Building up to the State of Origin series opener at Suncorp Stadium, we’re counting down the 10 greatest individual displays in Origin history.
No.2 in our list is perhaps the crowning moment in the Origin career of the concept’s most influential player, Queensland legend Wally Lewis.
‘The King’ won eight man-of-the-match awards at Origin level, but his finest hand came in the Maroons’ backs-to-wall game two triumph at the SFS in 1989.
Lewis produced a trademark long ball in the lead-up to Michael Hancock’s first half try, but a succession of injuries left the exhausted Maroons with an empty bench during the second half. The captain kick-started another long-range tryscoring movement – finished by Kerrod Walters – for the Maroons to reclaim the lead, before scoring arguably Origin’s most famous individual try with 22 minutes left on the clock.
Receiving the ball 35 metres out following a NSW fumble, Lewis defied the defence on a mesmerising, arcing run to score in the corner, displaying equal parts strength, speed, guile and determination. The try – one of the most replayed in Origin’s history – put Queensland 10 points in front, hanging on to seal the series 16-12. Lewis was an emphatic man-of-the-match.