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My Top 5 State of Origin Memories

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30 years after the inaugural State of Origin game was played in Brisbane between Queensland and New South Wales, the battle resumed tonight when Queensland descended into enemy territory to take on New South Wales at ANZ Stadium.

State of Origin is a great time of year when everybody is talking about it.  There is no middle ground and if you aren’t a rugby league fan there is no hiding from it.

In commemoration of the 30th anniversary here are my Top 5 Origin Memories.

5. Gorden Tallis Tackle

It was Game 3, 2002 at the Sydney Football Stadium. This match ended in an 18 all draw but it isn’t this result which stands out to me. It was a tackle in the 15th minute that was quite unlike any other I had ever seen. While Rugby League is known for the big hits this tackle by Gorden Tallis on NSW Fullback, Brett Hodgson was quite unique. Returning the ball from a Darren Lockyer down the field kick, Hodgson had stepped Tallis at the 35 metre mark and about 17 metres in from the touch-line when Tallis has stuck out a hand and grabbed Hodgson by the back of the jersey and then has slung him towards the touch-line and seconds later bundled the bewildered Hodgson into touch. It was an amazing tackle and is my all time favourite tackle.

4. It’s On – Fight Club

Origin football is known for a bit of biffo and here are a couple of my favourites.

3. Alfie back from England

The series was level at 1 all heading into game 3.  Queensland had been thumped in game 2, 26-8 and looked nothing like the team that won game 1, 34-16.  Queensland’s prodigal son, Allan Langer who was in his second season at Warrington in the English Super League arrived to wear the famous number 7 jersey.  He played an awesome game that night and set up try after try before scoring one himself.  It was an inspirational home coming for the little legend.  Queensland went on to win the game, 40-14 and win the series.

2. Another Queensland try from the death

It was Game 1, 1998 at the Sydney Football Stadium. QLD were down and out trailing by 5 points with a minute left to play and deep inside their own territory. Kevin Walters kicks deep down field on the first tackle and the ball is regathered by Ben Ikin. NSW regroup in defence but 2 tackles later, Tonie Carroll is sent over the try line from a pass from Walters. Lockyer converts after the siren for a memorable QLD win.

1. That’s not a try, that’s a miracle!

It was Game 1, 1994. QLD were down and out trailing by 8 points with 5 minutes left to play and deep inside their own territory at the Sydney Football Stadium. Willie Carne scored a try and with a successful Meninga conversion, QLD trailed by 2 points. With a minute left to go, one of the greatest try’s in rugby league history unfolded. Starting with Langer the ball then went through the hands of Walters, Carne, Renouf, Hancock, Smith, Langer again and then onto Meninga who threw the final pass to Mark Coyne who scored sliding over the try line. Commentator Ray Warren calledthe match and he famously said, “That’s not a try, that’s a miracle!” Indeed it was and it is also my favourite try of all time.

I love Origin!  Well done to Queensland for winning tonight, 28-24 in Game 1 of the 2010 series.

What are some of your favourite origin moments?

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