Did you know there are four ways to watch State of Origin?

  1. The ultimate way – at the stadium (This year, on the 1st of June and 13th of July at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, and on 22nd of June at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane).
  2. At your local pub, hotel, bar or restaurant. With special food offerings and like-minded fans, the night will be the one to remember!
  3. The standard, low profile way – on your couch. Comfy, but not that exciting.
  4. Casting your own State of Origin party

If you decided to choose the last option, here are some ideas for an awesome rugby league party.

There are four components of success to any sporting event party, from 5 to 250 people:

  1. Big screen for watching the game
  2. Food & drinks
  3. Decorations
  4. People

Big screen

Let’s start with the big screen. If you are having a party at home, and are a happy owner of the home theatre, it may be the way to go. However, there is another great option, which will definitely make your guests go “WOW”: watch the game in your backyard, using a big inflatable movie screen, a pair of powerful speakers and a bright HD projector. All you need is to connect the projector to the set top box or to your Foxtel.

There are many advantages of having a party in your backyard:

  • You will feel as if you are in the stadium, with fresh air around you
  • The screen is big. On the biggest of our outdoor home theatre screens the players will be actual size – you can imagine they are playing in your backyard!
  • Your friends can stay for a sleep-over, which will allow them to have an extra beer
  • You are the boss of the show. And the next night you can use the same screen to show movies to your kids
  • If the weather lets you down, you can always move the screen, or at least your guests, under the cover

Food and drinks

Cupcakes from Created Creatively

Cupcakes from Created Creatively

As it is winter, food should be hot, hearty and simple. If you want to keep it easy, offer meat pies, burgers, hot dogs and slices of pizza.
For those with sweet tooth, order a themed cake or cupcakes. Some great ideas are here.

Ordering or making your own BBQ, grill or Thai cuisine are popular alternatives. But if you really want to stand out, make a good bowl of hearty soup for your State of Origin party! We’ve found a recipe of State of Origin pumpkin soup which does have the flavour of Queensland. As a bold alternative, try Italian minestrone, Russian Borscht, German style eintopf  or Loaded Bacon Split Pea Soup.

Selection of drinks is obvious – beer is the traditional drink of NRL supporters. If the night is cool, you may consider something stronger (especially if you are serving soups), but keep the stock of stronger drinks at minimum if you want to have a pleasant night.


You don’t need to splash  too much cash on decorations, as it’s gonna be rather dark.

Go for a bunch of balloons and a couple of banners. Football stubby coolers would be a good addition to the table. Queensland’s party supply companies will have the best choice of NRL-related decorations – check, for example Party Time. Parties Online from NSW is a decent rival to the Queenslanders. And there are always good finds on eBay (we’ve spotted some awesome NRL posters there for bargain prices).

As it may be cold, consider having an infrared outdoor heater to keep your mates warm, and prepare a pile of blue and maroon blankets.


It does not matter if all your friends support one team or go for the rivals. What matters is the atmosphere created both by the host and by the guests. We hope you don’t have to ask your guests come dressed in their team jerseys. To have more fun, offer the prize for the best home-made wig or have a session of face painting set up in your backyard prior to the big game.

Plan some small games, like quiz or trivia, and ball games for energetic adults and kids. Check for more ideas here. Use your games console and play one of the available rugby video games before the actual one starts (they look awsome on a big inflatable screen, and teens will be delighted!).

Hey, we think you can do it. And we want you to have an absolutely fantastic State of Origin party this year. If you liked the idea of having a big inflatable screen on your backyard, order it online – we guarantee it will be the drawing card of the night.

Image attribution: By NAPARAZZI (Flickr: LACHLAN MARANTA) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Olga Kustova

Olga Kustova

Marketing guru, event organiser and blogger, passionate about all things outdoors: hiking, camping, outdoor movies and entertainment.
Olga Kustova

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