Westpac NSW Blues coach Michael Maguire knows what it’s like first-hand to experience the state win an Origin game or series among the Blues greatest supporters.
“I’ve actually been in the stands quite a lot of times as a fan – been a part of Origin sitting right there in the middle of the Blatchys Blues,” he told nswrl.com.au
He also went the whole way and wore a curly blue wig.
“I don’t have a lot of hair, so yes, I wore the wig proudly,” Maguire said.
“I’ve felt that atmosphere … being in the stadium when the Blues have won. I’ve enjoyed the wins with friends who have been coaches, or players, from some of my teams.
“That to me is a feeling I’d love to chase.”
Maguire was speaking at Sydney’s Accor Stadium where Game One of the 2024 Ampol State of Origin series will be played on Wednesday 5 June.
Westpac NSW Sky Blues player Tiana Penitani was present to speak about the women’s three-game historic series beginning with Game One on Thursday 16 May at Suncorp Stadium.
The NRL released all tickets today (Wednesday 7 February) to club members for both the men’s and women’s series this year and the Under 19s – State of Origin for men and women at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday 20 June.
Tickets will then go on sale to the general public tomorrow (Thursday 8 February).
Penitani said on the back of a healthy NRLW competition, NSW players were ready to play three Origin games.
“Aboslutely we can play three. We’ve been kind of banging at the door to get that three-game series,” she told nswrl.com.au
“So to be rewarded with it so soon is really exciting.
“Now we’re got three games and our Game Two is at home in Newcastle, a Rugby League-mad area.
“The confidence I have in the fans there is because they showed last year how well they barracked behind both the men’s and women’s Knights teams.
“So we’ll fill that stadium up there. I can’t wait for them to show up in Game Two.”
Maguire recalls it's a decade since the 2014 men’s series, where NSW broke the eight-year streak of Queensland by winning the opening two games.
The heroics of injured brothers Brett Morris (shoulder) and Josh Morris (knee) in bringing down Darius Boyd and Greg Inglis metres from the line in the final minutes of Game One to secure the 12-8 win resonates with him.
“Both of them created an incredible legacy for themselves but also a continuing one for our team and the fans in the stands – that’s Origin,” Maguire said.
“That’s why you want to be there to watch scenes like that. I was there in stands – watching those sorts of moments … they’re the ones you want to be there for.
“Since I’ve been in this role with NSW the players have spoken to me about how much having the fans right there with them and the atmosphere those fans create.
“They have talked to me about the fans a lot. They want success for them as well as themselves.”