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Whose side are you on Canberra?

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Queensland or NSW? Mal or Laurie? Maroons or Blues? Who should Canberrans cheer for on Origin night?

Nearly everyone in Canberra is from somewhere else, right?

So, if you’ve moved to the ACT from New South Wales you’ll obviously be barracking for the Blues in tonight’s rugby league State of Origin decider.

And if you or your family originated north of the Tweed River you’re clearly not allowed to see the world through anything other than Maroon-tinted glasses.

But what if you’re Canberra-born and -bred, or have come to the capital from places other than NSW and Queensland (yes, they do exist)? Where should your allegiance lie tonight?

Just because the ACT sits in the middle of NSW are Canberrans obliged to go for the Blues?


Surely it’s the right and responsibility of all enclaves with their own identity and their own weird customs to loathe the nation/state surrounding them.  Think Lesotho ... The Vatican ... San Marino ... Tuggeranong.

So, yes, Canberra natives  and those hailing from parts more exotic (nearly one in every four ACT residents is born overseas) have the luxury of being able to choose which side they cheer for on Origin night.

What's  it to be then: Blues or Maroons? Let us count the ways...

Why Canberrans should go for New South Wales...

1. Two words: Laurie Daley. The NSW coach is a beloved former Canberra Raiders and Blues legend.

2. Because ex-Raider Josh Dugan will be in a blue jersey.

3. Because having lost Bowraville boy Greg Inglis to Queensland when he was 15 and captain Paul Gallan to injury this week, NSW needs all the help they can get.

4. Because Kevin Rudd comes from Queensland. We think he may have mentioned it once.

5. Because when the Blues win the series Canberrans can share in the jubilation and pride of our dear, dear neighbours across the border, Queanbeyan.

6. What has Queensland done for us lately? (See Reason No. 4)

Why Canberrans should go for Queensland...

1. Two words: Mal Meninga. The Queensland coach is a beloved former Canberra Raiders and Maroons legend.

2. Because ex-Raider Josh Dugan will be in a blue jersey.

3. Because there’s a Raiders player in the Queensland team – Josh Papalii (Canberra, via Auckland). 

4. Because Tony Abbott comes from Sydney and favours Queanbeyan for his press conferences. 

5. When the Maroons win the series Canberrans can savour the humiliation and despair of our annoying  neighbours across the border, Queanbeyan.

6. What has NSW done for us lately? They bludge off our hospitals but won’t fix the Kings Highway.

Why Canberrans should not take sides...

1.  Because we’ll be happy enough just watching supposedly elite sportsmen known as Cockroaches and Cane Toads punch each other for no apparent reason.

2. Because citizens of the national capital  – its location chosen to avoid state rivalries – identify more closely with the referee. He’s impartial and only wants what’s best for everybody. And besides he seems to be the only one who doesn’t punch someone at some point in the game.

3. Because Canberrans know that New South Welshmen and Queenslanders play harder for their states than they do when representing their country. Which makes Origin just like COAG, only with slightly less punching.

4. Because the original State Against State contest 100 years ago almost resulted in a capital city called Sydmeladperbriso –  proof that the rest of Australia has had it in for Canberra since the beginning.

5. Because a city with a Skywhale can afford to float serenely above the fray.

6. Because Offspring’s on tonight. Asher Keddie ...*sigh*