In the week leading up to game one of the 2015 series, we’re counting down the top 10 finishes in State of Origin’s 35-season history – and haven’t there been some stunners?
No.5 in countdown features one of the all-time great goalkicks, which snatched victory in arguably the most dramatic Origin matches ever played.
Queensland led 12-8 near the end of the gripping, explosive second Origin clash of ’91 – famous for the Mark Geyer-Wally Lewis halftime stoush – played in a Sydney downpour.
But NSW trudged into the Maroons’ quarter on the back of a series of daring offloads, before Ricky Stuart’s long speculative pass found centre Mark McGaw, who angled between three defenders to slide over in the corner.
Michael O’Connor, who missed a conversion from a similar position to draw the series opener and was dropped before injuries gave him a reprieve, brilliantly curled the conversion through from the right touchline to edge the Blues in front with two and a half minutes remaining.
Seldom remembered, however, is the frantic final stages after NSW fumbled the kick-off. Des Hasler narrowly beat Willie Carne to a Langer kick in the Blues’ in-goal, while NSW was forced to rebuff more pressure after the subsequent line dropout with 50 seconds left. The home side hung on for a 14-12 win to level the series.