State of Origin 2022: Fans flock to Optus Stadium ahead of game two

Ben SmithThe West Australian
It’s State v State and mate v mate at Optus Stadium tonight.
Camera IconIt’s State v State and mate v mate at Optus Stadium tonight. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Perth may still be without an NRL team to call its own, but fans have spoken with their feet ahead of Sunday’s State of Origin clash at Optus Stadium.

On a perfect winter’s evening with not a cloud in sight, WA rugby fans flocked to the stadium for the marquee rugby league event, with the game having sold out in the lead-up.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The usually quiet Victoria Park Drive was alive with traffic almost two hours before the game, with fans greeting the arriving New South Wales and Queensland buses with equal parts adulation and Bronx cheers.

Fans began to fill out the stadium early, with the die-hards arriving early to take in the under-18s Combined Affiliated States representative clash pre-game.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Sky blue and maroon jerseys began to pop up with increased regularity in the hour before kick-off, evenly dotted throughout the crowd.

Grinspoon treated the crowd to a good old-fashioned rock and roll show ahead of the 5.50pm kick-off.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Fans arrive ahead of game two of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Optus Stadium on June 26, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images) Paul Kane Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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