State of Origin - NSW v QLD: Game 2
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 11: Tino Fa'asuamaleaui of the Maroons and Payne Haas of the Blues scuffle during game two of the 2020 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on November 11, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Every year it seems we have the same debate. Should the NRL pause the competition to allow the State of Origin period to play out?

After seeing Penrith lose their first regular season game in a year, every scenario has been offered up as an alternative to the pretty dire month of Origin-affected footy we currently “enjoy”.

Speaking on Rugby League Outlaws, hosts Dan Nichols and Terry Mortimer were unanimous in their support for moving away from the current format of teams playing games sans their Origin stars.

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 18: Harry Grant of the Maroons celebrates scoring a try during game three of the State of Origin series between the QueenslandMaroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on November 18, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“We saw it work last year, at the end of the year.” offered Nichols, referring to the series place at the end of the COVID-impacted 2020 NRL season.

When questioned on whether he thought the Series should be moved, Mortimer was blunt and to the point, responding: “It should be done. It’s either shut the competition down for two weeks or it should be done at the end of the year. There’s no argument to that”.

Of course the decline in ratings in last year’s end-of-season series were clear, which is the main reason the series is run in the slot it currently does. That would have to be addressed and somewhat compensated for the discussion to really kick into gear.

“The reason it doesn’t happen is purely TV contracts,” Nichols added.

State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 1
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 04: Cameron Munster of the Maroons looks to offload the ball during game one of the 2020 State of Origin series between the QueenslandMaroons and the New South Wales Blues at the Adelaide Oval on November 04, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“What’s to say the NRL don’t say we’ll give you a Tonga vs Samoa game … that’ll rate.

“The games that we saw this weekend … they weren’t that good.”

Let us know in the comments whether or not you believe Origin should be moved, or join in the discussion via the video below.

Watch the Origin debate in the Zero Tackle Point via Rugby League Outlaws