But we are ready to help. Here at Herald Sport, we have compiled a useful guide of terms and references to keep handy over the next few months to interpret and enjoy the full Origin experience.
“Origin bolter”: This is a player a member of the media, who likely has little to no real contacts among the selection panels, identifies as a potential Origin player on the back of a few decent games. Many times, they are seventh or eighth on the pecking order and have a few Australian players or absolute guns in front of them. They are next to no chance of being called up.
“Made for Origin”: A favourite term of the television and radio pundits, this is a vague summation of a player’s potential to contribute in an Origin match, based more on a vibe than any sort of solid statistical information. It used to mean they were pretty good at fighting. Now it usually refers to a semi-consistent backrower who can play extended minutes and not miss too many tackles.
“Given every chance to prove his fitness”: A particular favourite of the Maroons and, in fact, a secret code designed to trigger an extended and baffling period of speculation about a player’s availability. It will be deployed in a mundane interview by Kevin Walters, much like BBC used to insert codes into their WWII broadcasts to inform the French resistance. Once it’s active, the Maroons apparatus will mobilise to deploy enormous amounts of smoke and a couple of mirrors. It appears the first plan will revolve around Cherry-Evans.
“Given until an hour before the match to prove his fitness”: The plan has failed but we will continue the charade for as long as possible to keep everyone entertained.
“He will do a job for the team”: “We would rather pick someone else but the well has run dry and we are now just hoping they can contribute without losing us the game.’
“Stick and pick”: Another Queensland favourite, although NSW will likely go down the same path this year after a series win in 2018. Put simply, this means coaches and selectors will stay loyal with to a winning side. Until they lose a match, in which case it’s time to clear the decks.
“He will be targeted”: The Origin story you roll out when you don’t really have an Origin story. Usually refers to big forwards running at opposing halves, which also happens to take place in every single NRL game. May also refer to kicking lots of high balls to fullbacks and wingers, another exceedingly common occurrence in rugby league. Stay tuned for this one about three or four days into camp.
“We aren’t going to blame the referee”: “We are 100,000 per cent blaming the referee and potentially planning some sort of lawsuit on behalf of the state.”
“Insert inspiring rags to riches tale here”: This will be the weekend spread about a player who has overcome many hurdles in life to live out their sporting dream. I’m not crying. You’re crying.
“Back to the drawing board”: When the losing coach means, “I really had no idea we would be that bad.”
“He will learn from that”: A player who struggled on debut. What they will actually ‘learn’ is they are about to get dropped.
“We have an enormous amount of respect for NSW/Qld”: Translation – “Those filthy animals disgust us on every level.”
“Queensland might drive the bus down Caxton Street”: They won’t, but it’s nice to think it could be possible again one day. It’s the Brisbane Origin equivalent of “Australia may play four quicks” at the Gabba.
“Queensland have so much passion in the jersey”: That’s true, especially now they get $30,000 per game.
“We had an excellent camp”: “The boys were absolutely on fire in the first-night piss-up and even managed to get in a few decent training sessions. Win and win.’
We hope that can help you navigate months of Origin madness and don’t forget to tweet your #ObviousOriginObservations to add to the list.