Our Sporting Life SA

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Platten: Bring back State of Origin Football

AFL Hall of Fame member John Platten would love for the AFL to reintroduce State of Origin football. Platten has played 15 State of Origin matches, the most ever by a South Australian player. "I would love to see State of Origin back even if it's every second or third year I think there is an opportunity there,” Platten told Our Sporting Life SA. "Playing in a Grand Final is the ultimate, but just under that, would be playing State of Origin Football. Platten knows what it's like to have played in the big games. The five-time All Australian played in four day and four night/pre season Premierships with Hawthorn and was also named in the Forward Pocket in Hawthorn's Team of the Century. "The State of Origin game is up-tempo from a minor round game, because you're playing with and against the best 22 players in each side, there is not much margin for error,” Platten said. "Club footy always has a bit of passion, doing it week in, week out, but when a State of Origin game comes along, or a Grand Final comes, it doesn't come around too often, so you want to play. "For the players that miss out on playing in a Grand Final, Platten says State of Origin is the "closest you can get to playing in a Grand Final." "You ask Stephen Kernahan, Craig Bradley, Peter Motley, Tony McGuinness, Mark Naley, Darren and Andrew Jarman they loved coming back and playing for South Australia in the State of Origin game, we had 50,000 people out at Football Park it was great, also had 95,000 people at the MCG in the late 1980's early 90's Platten says they would learn from the Vic's back when they were dominant through the 70's before SA were the dominant force through the 80's. "Football back in those days I reckon was the best footy, I'm not trying to be biased but SA were the best state back in the 1980's we would beat Victoria and WA," Platten said. "Today on paper we (SA) would do ok, but probably would think the Vic's would be Number 1, It's great for us in the State of SA, that's where we have to get too and that's what we used to say going back in the 80's as in the 70's SA never used to win too many games, but we would still strive to be better than the Vic's and to do that was to play them and to learn off of them. The South Australian and Victoria cross-border rivalry in any sporting contest is big and maybe is as big as the New South Wales and Queensland NRL State of Origin matches. "In any sport the rivalry is there with SA and Victoria, soccer or netball they have always had the 'who is the better state'. "If it's a future State of Origin match which goes into raising money for Community Football Leagues across Australia, like Amateur and Country football, that's another option or if they could find a charity for the game, I'm all for it. Platten, last donned the SA guernsey against Victoria in the 1997 match when Victoria defeated SA by 8 points. Back in 1984, Carlton superstar Stephen Kernahan kicked 10 goals in the State of Origin match between SA and Victoria and he was quoted as having said it was "one of the best games I have ever been involved in, it was that fast and quick and it was really hard and physical in those days. The AFL will be showcasing the Bushfire Relief State of Origin Match between Victoria and the All Stars Friday night at Marvel Stadium. With more and more noise coming from players, coaches and supporters it begs the question when will we see SA and Victoria do battle again?