Wayne Bartrim was a fiery, dynamic hooker/lock with the Gold Coast Seagulls and St George Dragons, and one of the best clutch goalkickers of the 1990s.
A Test and Origin rep, Bartrim enjoyed undoubtedly his finest honour in the Dragons’ elimination final defeat of Laurie Daley’s Canberra Raiders in week one of the 1996 finals.
Playing in the No.13, Bartrim used to dummy-half experience to exploit the Raiders’ marker defence and embark on a mesmerising 45-metre run to the try-line, evading a string of Canberra players in one of the great solo touchdowns scored in a finals match.
The Saints trailed 14-10 with eight minutes left, before Anthony Mundine set up a controversial leveller for Mark Bell with a ‘mouse-trap’ decoy play at dummy-half.
The scene was set for Bartrim to be the hero, and he obliged by sinking the match-winning conversion from the right-hand touchline, coupling his astounding try with one of the greatest goals in premiership history.
The Dragons rode their momentum all the way to the grand final, where they were halted by Manly, 20-8.
Bartrim played five Tests for Australia in 1995-96, while he kicked 11 goals in nine Origin matches for Queensland – including the only points of his debut, the Maroons’ unforgettable 2-0 triumph in the 1995 series opener.
The combative utility finished his 232-game career – which included another grand final loss with St George Illawarra in 1999 – in 2001 with 1,158 points, the second-most points in first grade by a forward to that time.