First of all, before we begin, I’ll point out that Sunday’s game is going to be played exactly 20 years to the day that Gorden Tallis rag-dolled Brett Hodgson out of bounds in Origin III of 2002:
The other memorable facet to that game is that Dane Carlaw scored a 50-metre try in the last minute to draw the game 18-18 and draw the series at 1 apiece, with Queensland retaining the shield as the holders, in what was the last drawn Origin game before the introduction of Golden Point.
Now, on to the feature presentation, and with State of Origin back in Perth after 3 years, here’s a look back at when I made my State of Origin attending debut in Game II of 2019, as the greatest rambling rugbaleeg roadshow made it’s mark on the people of Perth, with approximately 15,000 Eastern Staters invading WA, and I just happened to write a report on the night, which you can find here, and if you don’t want to, well, here’s a few highlights.
The fireworks incinerate the Queensland fans at the William Pike End of the ground, while Eskimo Joe performed some of their hits from the dark ages that we now call the mid-2000s
The pre game light show… I think Eskimo Joe were performing somewhere up in the rafters while noted New South Welshman Adam Gilchrist welcomed everyone to his home.
When I found out how the NRL operate The Bunker, after Tom Trbojevic got held up short of the line in the 1st Half:
Ah, back in the days when we had 2 referees, what a simpler time that was BP – Before Pete.
Here’s the video of star winger Penalty Try levelling the scores for Queensland…. it turned out to be their only try of the night.
When the rain started pissing down halfway through the 1st Half…. it made for a lovely cover photo
The half-time highlight, when scientists used stem cells to experiment with Steeden-Human hybrids:
The closest anyone in Perth got to witnessing a glorious Cattledog…. Back when Tommy Raudonikis was still with us, of course.
In the middle of an attack, Daly Cherry-Evans finds out that if it’s not a Mrs Macs, take it back.
I’d also add that if it’s not a Brownes Coffee Chill, it’s not a Brownes Coffee Chill.
Another thing I remember from the game was Nathan Cleary had to go off at half-time because he’d busted his ankle, which meant Wade Graham came off the bench and played the rest of the game alongside Cleary’s Panthers teammate James Maloney (Who got recalled for that Game II) in the halves, which wound up being more effective than 99% of New South Wales’ halves combinations in the last decade.
Funnily enough, I think Wade hurt his hamstring just shy of full-time.
The announcement for the crowd, and 59,721 was (at the time) a record attendance for Optus Stadium, which stood for a couple of months until it got overtaken by the 61,241 at the Bledisloe Cup test, and the 61,118 for last year’s AFL Grand Final:
With New South Wales up 32-6, James Maloney had an attempt at making it 26 consecutive kicks at goal…
He shanked it across the face.
That was also the last kick at goal Maloney ever missed in an Origin game, because he made his next kick, then went 5/5 in Game III, and in 2020 he was off to France.
And the post-game handshakes… You can distinctly see Alfie Langer in his yellow runner’s gear shaking hands
Finally, here’s a post-game photo of the great physical specimen known as Sir Thomas ‘Turbo’ Trbojevic, after becoming the first New South Wales player to score a hat-trick since Matt King in Game III of 2005.