New South Wales vs Queensland, it's just one of those rivalries that is never going to go away. But what really makes it tick? We wanted to take a look ahead of this weekend's clash between the Tahs and the Reds to try and figure it out.
There's not much to say that hasn't already been said. It's drilled into us every time State of Origin rolls around and some poor Channel 9 producer decides that giving Phil Gould a microphone is a good idea.
"Pure, unadulterated hatred," "clash of the titans" and "bad blood" are phrases that get thrown around every time that these two states clash. Now let's be realistic, this is a huge rivalry but in reality it's much bigger when it come to rugby league instead of rugby union.
Perhaps this is because of the real lack of competitive international games in league, this writer certainly thinks so. For the union boys, it's just a big game, but nowhere near the biggest. Remember this when the media try to over-hype the game.
Yes the Tahs and the Reds 'hate' each other, but the difference is that Will Genia and Adam Ashley-Cooper would be happy to be seen getting a coffee together. Put Greg Bird and Justin Hodges in the same street and they will collide with such an incredible force that there is a distinct possibility of the second big bang. Terrible Daily Telegraph headlines will quickly follow and the circle of league continues.
So in reality, the rivalry is there, but the hatred probably isn't.
The last few years has seen some sizeable momentum swings between the two teams. Last year the Reds were woeful and the Tahs won the whole thing. And it was only a few years ago that the Reds took home the trophy whilst the Tahs languished in middleofthetableland.
You'd have to say that at the moment, the Tahs are the stronger team. They've just got more talent across the park and that talent is willing to work for it as well. The Reds have some quality in their team, but a lot of it is all flash, no cash. Players like Quade Cooper and James O'Connor are unbelievably talented, but also have a tendency to go missing when it really matters. Here's hoping that continues this week.
After a poor start against the Force the Tahs bounced back against the Rebels, with no huge injury concerns and having just had the bye, they should be up for this game. Give me Bernard Foley over James O'Connor every day of the week. Look for him to dictate the game.
It's rarely said out loud, but no one in Aussie rugby likes James O'Connor. There's no real reason for me to type those words, but it's nice to get it off my chest. I hope he loses this weekend.
How's that for trying to stoke the rivalry?
Tahs by 6