Josh Morris’ try for NSW in the 2015 series opener – set up by a James Tamou offload, a Josh Dugan break and a brilliant kick ahead by the fullback – was one of the greatest in State of Origin history.
In the week leading up to game two, we’re counting down the top 10 tries in Origin’s 35 seasons – and it wasn’t an easy task whittling down such a huge field of contenders!
Unfortunately for NSW fans, No.1 is a repeat of top spot in our ‘Greatest Origin Finishes’ countdown – Queensland’s try from the end of the earth to win the 1994 series opener at the Sydney Football Stadium.
The Blues led 12-4 with time running out, but adlib play by Kevin Walters, Steve Renouf, Mal Meninga and Mark Coyne gave the Maroons hope with five minutes on the clock, producing a fine try to Willie Carne. Meninga’s superb conversion from out wide pegged Queensland back to 12-10 in arrears.
With a minute to go, the Maroons enacted the most famous passage of play in Origin history. Coyne played the ball on his own 40-metre line, and Meninga, Kevin Walters and Allan Langer swept the ball across the park. Carne’s looping one-handed offload over Paul McGregor’s head gave Renouf the space for a 20-metre burst down the touchline into NSW territory.
Renouf linked with Hancock, who unloaded to Darren Smith while being driven back. Smith expertly drew two Blues defenders and passed to Langer, who flung a pass in the bootlaces tackles of Mackay, hitting Meninga on the chest with a head of steam to position Coyne on the outside.
The St George centre stepped inside Fittler and reached out to score one of the great tries and snatch an unbelievable 16-12 victory. The ecstatic Maroons mobbed Coyne while coach Wally Lewis embraced long-serving manager Dick ‘Tosser’ Turner in the stands, celebrating a triumph destined to burn brightly in the annals of Rugby League for decades to come.
“That’s not a try, that’s a miracle!” was how commentator Ray Warren encapsulated the unforgettable moment.