Infotainment Factory: The Origin clash that calls for ‘an entirely different set of balls’

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

The Origin clash that calls for ‘an entirely different set of balls’


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Few events could rival the intensity, thrill and sheer brutality of State of Origin footy, but another state-vs-state showdown may just come close.

It’s fast, it’s frantic, and it’s downright dangerous – it’s professional bull riding, and the perfect entrée to Game 1 on the footy field is coming to Sydney in the form of rodeo this weekend.

PBR Origin will see the best bull-riders in the country go head-to-head, mate-vs-mate in the very first NSW vs QLD event in the sport.

“There’s 11 riders per side and our points add up and whoever has the most points for their state at the end of the night is the winner,” top-ranked NSW bull-rider Cliff Richardson told Wide World of Sports.

“This is the first PBR Origin so I’m sure there will be a bit of rivalry. As soon as there’s a blue and maroon jersey you get pretty proud of where you’re from.

“I don’t think there’ll be trash-talking though, we’ll let our riding do the talking.”

Richardson in action

Richardson has been bull-riding since he was 11 years old in country NSW, and though it’s the only life he’s ever known, spending more than 48 weeks of the year on the bull-riding tour, he knows all too well the dangers that come with the sport.

He was nearly sidelined for good in 2014 when he copped a bull horn to the stomach, rupturing his spleen and pancreas.

That injury alone took two years to recover from, let alone the two knee reconstructions and broken ribs he’s also suffered during his professional career.

“Bull riding is one of the most dangerous sports, if not the most dangerous sport, on the planet – we like to say it’s so tough you have to last 8 seconds, not 80 minutes,” PBR Australia general manager Glen Young said.

“It’s literally an 8-second fist fight from the moment the gate cracks until the buzzer blows. There are no time outs, sideline judges or referees to call time out – it requires an entirely different set of balls.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxa-0o0HRui/

To call these riders brave is an understatement. Even Richardson admits nerves still play a part in every single ride.

“You’re mad if you say there’s no nerves involved. I think nerves and being scared is a different thing, but when you see someone get really hurt or injured it scares you a little bit, especially if they’re close,” he said.

“But when you’re on the bull the adrenalin kicks in and takes over, and you know what you’ve got to do. You’re pretty anxious more than anything to get in there and do your job.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuUzEGwHGUM/

For most people at the PBR Origin event, it might be their first bull-riding experience beyond the local pub’s mechanical equivalent. But Richardson said there’s no comparison.

“None whatsoever. Mechanical bulls may have similar bucking motions but not the speed of a real bull,” he said.

“I’d say to those who haven’t been before, don’t take your eyes off it because it’s good fun.

“It’s a growing, family-friendly sport, it’s huge worldwide, and it’s getting bigger and bigger here.

“If this is your first event, I guarantee it won’t be your last.”

The inaugural PBR Origin comes to ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour on June 1, 2019

Few events could rival the intensity, thrill and sheer brutality of State of Origin footy, but another state-vs-state showdown may just come close.

It’s fast, it’s frantic, and it’s downright dangerous – it’s professional bull riding, and the perfect entrée to Game 1 on the footy field is coming to Sydney in the form of rodeo this weekend.

PBR Origin will see the best bull-riders in the country go head-to-head, mate-vs-mate in the very first NSW vs QLD event in the sport.

“There’s 11 riders per side and our points add up and whoever has the most points for their state at the end of the night is the winner,” top-ranked NSW bull-rider Cliff Richardson told Wide World of Sports.

“This is the first PBR Origin so I’m sure there will be a bit of rivalry. As soon as there’s a blue and maroon jersey you get pretty proud of where you’re from.

“I don’t think there’ll be trash-talking though, we’ll let our riding do the talking.”

Richardson in action

Richardson has been bull-riding since he was 11 years old in country NSW, and though it’s the only life he’s ever known, spending more than 48 weeks of the year on the bull-riding tour, he knows all too well the dangers that come with the sport.

He was nearly sidelined for good in 2014 when he copped a bull horn to the stomach, rupturing his spleen and pancreas.

That injury alone took two years to recover from, let alone the two knee reconstructions and broken ribs he’s also suffered during his professional career.

“Bull riding is one of the most dangerous sports, if not the most dangerous sport, on the planet – we like to say it’s so tough you have to last 8 seconds, not 80 minutes,” PBR Australia general manager Glen Young said.

“It’s literally an 8-second fist fight from the moment the gate cracks until the buzzer blows. There are no time outs, sideline judges or referees to call time out – it requires an entirely different set of balls.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxa-0o0HRui/

To call these riders brave is an understatement. Even Richardson admits nerves still play a part in every single ride.

“You’re mad if you say there’s no nerves involved. I think nerves and being scared is a different thing, but when you see someone get really hurt or injured it scares you a little bit, especially if they’re close,” he said.

“But when you’re on the bull the adrenalin kicks in and takes over, and you know what you’ve got to do. You’re pretty anxious more than anything to get in there and do your job.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuUzEGwHGUM/

For most people at the PBR Origin event, it might be their first bull-riding experience beyond the local pub’s mechanical equivalent. But Richardson said there’s no comparison.

“None whatsoever. Mechanical bulls may have similar bucking motions but not the speed of a real bull,” he said.

“I’d say to those who haven’t been before, don’t take your eyes off it because it’s good fun.

“It’s a growing, family-friendly sport, it’s huge worldwide, and it’s getting bigger and bigger here.

“If this is your first event, I guarantee it won’t be your last.”

The inaugural PBR Origin comes to ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour on June 1, 2019

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