Gbah Tavern licencee Mick Drew ahead of the State of Origin celebration where there will be games, promos, and prizes.
Gbah Tavern licencee Mick Drew ahead of the State of Origin celebration where there will be games, promos, and prizes. Marc Stapelberg

Best places to watch your team win the State of Origin

NO matter the colour of your scarf and face paint for the first round of the State of Origin, watching the game on a big screen with cold drinks and complimentary bar snacks is a ritual no rugby league fan wants to miss.

Across the region, pubs and clubs will be packed, balloons and posters will be decorating the bars and fans will be wearing the appropriate scarves as it's state versus state and mate versus mate.

Like the Melbourne Cup which attracts die-hard fans and once a year experts, everyone will be passionate and have an opinion on the first round of the three match series.

And they will be sharing their prediction of the big result with anyone who cares to listen.

Meanwhile, those who can't arrange a designated driver - or who have to be up extra early on Thursday morning for work - will have booked the biggest television in the house, planed to park some cool drinks in an esky by the couch and piled the coffee table with nutritious snacks.

So cue the drum roll, here in alphabetical order are 10 of the best spots in our region to watch the game:


Real men will be enjoying complimentary quiche at half-time at the Ballina RSL.

There's a happy hour from 4.30pm, free nibbles and loads of action on the giant TV at 240 River Street, Ballina NSW, a spokesman said.

"We have the game being shown on our massive screen on level one," the spokesman said.

"Free bar snacks at half time including party pies, sausage rolls and baby quiches - because real do men do eat quiche - and also have a hoodie pack with a sweatshirt, scarf and stubbie holder from the Maroon and Blues to give away in a lucky prize."


Rock along to 1 Bay St, Byron Bay, to see the game in the main bar where it will be shown on all the TV screens.

"We have a blow up screen on the main stage," a spokesman said.

"Until 8pm we will also offer a free upgrade of a schooner to a pint."


Everyone is welcome no matter their team at 68 Cherry St, Ballina.

A spokesperson said the game will be shown on their massive 2.5m x 1.5m screen.

"We will serve $4 schooners until half-time," she said.

"It doesn't matter who you follow, everyone is welcome to come along and watch the game."


Bonalbo's funky little pub will have some complimentary bar snacks at half-time and a few give-aways at 23 Sandilands St.

Kerry and Paul Horne operate the Dog N Bull and said it's going to be a fun night and they will be blue streamers everywhere.

Ms Horne who has high hopes for a NSW victory said there's a fair few Queenlanders in Bonalbo, so she expects to be outnumbered.

"We have a few visitors from Queensland working up at the hospital so we think there'll be some Maroons fans into enjoy the usual Wednesday night of crumbed streak," she said.

"At half-time we usually do some cheese and bikkies."


THE new owners of the Eltham Hotel, which caused comments when it was repainted maroon in 2008 by its former operator, are having a bet each way with former Queenslander Les McGowan favouring his home state while partner and co-owner Lorraine Barlow will follow NSW.

"We will have a free a sausage sizzle at half time with onions and sauce," he said.

"There will be three televisions showing the game and we also have a toss the boss competition."

Mr McGowan said all sporting fans are welcome at 441 Eltham Rd, Eltham, to enjoy the match.


It's definitely a case of the blues for the Goonellabah Tavern, reckons licensee Mick Drew.

"Our decorations are leaning towards NSW but we will put a lonely maroon balloon up," Mr Drew said.

"We will have a pick the score competition, half-time trivia, there's five big TV screen to watch and our usual Wednesday sports trivia will be held a bit earlier than usual."

The G'Bah Tavern is at 339 Ballina Rd, Goonellabah.


KEEN to support a local sporting club while supporting your team?

Then contact Gloria at Mum 'n' Me Maternity at 123A Keen St, Lismore or 6622 4242, as she's selling tickets for a fundraiser of the game screening at the BCC Cinema.

"It starts at 8.15pm and adult tickets are $12, children $6 and proceeds go to the Northern Star Hockey Club," she said.

"You can pop into the shop or buy them at the door."


Former Sunshine State resident and keen Maroons supporter, publican Matt Hannigan said he's looking forward to an exciting game.

He is also expecting keen supporters from both team pouring in to enjoy the game at his premises at 100 Centre St, Casino.

"We will have all the bar televisions tuned in as well as the restaurant on the big screen," he said.


Watch the game live and loud on the big screen in the nightclub from 7.30pm and support the beautiful game.

Fans are encouraged to wear their team colours, so smother yourself in your sartorial league style and stroll along to the cnr Woodlark & Keen Sts, Lismore

There's Pig on the Spit for a gold coin donation with all proceeds going to the Italo Stars Soccer Club.


Southern Cross University students and staff will no doubt be flocking to the Unibar for $2 tacos and a happy hour from 6pm.

Remember, if you are not a SCU student you will need to be signed in by one to enter the premises.

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