumped 50-6 in game one of the 2021 series.
Queensland did not perform much better at Suncorp Stadium in game two as they went down 26-0.
The NSW Blues have clinched the series and will be looking to sweep the series 3-0 on the Gold Coast Wednesday night.
Campion suggests the NRL take the same approach to how they promoted the first State of Origin if they want the Gold Coast community to buy-in.
“It was electric, one thing the NRL did do, I’m from North Queensland, they invited all the players who have represented Origin from the North Queensland region.
“They had Kerry Boustead, Greg Dowling, Steve Jackson, myself, Russell Bowden, Jamie Goddard, it was a tremendous night and I thought that being that first game in Townsville it would have been like the first game in Lang Park back in the 1980s.
“I thought that was the edge to win the game, but it wasn’t meant to be,” Campion said.
The NSW team will head into the game as favourites, but previous history says a 3-0 series win is very rare.
The dominant QLD team who won eight consecutive State of Origin series only achieved the feat once.
NSW will be looking to achieve a whitewash for only the fourth time.