Five best Origin moments: Queensland

Chris Chard Columnist

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    The Storm suffered big time post-Origin. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

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    The history of State of Origin is littered with more amazing memories than the Lang Park surface with beer cans post Wally Lewis sin-binning.

    With all the big hits, big names and the big hype, you can be assured that each series is going to see have its share of, ummm, big moments.

    Of course as the dominant state in the series, most of these talking points are famous Maroon miracles.

    Here are five of the best.

    5. Matt Bowen intercept try, Game 1 2005
    Despite playing ten games for the Maroons over the course of his illustrious career, Matty ‘Mango’ Bowen was often given scant opportunity to show what he was truly capable of by being made to mostly sit on the bench or shuffle around the Queensland backline to accommodate ‘bigger’ players.

    Bowen once again found himself out wide during extra time in Origin I 2005, after club mate Johnathan Thurston managed to drag the Toads into golden point after they had uncharacteristically blown a 19–0 lead.

    When Newcastle’s favourite stepson Brett Kimmorley threw an ill-thought out cut-out pass, Bowen was there to pick it off like the low hanging fruit that it was, leaving the Lang Park crowd in raptures and Kimmorley to be blacklisted from any future Origin appearances (well, until the Blues hit another halves crisis a few years later anyway).

    4. Carl Webb try, Game 1 2001
    Queensland morale was at an all-time low after falling on a grenade in the 2000 series whitewash. When Wayne Bennett named a team containing way too many Neville North Queensland nuffies to play in the side for Game 1 the following season, many wondered whether the great mentor had lost his marbles.

    But, with nothing to lose, the Maroons hit the ground at a million miles a minute. They found themselves holding a borderline comfortable lead when young Bronco Carl Webb got the ball down the blindside on a fairly nothing play and steamrolled the Blues players like the hotel buffet bar.

    Queensland would go onto reclaim the series, however Webb’s Origin future would be an up and down affair before he eventually followed in his hero Arthur Beetson’s footsteps by finishing his playing days in the Parramatta reserves.

    3. Cooper Cronk field goal, Game 3 2012
    The 2012 Origin series will potentially go down as the best chance that NSW has had to break Queensland’s dominance of the series since the invention of Facebook, with Game 3 being the best of all.

    With scores locked at 20 all with less than ten minutes remaining and Queensland working the ball away from their own 20-metre line, the Blues were looking half a chance with Maroons legend Darren Lockyer now relegated to giving whispered interviews to the coach before the game.

    Enter the most professional set of six you will ever see in a game of rugby league, followed by Cooper ‘Clutch’ Cronk banging over an absolute belter of a field goal and following it up with the most bizarre post match interview of all time.

    NSW coach on the night Ricky Stuart hasn’t been the same since.

    2. Darren Lockyer try, Game 3 2006
    In 2006 after a succession of NSW series victories and the selection of Adam Mogg (who replaced Greg Inglis), the Origin concept had many alarmist types looking to scrap the series in favour of a super-sized City versus Country.

    But, after thrashing NSW in Game 2, Queensland had battled gamely in the third match only to be behind by four with just over six minutes to play after Darren Lockyer had earlier been denied a try under the most dubious of circumstances.

    Yes, things were looking dire, until a Brett Hodgson pass from dummy-half – so bad it would make the Warilla Gorillas Under 12s coach cry – hit the deck. The Queensland captain went over under the posts for the easiest of tries. It kick started a dynasty, the likes of which Origin had never seen.

    Warning: NSW fans are best to mute the Ben Ikin section of this clip if any sharp objects are nearby.

    1. The Mark Coyne miracle try, Game 1 1994
    C’mon, we all know this is the only reason you’re reading this article!

    Play it again Rabs! For bonus enjoyment pause at the 25-second mark to see the exact moment Ricky Stuart’s heart rips in two.

    Chris Chard
    Chris Chard

    Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar since 2011. Tweet him @Vic_Arious