NSW State of Origin Moments

The State of Origin series is renowned for its big moments. Each game is punctuated by massive hits, brawls, controversies and more one-sided vitriol than a Fox News update. NSW has had their fair share of time in the limelight. Some of the Blues’ greatest moments in State of Origin history are recorded here.

The Moment: Michael O’Connor’s Conversion
The Match: Game 2, 1991
The Details: There had been heavy rain for some time and the field looked like a small lake. Queensland had already won Game 1. The match was going Queensland’s way 12-8 when NSW’s centre Mark Mcgaw put a ball down near the corner to level the score with only a few minutes to go.

Kicking from near the sideline, O’Connor swung the ball in perfectly to secure the match for NSW. Unfortunately, QLD went on to win the series. However, O’Connor’s kick remains as one of the quintessential examples of a kick under extreme pressure in unfavourable conditions.

The Moment: Shaun Timmins’ Field Goal
The Match: Game 1, 2004
The Details: This was the day Shaun Timmins discovered he could kick. Early in the match, he let Scott Prince through to give Queensland the opening try. Following the break, Timmins was able to make amends with a try of his own. At full time the score was 8-8, the first time an Origin game had ever gone into extra time.

Timmins received the ball 35m out and immediately went for a field goal, scoring the golden point and winning the game for NSW. Following the match, Timmins revealed that it was only his second successful field goal throughout his entire first grade career.

The Moment: Jarryd Hayne Justifies His Selection
The Match: Game 1, 2007
The Details: It was Jarryd Hayne’s debut match for the Blues, and at 18 years old he was the youngest on the squad. As the half-time whistle blew, Brent Tate went for a kick down the sideline. Hayne was able to block it with his foot, pick the ball up and fend off players to score. His run down the side included a grubber before he was forced out, then a sprint against Justin Hodges to secure the try.

The game was the first time Hayne and Hodges would come up against each other, but not the last.

The Moment: NSW’s First Series Win.
The Match: Game 2, 1985
The Details: After NSW defeated QLD quite tidily at Lang Park in Game 1, they faced them on home turf at the SCG. In a thrilling match, NSW walked away with a 21-14 win and their first Origin series victory.

The game launched State of Origin into a whole new league, as it was no longer a one-sided casual competition but an event that half the country could get involved in.

The Moment: The Cattledog Cry
The Match: Game 3, 1997
The Details: Rugby League great Tommy Raudonikis was coaching the NSW State of Origin squad and desperately needed a way to ignite the same passion that Queensland kept coming out with. NSW already had two wins under their belt, so going into Game 3 there was a concern that they would slip in their commitment. The “Cattledog” cry was thought up at a pub some time previously, and as the team went in for a scrum Raudonikis sent a trainer onto the field to implement the call.

The NSW squad came out swinging and the brawl, as usual, ended with no clear winner. However, it ignited passions on both sides for many years to come.

The Moment: The Staple Gun
The Match: Game 1, 2003
The Details: Michael De Vere came off with a gash on his right eyebrow, possibly expecting to sit the rest of the game out. Once he was off the field, an attendant used a staple gun to stick his face back together.

During the process, the staple gun got stuck and De Vere had to pull it from his face himself. De Vere was back on the field in less than a minute and cemented himself in Origin history as yet another example of the toughness that makes the series great.

The Moment: Laurie Daley Loses His Chair
The Match: Game 3, 2009
The Details: Laurie Daley, assistant to Blues coach Phil Gould, attempted to sit down at the start of Game 3 in 2009 and found that he had no seat. Gould had in fact taken Daley’s seat, leaving the assistant coach in a state of upset confusion. Daley endeavoured to pretend he was sitting, but the cameras weren’t fooled.

The moment lives on as one of the most resonating events in State of Origin history, and also one of the most humorous.

The Moment: Andrew Johns Returns
The Match: Game 2, 2005
The Details: Andrew Johns had suffered a series of injuries concerns going into the 2005 season and had repeatedly assured the public and Knights supporters that he would not be playing in the Origin series, but rather dedicate himself to the NRL competition.

Of course, he did return. QLD had already won the first match, so Johns leading the Blues to a 32-22 victory set them up to win the series. Which they did in Game 3, 32-10.