For years, New South Welsh-people have watched Queenslanders celebrate their annual State of Origin series victories as if they were winning for the very first time … We wanted to get to the bottom of why, so we asked one of the Maroons’ finest.
For the August 2017 edition Inside Sport - on sale now - we sat down with 33-time State of Origin legend for Queensland, Petero Civoniceva.
The Fiji-born former barnstorming prop is a proud Redcliffe product, and cherished the start he was given by the local club as a youngster that much, he honoured a promise to make an on-field return for the Dolphins and play out a season.
An ambassador for the annual Maroon Festival held in Brisbane prior to kick-off for Origin I, Civoniceva, in the current issue of Inside Sport, explains just why Queenslanders love Origin so much.
“There’s a real sense of pride when you have a player picked who heralds from your local region,” he says in our four-page one on one interview. “That whole area becomes uplifted by the inclusion of one of their own wearing that Maroon jersey.
“I know for myself and where I’m from, it just meant so much to the people there. As a player, you get a sense of that responsibility. You don’t want to let anyone down who is supporting the team.
“I remember some of those lean years from when I debuted in 2001 through to before the winning streak began, there were some real
tough years there. There was almost like a self-inflicted shame because you felt you let so many people down; you couldn’t win Origin.
“State of Origin is for them – you’re playing for the people. For your supporters. It’s something all the boys really buy into.”
For the full interview, catch the August 2017 issue of Inside Sport – ON SALE NOW!