Blues coach Laurie Daley has called on the Australian Rugby League Commission to consider presenting the State of Origin shield to the winning team in their home state.
After Wednesday night’s 32-8 loss to Queensland at Suncorp Stadium, only a handful of dedicated Blues supporters were on deck to watch skipper Paul Gallen lift the Origin shield for the first time in nine years.
Daley said 80,000 NSW fans at ANZ Stadium for game two deserved to feel part of history.
“It might be something they’ll (the ARLC) have to look at if the series is already won,” said Daley. “If we had have won game two in Brisbane (hypothetically), I don’t think you should get the shield there, if you can do it in front of your home crowd that’s the better option.”
Daley and the NSW squad showed off the Origin shield at a special presentation at the Sydney Opera House alongside NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Sport and Recreation Stuart Ayres.
However, fewer than a thousand fans turned out to see Gallen lift the shield for a second time, a far cry from the number of fans who watched NSW’s historic 6-4 win in game two.
“It might be another way to generate ticket sales,” Daley said. “They’ll have a look at it at the end of the year and make a decision I suppose.”
Man of the series Gallen apologised to the “two million fans” he forgot during his victory speech last night when he estimated there were just five million people in NSW.
But for Gallen, he said he didn’t care where the shield was presented just so long as he got his hands on it.
“It doesn’t worry me,” Gallen said. “It would have been nice for the 80,000 people there, but Cameron (Smith) has had to lift the trophy up in front of NSW before so I don’t care and it felt really good.”
“I did take it to my room and slept with it in my room. My little fella wouldn’t let it go either, but I’m sure it’ll go into storage and I hope it stays in NSW for a couple more years yet.”
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