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!
No.2 in our countdown rates as one of the greatest individual tries in the code’s history, and surely the finest touchdown scored by a player on Origin debut.
Jarryd Hayne was chosen on the NSW flank for the 2007 series opener to become the second-youngest Blues player and fourth-youngest Origin player overall (19 years and 97 days), and showcased his freakish ability as the halftime siren sounded at Suncorp Stadium.
He trapped an attempted kick ahead by opposing winger Brent Tate on halfway, before fending off Justin Hodges, tip-toeing down the sideline and kicking downfield to evade the covering tackle of Jacob Lillyman.
The ball sat up for the teenager five metres out from the Queensland line, and he beat the chase of Hodges to dive over and give the Blues an 18-6 lead at the break.
But Hayne transformed from hero to villain during the second half; the Maroons had fought back to 18-all when Hayne retrieved a long kick on his own 10-metre line near the sideline, but his ill-conceived one-handed pass off the ground drifted past Blues fullback Anthony Minichiello, allowing Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer to sweep through and score the decisive try.
The 25-18 loss prevented Hayne’s scintillating solo try from taking on the same mythical status as Billy Slater’s kick-and-chase effort in 2004, but it is its equal in terms of quality…even slightly better in our opinion.