The 1986 State of Origin game at Subiaco between Western Australia and Victoria has rightfully been regarded by many people as one of the greatest games – not just in State of Origin – but in the 150 years of Australian Football.
It was to be the last of the ‘true’ State of Origin games before the advent of the West Coast Eagles in 1987. Their inclusion meant that the WA football public got to see the best talents of WA (made up of players from the local WAFL like Laurie Keene and current North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley and ex-pats from WA like Leon Baker, Ross Glendinning and Phil Narkle playing in the then VFL in Melbourne) taking on the very best the VFL had to offer, like Paul Salmon, Dale Weightman, Dermott Brereton.
The coach of the Victorian side was then Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy and the skipper of the Vics was Terry Daniher, while leading the WA team was coach Ron Alexander and skipper, former Geelong player Brian Peake.
When people talk of great State of Origin matches, and great Australian Rules games, no matter at what level it is this one always gets a mention.
In all due respect to the games between South Australia and Victoria in the mid 1980’s and early 90’s at Football Park, no other game has been spoken of in revered tones as much as the ’86 State of Origin clash at Subiaco between the Sandgropers and the Vics.
Ask any of the players who played in that match – Laurie Keene, Greg Williams, Maurice Rioli, Paul Salmon, Dean Laidley, Dermott Brereton just to name a few – where they rate this game, and they’d tell you it was one of the greatest games they have played in their careers, outside of grand finals.
The first 3 quarters was A-OK, which WA had a lead of 4-5 goals during that time and looked to break away to record a comfortable victory, but Victoria kept WA in check.
But what happened in the final quarter will never be forgotten by not just those who were at Subiaco, but also watching the game on TV in WA and Victoria.
24 years later, the memories of this game, and that thrilling last quarter-come flooding back:
– Brian Peake’s 7 goals for WA
– Andrew MacNish’s screamer in the last quarter
– Seven lead changes in the last quarter
– Andrew Bews’ goal which looked to have the game sealed for the Vics.
– Brian Royal and Dale Weightman each kicking 5 goals
– Gary Buckenara’s goal that won the game for WA
– Wayne Blackwell’s smother that saved the game – and the Australian championships – for WA
One of the all-time classic games in Aussie Rules history-the 1986 WA v Victoria State of Origin.
SCOREBOARD-1986 State of Origin
WEST AUSTRALIA 4.4 9.5 15.10 21. 11 (137)
VICTORIA 4.5 7.7 12.10 20.14 (134)
Goals WA: Peake 7, Buckenara 5, MacNish 3, Mitchell 3, Rioli 2, Baker, Wilson
Goals VIC: Weightman 5, Royal 5, Taylor 4, Brereton 3, Alvin, Bews, Healy
Simpson Medal: Brad Hardie (WA)
E.J. Whitten Medal: Dale Weightman (Vic)
Umpires: David Johnson (WA), Ross Castle (Vic)
At Subiaco Oval
Crowd: 39, 863