FANS DISPLAY THEIR PASSION
TOWNSVILLE’S Maroons supporters swelled with pride last night as a hat- trick to hometown hero Valentine Holmes helped seal a thirdstraight State of Origin series win for Queensland.
Holmes scored Queensland’s first three tries – his first after a brilliant flick pass from fellow Ignatius Park College alumni Michael Morgan – as Queensland claimed the decider 22- 6.
After a huge build- up to the game, the city’s pubs and clubs were full of supporters decked out in maroon – with just a few in blue.
William Thomas was at Crown on Palmer to support his beloved Maroons and said he had expected a “good fight”.
But before the game he was philosophical about the prospect of a Queensland loss. “If we lose we’ll still have fun, but someone else will be extra happy,” he said.
Mr Thomas said the game was a chance to get out and have fun with friends.
NSW supporter Kel Wad- well was wearing the blue colours at Crown on Palmer and admitted he was “deep in enemy territory”.
“It’s fun in enemy territory, it’s good,” he said.
“There’s a bit of banter, which is fine.
“We poor Blues have been bad for the past 11 years and been copping it. But it’s like water off a duck’s back.”
Mr Wadwell carried a novelty toy cockroach with an electric buzzer to catch unsuspecting Maroons supporters.
“You Queenslanders al- ways call us cockies, it’s my little pet,” he said. Mr Wadwell said the atmosphere on game night was unparalleled.
“( Blues fans) are outnumbered but everyone makes a good night of it,” he said.
Crown on Palmer owner Wes Newman said the hotel made a special effort to attract Origin fans. Staff dressed up for the occasion and the pub was covered in maroon.
“We have a bit of fun with it and the patrons have a bit of fun as well,” he said.
Full Origin wrap: p40- 43
FRIENDLY RIVALRY: Rachel Gray and Sarah Bourchier at The Brewery and ( inset) Mandi Meldrum crushes a ‘ cockroach’ with Kel Wadwell at Crown on Palmer.