By Patrick Avenell

The New South Wales VB Blues are playing the Queensland XXXX Maroons tonight in Game One of the Harvey Norman State Of Origin brought to you by Fujifilm at Etihad Stadium. And to think people say sport is now all about the money.

The game kicks off at 8pm in Melbourne, which is the same time in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the rest of Victoria. That’s 7:30pm in South Australia and the Northern Territory and 6pm in Western Australia.

Live coverage of the match is on Channel Nine and affiliates in glorious SD. There is no free-to-air HD or 3D coverage this year, though Fox Sports 2 will show an HD replay at 10:30pm.

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Origin is virtually inescapable in New South Wales and Queensland, so for those who aren’t interested in football but are being forced to watch it, here is a scorecard you can use to make the game more interesting:

Every time the Harvey Norman Video Ref is shown: Field Goal (1 Point)
Ray Warren name-checks a sponsor during the coverage: Penalty Goal (2 points)
Shot of Gerry Harvey and Fujifilm boss David Marshall in the posh seats: Try (4 points)
Phil Gould slips in a mention of former Panthers sponsor Sanyo: Conversion (2 points)
Commentary team mentions a brand that is not an official sponsor: Sin Bin (subtract 10 points)

Congratulations to LG Electronics: the only supplier to send out a State Of Origin-themed press release this week.

“Almost 2.5 million Aussies watched the State of Origin last year, and with viewer numbers set to rise, make sure you don’t miss any action this year with LG’s Twin Tuner HD Recorder/3D Blu-ray combo, the HR929T (RRP $799),” said the release. “With 1TB of storage space you’ll be able to replay those big hits over and over again!”

LG marketing general manager Lambro Skropidis thinks you should watch the game on the LM9600 (RRP $4,599 for the 55-inch model), and he backs this up with a sensational reference to the last time State Of Origin was played in Melbourne.

“The LM9600 comes with a Cinema Screen design and a 4-millmetre bezel, which ensures the image is at the forefront,” he said. “With the TV being virtually borderless, it removes any restrictions seen with more clunky TV designs, so you’ll be the first to know if Jarryd Hayne’s foot really did touch the sideline!”

LG LM9600 showing Luke Lewis bursting through. Lewis is the only member of the New South Wales team to have won an Origin series.

Lambro’s Tip:

New South Wales 16
Queensland 14

Patrick’s Tip:

New South Wales 20
Queensland 12