Why State of Origin fans and greats are furious with last night's Channel 9 telecast.

We did it. We got through last night’s game one of the 2018 State of Origin series.

Well, unless you’re a Queensland fan. Condolences.

The NSW Blues won the first of three games at Melbourne’s MCG 22-12, taking the lead in the series 1-0.

But whether you’re a Blues fan or you bleed Maroon, there’s a good chance a few ‘referee blunders’ left you scratching your head. Or throwing chips at the TV.

Video by MWN

After the game, rugby league commentators – NSW legend Paul Gallen and former Queensland captain Cameron Smith – said the Blues benefited from two questionable referee decisions, both of which were hardly mentioned during Channel Nine’s live telecast.

The first came in the second half when Maroon’s winger Dane Gagai was tackled by two NSW defenders. The ball came out of his grasp, but it appeared Blue rookie Angus Crichton was digging into Gagai’s injured hand.

“NSW really only came back off a call where Dane Gagai dropped the ball. That call seemed to be the turning point right there,” Smith told Channel Nine in a post-match interview.

“NSW went bang, bang with two tries and really never looked back.”


All sports fans know calls from referees that don’t go your way are a part of the game. An infuriating part, yes, but also unavoidable.


However, it’s Channel Nine’s acknowledgement (or lack thereof) that’s got State of Origin fans and commentators feeling duped.

This was especially prevalent when referees missed the ‘blatant forward pass’ from Blues star James Tedesco that resulted in a match-winning try in the 68th minute to Josh Addo-Carr.

The Channel Nine commentary team’s failure to acknowledge the infraction angered commentators and fans on both sides (albeit a tad quieter on the NSW side), with talk the organisation’s commentary of the game was biased towards NSW.


Blues coach Brad Fittler addressed the referee calls in a post-game press conference.

“I don’t know if there were many decisions that the referees had to really call on,” he said, reports.

“There was the (Dane) Gagai one. The Jimmy Maloney pass was a fifty-fifty that went against us. Outside of that it was pretty clear cut. There weren’t many questionable decisions.”

NSW and Queensland will play-off again in the 2018 State of Origin game two on June 24 in Sydney.

Do you watch State of Origin? Why does the game get you so fired up?