Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ANDREW BACKHOUSE

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.

Alana Hay­ward, Natalie Rit­ter and Cassie McMul­lan.

Dane Mar­ley and Cather­ine Fer­gu­son at The Brew­ery.

Wes New­man and Luke Lum at Crown on Palmer.

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