The Roar
The Roar


Top ten moments in State of Origin history

Billy Moore: Queenslander. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Roar Guru
10th July, 2017

There have been some wonderful Origin moments. The return of champions for one more series win, the winning retirement of legends and some of the best tries ever.

For this list, I focused on those moments that have stuck in our minds on and off the field. These are some of the most iconic moments of Origin footy.

10. Joey Johns gets levelled by Jamie Goddard. Game 2 – 1997
This is with doubt my favourite Joey Johns moment, forget the 1997 grand final pass to Darren Albert to steal the win from Manly, forget his return in 2005, this is my number one.

After a punch on, Joey gets into a tussle with ex-boxer Jamie Goddard. After the pair were separated Johns again went after Goddard again after the first incident. Big mistake, Joey.

Johns chased after Goddard and the pair started the biff again but after interference from other players, Johns was left wide open and Goddard landed a right cross worse then what Horn gave Pacquiao in their fight and sent Johns crashing to the ground for a ten count.

Joey was left with a bloody mouth and I was left laughing my head off. A great Origin moment.

9. Tallis and Terry Hill square off. Game 2 – 1999
The 1999 series is not only remembered for being the only series draw at the time but as one of the most iconic images of all time. Tempers flared as Gorden Tallis and Terry Hill squared off. Hill was the only person crazy enough to stand up to Tallis at the time and it resulted in the most rememberable moment of the series.

8. Benny Elias loves his Mum. Game 1 – 1992
A touching moment as stand-in captain Ben Elias celebrated the Blues’ Game 1 win covered in blood from a head clash, and who better to celebrate your first win as captain with than with your mother?

Ben’s mother Barbara joined his victorious son on the field and embraced with and hug and kiss. Unfortunately for Barbara, she would be covered in her son’s blood. A beautiful mother and son moment. Actually, remembering this moment makes me want to go give my mother a hug.


7. New South Wales finally wins a series. Game 2 – 1985
After five series defeats, New South Wales finally won a series in 1985. Captain Steve Mortimer was carried off on the shoulders of his teammates as the Blues celebrated their historic first win.

6. Tallis treats Hodgson like a rag doll. Game 3 – 2002
The 2002 series in rememberable for two reasons, firstly it was the second draw in the history of Origin, secondly and more importantly the tackle of Gorden Tallis on Brett Hodgson.

Hodgson made the mistake of going near the Raging Bull. Tallis grabbed Hodgson and dragged him like a rag doll and flung him over the touchline. That’s how you make a tackle. What a moment.

5. Wally Lewis squares up against Mark Geyer. Game 2 – 1991
In his last Origin series, Lewis would make history twice, the first was Game 2 at halftime. In the pouring rain, Mark Geyer was getting in the face of Lewis with Benny Elias and ref David Manson getting in between the two. While the two never came to blows the heated moment was one of the most rememberable moments in Origin history.

Geyer has been quoted as saying he didn’t know whether to ask for Lewis’ autograph or punch him in the face. An awesome Origin moment.

4. Darren Lockyer’s 2006 try to start the decade of dominance. Game 3 – 2006
Lockyer dramatically swooped on a wayward pass, sliced between two Blues players and beat a third to score under the posts to seal the win for Queensland in 2006. To make this moment even better the commentary of “Oh nooo!” By ex-Blues coach Phil Gould made the try even better. It would start the eight-year Origin dominance by the mighty Maroons.

3. Arthur Beetson runs out onto the field. Game 1 1980
The first ever game of Origin at the old Lang Park was iconic. All the other moments would never have happened without this one.

Arthur Beetson, at 35 years of age, led the Queensland team out for the first time. The crowd went nuts and many, including Wally Lewis, said they have never heard Lang Park louder, the atmosphere was just indescribable. This moment makes my top three.


2. Billy Moore’s “Queenslander!” chant. Game 1 – 1995
At halftime of Game 1 the score was 2-0. This is the only tryless game in the history of Origin. But more rememberable was the war cry chant, of “Queenslander, Queenslander!” by Billy Moore as the team came out for the second half. This single word has motivated Queenslanders for over twenty years and is still be using today.

1. Lewis gets immortalised with his statue. Game 3 – 1991
The second time for Lewis on this list and the second for the 1991 series. After Queensland narrowly won the 1991 series, Lewis would retire with a moment that would live forever and, indeed, be made into a statue.

Wally Lewis, as the Maroons’ captain, was given the honour of holding up the victory shield for the last time. The moment is without doubt the best Origin moment in history. Years later, a statue would be made in memory of Lewis out the front of Suncorp Stadium.