Sydney press heaps the pressure on Origin debutants

They’re yet to take the field in a State of Origin match, but Blues debutants Jarome Luai and Brian
To’o are garnering more headlines in the Sydney press than their more senior counterparts.

Analysis of media coverage in the lead-up to State of Origin I on Wednesday has revealed just how parochial newspapers are when it comes to rugby league’s greatest rivalry.

Only one Queenslander featured in Streem media monitoring’s list of the 10 most talked about
Origin figures in Sydney newspapers: Cameron Munster, who came in seventh.
The leading profile in NSW went to coach Brad Fittler, ahead of Penrith teammates and debutants
Luai and To’o. Halfback Nathan Cleary was in fourth position, with captain James Tedesco relegated to sixth spot

behind Payne Haas.

Queensland’s Courier-Mail newspaper was slightly less one-eyed in the players it chose to feature.
Maroons coach Paul Green appeared most frequently ahead of Cherry-Evans, Munster and David
Fifita in a list that featured three Blues players.
Bronco Payne Haas was the most talked about New South Welshman, in fifth position, with Cleary

(6th) and Luai (10th) also included.

Streem analyst Conal Hanna said while media polarisation was becoming an increased concern in political coverage, sports journalism had a history of picking sides.“There’s probably no greater tribal rivalry in Australian sport than State of Origin, be that the players, fans or media.
“The fact opposing supporters are reading different interpretations of the game may explain why they can never agree on anything.”
Streem also compared coverage in the Sydney and Brisbane press to three three national providers

(ABC, The Australian and Wide World of Sports).

The 10 highest profile players on that list contained five representatives each from NSW and
Queensland, however three Blues – Fittler, Cleary and Luai – were well ahead of the pack on total
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