Arguably the biggest week of the footy calendar is finally here! Origin 1 is only a few sleeps away and with both teams fielding plenty of new faces, the 2018 series looks as unpredictable as ever. The maroons have lost 101 games of origin experience in Thurston, Smith and Cronk, while NSW will field a record 11 debutantes in a historic changing of the guard. Whatever happens, we are in for an action-packed game of origin footy – it doesn’t get much better than this!
Follow along on Moneyball with a huge $10,000 Guaranteed Contest on offer. Pick your ultimate origin line up and look to become a DFS champion! To wet the appetite and get yourself in the Origin mood we have come up with our list (in no particular order) for the 5 greatest moments of this historic rivalry.
Slater ‘kick and chase’ Try
It was game two of the 2004 series when a 20 year old Slater pulled off one of the all-time great tries in origin history. Darren Lockyer squeezed a grubber through a high NSW defensive line on halfway and the young speedster flew through to collect the ball at a rate of knots. With only Anthony Minichiello to beat, Slater veered towards the right, dropping the ball onto his boot and chipping it over the fullback. He followed his kick and left the NSW fullback in his wake where he got the perfect bounce and placed the ball down for a special origin try.
Shaun Timmins: An Unlikely Hero
Game 1 of the 2004 series will go down as an all-time classic. We headed into golden point at 8-8 with neither side holding the ascendency in tight affair. 2 minutes of added time had elapsed when Blues’ five-eighth Timmins, who had kicked his only career field-goal 8 years earlier, received the ball 35 metres out. He dropped the ball onto his left boot and could not have struck it any sweeter. It sailed down the middle of the posts and NSW fans and players erupted as the blues won 9-8. Post-match Timmins summed it up perfectly when asked if he practiced kicking field goals: “At training I’m normally not real good”.
Wally Lewis Vs Mark Geyer
It was game 2 of the 1991 series where we saw one of the most iconic images in the history of this rivalry. Geyer had just put a high shot on Steve Walters and an elbow to the head for good measure when things boiled over into a huge all-in brawl. It was when Lewis and Geyer were called over and cautioned by the referee that they went toe-to-toe and the much smaller Lewis did not back down from the fight. No one realised it then but the image of these two origin warriors would become an icon of the game.
“That’s not a try, that’s a miracle!”
These were the words of Ray Warren as Mark Coyne crossed for one of the greatest tries scored in origin history. The play started down the left with Steve Renouf creating something out of nothing before a big shift back to the right. The ball passed through most of the Queensland team before finding Coyne who cut inside and stayed low to score the try and win the match for the Maroons.
It was 2004 and the Blues had suffered injury after injury to all their halves options. Coach Phil Gould managed to convince Brad Fittler to come out of representative retirement. NSW lost the match 22-18 but Freddie performed well enough to earn himself the call up again for the decider in game 3. The Blues dominated and ran away with series winning 36-14. The night was capped off with Fittler scoring a late try to put the exclamation mark on a historic comeback.
With so many great moments being thrown up every year, 2018 is set up to be no different in what will be an absolute cracking match. Don’t forget to play along in Moneyball’s $10,000 State Of Origin Special