State of Origin is often referred to as Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry. The New South Wales Blues started their own dynasty this year and clinched back-to-back series wins for the first time in 14 years. For those not in the know, State of Origin is an annual best-of-three rugby league competition where the Queensland Maroons take on the New South Wales Blues. At QTurf, we’re fans of any turf sports, but we’re particularly devoted to the footy. So without further ado, here are our top 10 State of Origin highlights.
10. Lewis Vs Geyer
One of the most memorable moments in the history of the state faceoff sport, a real David vs. Goliath moment. Lewis was very clearly unhappy with Geyer and he wasn’t going to let him off the hook without a little bit of verbal assault.
9. Tallis rag doll tackle
Brett Hodgson made a break from the line, only to be intercepted by Gordon Tallis. What happened next still remains one of the most memorable moments in Origin history, as instead of tackling Hodgson on the spot, he dragged him like a rag doll from near the centre of the field, to the sideline, forcing Hodgson to turn over possession.
8. Darren Lockyer intercept
It’s 2006, game 3. The deciding match for the years competition. Many people had written Lockyer off as ‘over the hill’ or ‘past his prime’. This intercept went on to secure QLD the championship and to also silence the naysayers. Lockyer was still in his prime and playing incredible football.
7. Brad Fittler charge down try
At the end of his career, Fittler finished on a high. Lockyer went to kick the ball down field, and Fittler charged at him with no fear, stopping the kick and deflecting the ball back towards his try line. He swiftly picked the ball up and sailed to an easy try to cement his status as one of the Origin greats!
6. Michael O’Connor sideline conversion
Ultimately the Blues lost the series, but in Game 2, an unlikely hero stepped up to the plate to win the victory for the Blues. Michael O’Connor, who was not even the preferred kicker for the Blues, converted the winning kick, 3 metres in from touch and in the pouring rain.
5. Billy Slater chip and chase try
At 20 years old, no one knew what this soon to be legend would do during this game. He is already making a break from the pack, dodging defenders, then instead of running around, he kicks the ball above the opposing defenders head and catches it, just before scoring a try! One of the most impressive runs of all time.
4. Lewis 40m try
In 1989, 5 of QLD’s best players had left the field due to injuries. Wally ‘The King’ Lewis, made a spectacular break and covered 40m of ground before touching the ball down over the try line. Momentous try and one for the history books.
3.Matt Bowen intercept try
It’s the golden point, meaning it’s sudden death time where the next point scored ends the match. Matt Bowen makes a daring dash to intercept a sloppy pass and cruises down the middle of the field to effortlessly score the final and closing point of the game.
2. Alfie Langer returns to Origin
It was the 20th year of Origin football and Alfie Langer was asked to make his return for the third and final game. Queensland coach Wayne Bennet made it a personal mission to regain the title after the team’s horrendous defeat in 2000, which left them licking their wounds. Alfie Langer’s return will be remembered for a long, long time.
1. Mark Coyne miracle try
This feat is number 1 on the list due to its mix of skill, luck and sheer determination. With the ball being passed a minimum of 5 times before being put down over the try line, Mark Coyne was the man who finished it, but there were many others who made it possible.