In spite of what the recent series records indicate, State of Origin has been a closely fought contest over the past few years and has cemented itself as the premier interstate rivalry in the country. As a NSWelshman, I’m sure other (non-Qld) states take pleasure in watching us come excruciatingly close to ending the drought, only to fail at the last hurdle. I’m also sure that many tune in for the spectacle and high standard of play.
A disappointing aspect of late (aside from the ban on brawls, leading to restrained shirt grabbing) is the standard of uniforms. It really isn’t that complicated; sky blue jersey/navy shorts/hooped socks and pretty much all maroon. However, manufacturers have been obsessed with panels, piping, templates, random artifacts and horrid numbers. A quick look at this year’s series shows how far adrift both sides have moved from their traditional looks:
What we have here is not a lot of real estate dominated by lots of unnecessary shit – lots of logos, sponsors, piping, panels, commemorative script, flags, etc… I’m not saying that there can’t be room for creativity when it comes to origin but if you’re going to make changes, at least make the designs clean! I bore people to death with this mantra but complicated does not necessarily equal modern.
Anyway, on to my designs. Before diving in, I’ll note that I’ve attempted to place the logos consistently for each team. The origin logo on the RHS and a coat of arms on the LHS. The NSWRL/QRL logos are relegated to the shorts as I find them to be a bit soulless for an on field jersey.
Funny how the last time we had a decent jersey was the last time we won a series (2005). That’s not to imply that the jersey influences the performance but you can’t help but associate these new design trends with a losing team. I propose we at least look like a successful team…
I’ve wound the clock back to the early and mid 1990’s when NSW dominated, winning 4 out of 5 series between 1990 and 1994. A team brimming with so much talent that you had Laurie Daley in the centres, Andrew Johns at hooker and Brett Mullins on the wing. To me, THIS IS NSW:
From this era I’ve brought back the simple base design (plain jersey, hooped socks), the brutally-heavy slab serif font, and Tooheys New as a sponsor. I also brought back the coat of arms on the shield, which is more of an 80’s thing but the arms on their own get lost in the sky blue. Note the lack of text commemorating origin, cap number or player name (derp) on the front – all that needs to be there, is there.
I couldn’t stand to keep VB on as a sponsor, regardless of the contribution they make to the NSWRL. You have to be ultra “statriotic” when it comes to slapping a beer logo on your jersey.
The modern twist comes with the design on the shoulders and numbers, a sublimated 1916 map of NSW. Each player issue jersey would feature their hometown and surrounding areas, making for a design unique to each player.
Qld, winning 8 series in a row, have earned the right to be smug, arrogant, stupid, toothless… but I digress. The perpetual underdog tag was thrown away in the early 80’s yet Queenslanders band together each year and go berserk for their team. It’s a shame that during their absolute dominance of origin, their jerseys have been absolute shite. But credit goes to Canterbury, who I’ve heavily maligned of late, for moving in the right direction:
I’d have preferred to have seen gold de-emphasised but for what it is, its a vast improvement over the last 10-15 years. I took a slightly more complex tact and added a few elements from Qld’s periods of being the underdog:
Like the real deal, the maroon has been lightened. However, there’s a fair bit more white and basically zero gold. I always like the four stripes across the chest so they’ve been reintroduced to the jersey and socks. The “Q and kangaroo” of the old QRL is by far the best QLD has had so it returns to its rightful place.
The name and number font have woodcut style notches, mainly to match the notches on the Q. And of course I included the mating call of “QUEENSLANDER” as a large graphic on the back, not too dark to break up the simplicity though.
And of course, the two jerseys together: