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The moments which defined State of Origin: 10-1

Sporting News logo Sporting News 22/11/2020 20:55:32 Liam O'Loughlin
a drawing of a person: Resmed1 © Provided by Sporting NewsResmed1

State of Origin turns 40 years old this year - and what a 40 years it has been!

The fiercest rivalry in rugby league kicked off again on Wednesday November 4th, with NSW going down to QLD in the first game of another three-game series.

There have been so many amazing and memorable moments throughout the history of Origin over the years - and we're here to bring you 40 of the biggest.

This countdown isn't necessarily about the best moments in Origin history, but the ones that defined the ongoing rivalry as we know it today.

MORE:  Origin moments 40-31  |  Origin moments 30-21 | Origin moments 20-11

Here are the top 10 moments that defined State of Origin. 


Game 2, 1985

For the first few years of Origin football, the Queensland side had completely dominated thanks to the likes of Mal Meninga and Wally Lewis.

But in 1985, that all changed as NSW claimed their first series victory. 

After Michael O'Connor scored  every  point for the Blues in their 18-2 win in Game I, he was again integral in the second clash as his side claimed the series with a 21-14 win.

QLD avoided a clean sweep with a 20-6 win in the final game of the series, but the first-ever Origin series win for NSW further set the tone for a rivalry that has lasted four decades. 


Game 2, 2014

After eight long years of dominance at the hands of a star-studded Maroons lineup, NSW  finally  broke through and stopped the pain for their fans in 2014.

And it was the most unlikely of heroes who clinched the series for the Blues.

While the likes of Paul Gallen and Jarryd Hayne received all the praise for their performances across the series, it was plucky Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson that came up with the biggest play.

With the Blues pulling off an upset at Suncorp Stadium in the series opener, they were down 4-0 with less than ten minutes remaining.

But it was Hodkinson who took the game by the scruff of the neck, throwing a beautiful dummy and crossing over to send ANZ Stadium into raptures.

Replay Video

The last minute of play was incredibly tense, but the Blues managed to hold on for a historic victory. 

Replay Video


Game 3, 2006

Every great journey has an ending like what we saw at #9 - but they also have a beginning. 

Staring down the barrel of their own ugly losing streak, Queensland took the 2006 series to a decider - played at the old Telstra Dome in Melbourne. 

But with the Blues holding a 14-10 lead with just six minutes remaining in the game, it looked like it would be another year of misery for the Maroons.

That was until a lose pass inside their own 20-metre zone landed in the hands of Darren Lockyer, who strolled through and scored under the posts.

Replay Video

QLD fullback Clinton Schifcofske made no mistakes with the conversion attempt, and they held on for a 14-6 victory which started an eight-year dominance of the Origin arena. 


2006 series

Darren Lockyer that is standing in the grass: Meninga Lockyer © Provided by Sporting NewsMeninga Lockyer

While the on-field brilliance of Darren Lockyer got them over the line, it was the appointment of Mal Meninga as QLD Maroons coach that changed the Origin arena forever.

The legendary centre signed on as coach heading into the 2006 series, trying to break a three-year drought for his beloved state.

And he did all that and more, leading the Maroons to an incredible eight-straight Origin series wins.

He again coached them to a series win in 2015, taking his overall record to 9-1.

Pretty impressive stuff, and one of the main reasons behind Queensland's dominance for many years. 


Game 2, 2004

a baseball player pitching a ball on a field: Billy Slater © Provided by Sporting NewsBilly Slater

This might be the most replayed moment in State of Origin history. 

Playing in just his second game for Queensland, legendary fullback Billy Slater put in a heroic performance in Game II to keep the series alive at Suncorp Stadium.

But the moment that we all remember is his solo effort to score a crucial try, as he pounced on a Darren Lockyer grubber, picked it up and chipped over the head of Anthony Minichiello, before regathering the ball and scoring.

Replay Video

It is arguably the greatest try in Origin history, and the birth of one of the best players to ever step foot in the arena. 


Game 3, 2004

Brad Fittler et al. posing for the camera © Provided by Sporting NewsBrad Fittler

After retiring from representative football in 2002, Brad Fittler's sole focus was on the Roosters.

That was until he got a phone call from NSW coach Phil Gould ahead of the 2004 Origin decider, asking the champion five-eighth to come out of retirement for one last game.

After losing in Game II, Fittler came in and steered the ship for the Blues as they ran out victorious at Telstra Stadium. 

Replay Video

Both Freddy and Gould were farewelled from the Origin arena after he scored the winning try that sealed the NSW victory - an amazing way to go out. 


Game 2, 1991

a vintage photo of a man: Geyer Lewis © Provided by Sporting NewsGeyer Lewis

This game is also remembered for the Michael O'Connor's sideline conversion featured earlier in our countdown - but this particular moment is one that has become a part of Australian sporting folklore.

Following a trademark piece of Origin biff in which NSW enforcer Mark Geyer was involved in, he came face-to-face with QLD legend Wally Lewis - who was playing his final series in a Maroon jumper.

Lewis barked at his opponent, seemingly trying to bait him into throwing a punch. MG did clench his fist, but referee David Manson intervened before it got out of hand.

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The image of Geyer and Lewis staring each other down is one that will stand the test of time, and is one that certainly defined what Origin is all about. 


Game 3, 2001

After moving across to Warrington in the UK Super League in 2000, nobody expected to see Allan Langer wear a Queensland jersey again.

But with the Maroons facing another series loss, supercoach Wayne Bennett flew the champion halfback home from the UK for the series decider.

There was an air of secrecy and confusion around the decision, but once Langer took the field, it was pure dominance from one of the great playmakers in rugby league history.

Replay Video

Alfie scored a try and set up another two as QLD claimed the series with a 40-14 win. 



In the decades that Ray Warren has commentated rugby league, this is by far and away his greatest moment. 

With a minute left on the clock and QLD down by two points, Mark Coyne finished of the greatest team try not only in Origin history, but probably in rugby league history as well. 

Trying to describe everything that happened before Coyne planted the ball down is pointless - so here's Rabs' call and the try itself.

"Still 60 metres to negotiate. Plays the ball back to Meninga, New South Wales offside. Langer to Kevin Walters then the ball goes to Carne. Carne looking to get the pass away. Renouf plucks it out of the sky, he goes down the touch line, the ball to Hancock, Hancock only 30 out. The pass to Darren Smith, the ball to Langer, Langer's only 18 out, the ball to Meninga, Meninga for the line, back to Coyne, Coyne's in! Try! Try! Try!"

Warren also famously exclaimed "that's not a try, that's a miracle" as he watched the replay alongisde fellow commentators Paul Vautin and Peter Sterling. 

An iconic Origin moment, and one that typifies the Queensland spirit. 



There had been NSW vs QLD encounters before - but this was the beginning of Origin as we knew it.

Players would now represent the state they were born and raised in, as opposed to the state where their club side hailed from. It would see the likes of Arthur Beetson and Kerry Boustead play for Queensland. 

The concept was criticised by those in the media and even by former players such as Bob Fulton, but something changed inside the players who got to represent their state. 

It saw tensions boil over, and we got our first-ever Origin biff as well. 

Replay Video

In the end, the Maroons ran out 20-10 victors as they led by the great Arthur Beetson. 

It began the greatest rivalry in Australian sport, and is undoubtedly the moment which defined State of Origin more than any other. 

22. marraskuuta 2020 22:55:32 Categories: Sporting News

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