1983 State of Origin series

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1983 State of Origin series
Won by Queensland colours.svg Queensland (2nd title)
Series margin   2-1
Points scored 117
Attendance 77,116 (ave. 25,705 per match)
Top points scorer(s) Queensland colours.svg Mal Meninga (30)
Top try scorer(s) New South Wales colours.svg Chris Anderson (3)

The 1983 State of Origin series was the 2nd time the annual three-game series between the New South Wales and Queensland rugby league teams was played entirely under "state of origin" selection rules.

After the Australian team had swept all before them in 1982, including sweeping New Zealand in the mid-season tests, before embarking on the highly successful 1982 Kangaroo tour where they became the first touring side to go through undefeated, winning all three Ashes tests against Great Britain and the two tests against France, the 1983 State of Origin series was billed as something of a mini World Championship. The winning state would have bragging rights over who had the best representative team in the world outside of the test team.


Game I[edit]

7 June[1]
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 24–12 New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales
(8 - 2 t) Wally Lewis
(4 - 1 t) Mark Murray
(12 - 6 g) Mal Meninga
(Report) Phil Sigsworth (4 - 2 g)
Eric Grothe, Sr. (4 - 1 t)
Steve Ella (4 - 1 t)
Lang Park, Brisbane
Attendance: 29,412
Referee/s: Barry Gomersall[2]
Man of the Match: Wally Lewis

Game I of 1983 was refereed leniently by Barry Gomersall who had "controlled" his previous Origin fixture (game II, 1982) in a similar fashion. Penrith's Darryl Brohman was making his Origin debut and with his ball skills and strong kicking game had been considered a strong possibility to force his way into the Australian side due to play New Zealand a few days later. Early in the first half Brohman's jaw was broken by a sickening elbow from Blues' second-rower Les Boyd which sidelined him for the rest of the season.[3] Gomersall awarded a penalty for the high shot, but allowed Boyd to stay on the field.

Boyd was later cited by the judiciary and received a twelve-month suspension[4] - the first of two massive barrings that eventually saw him relocate his career to England. It was to be Boyd's last representative appearance after 17 Tests and two Kangaroo Tours. Brohman meanwhile spent three months on the sideline nursing the injury and never represented Australia.

On the scoreboard Wally Lewis took control of the match. He scored twice in the first half and with Mal Meninga landing the conversions and potting three penalty goals, the Maroons lead 18-0 after 30 minutes and were able to ward off a magnificent New South Wales comeback.

Game II[edit]

For Game II of 1983 every member of the Blues' backline except fullback Marty Gurr came from the defending premiers, the Parramatta Eels. Players were required to represent their clubs in the season rounds between Origin clashes and a number of New South Wales players from Game I were injured in that weekend's round and unavailable for Game II. The Eels backline consisted of Neil Hunt, Mick Cronin, Steve Ella, Eric Grothe, Sr., Brett Kenny and Peter Sterling. The club also provided forwards Ray Price and Stan Jurd giving them eight of the Blues' 15 players.

21 June[5]
New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales 10–6 Queensland colours.svg Queensland
(2 - 1 g) Mick Cronin
(4 - 1 t) Neil Hunt
(4 - 1 t) Steve Ella
(Report) Mal Meninga (6 - 1t,1g)
SCG, Sydney
Attendance: 21,620
Referee/s: John Gocher[6]
Man of the Match: Peter Sterling

The match became a battle of attrition on a muddy SCG and the Blues kept the series alive with a 10-6 victory in which the Parramatta connection scored all the points - tries to Hunt and Ella, converted by Cronin. For Queensland Mal Meninga scored and converted a try.

Peter Sterling continued his ongoing selection battle with Steve Mortimer and fully repaid the selectors' confidence masterfully orchestrating the Blues' play and winning the first of his four Origin man-of-the-match awards.

Game III[edit]

28 June[7]
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 43–22 New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales
(4 - 1 t) Gene Miles
(4 - 1 t) Steve Stacey
(4 - 1 t) Bryan Neibling
(4 - 1 t) Dave Brown
(12 - 6 g) Mal Meninga
(4 - 1 t) Greg Conescu
(2 - 1 g) Colin Scott
(1 - 1 fg) Wally Lewis
(8 - 2 t) Mitch Brennan
(Report) Mick Cronin (6 - 3 g)
Chris Anderson (12 - 3 t)
Steve Mortimer (4 - 1 t)
Lang Park, Brisbane
Attendance: 26,084
Referee/s: Robin Whitfield[8]
Man of the Match: Wally Lewis

The series decider at Lang Park was billed as "the clash of the decade" but Lewis was brilliant and the game was never a contest. Queensland led 21-0 at half-time[9] and 33-0 before the Blues scored four late consolation tries.

The 43-22 Maroons victory was the biggest since 1955[10] and set the standing record for the most points scored by Queensland in an Origin match and also featured another record - the first time three tries were scored by a single player in an Origin match (by Blues' winger Chris Anderson). Another record was set a week later when Queensland had nine players selected in the Australian side to meet the Kiwis.

Peter Sterling missed the deciding game due to injury and with Steve Mortimer nipping at his heels it proved an expensive absence enabling Mortimer to go on to retain the New South Wales position, win back his Australian jumper and keep Sterling at bay in their representative rivalry for the next two years.

Teams[edit]

New South Wales[edit]

Position Game I Game II Game III
Fullback Canterbury colours.svg Greg Brentnall Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Marty Gurr
Wing Canterbury colours.svg Chris Anderson Parramatta colours.svg Neil Hunt
Centre Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Phil Sigsworth Parramatta colours.svg Mick Cronin
Centre Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny Parramatta colours.svg Steve Ella
Wing Parramatta colours.svg Eric Grothe, Sr. Canterbury colours.svg Chris Anderson
Five-eighth Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Alan Thompson Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny
Halfback Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling Canterbury colours.svg Steve Mortimer
Prop Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Geoff Gerard Parramatta colours.svg Geoff Bugden
Hooker Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Max Krilich (c) Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Ray Brown Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Max Krilich (c)
Prop Parramatta colours.svg Geoff Bugden North Sydney colours.svg Lindsay Johnston
Second Row Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Les Boyd Cronulla colours.svg Gavin Miller Parramatta colours.svg Stan Jurd
Second Row Balmain colours.svg Wayne Pearce Paul Field
Lock Parramatta colours.svg Ray Price Parramatta colours.svg Ray Price (c) Cronulla colours.svg Gavin Miller
Replacement Parramatta colours.svg Steve Ella Canterbury colours.svg Steve Mortimer Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Kevin Hastings
Replacement Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Ray Brown Parramatta colours.svg Stan Jurd Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Ray Brown
Coach New South Wales colours.svg Ted Glossop

Queensland[edit]

Position Game I Game II Game III
Fullback Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Colin Scott
Wing Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg John Ribot Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Terry Butler Balmain colours.svg Steve Stacey
Centre Western Suburbs colours.svg Mal Meninga
Centre Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles
Wing Balmain colours.svg Steve Stacey Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Chris Close Redcliffe colours.svg Mitch Brennan
Five-eighth Valleys colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
Halfback Redcliffe colours.svg Mark Murray
Prop Western Suburbs colours.svg Brad Tessmann
Hooker Norths Devils colours.svg Greg Conescu
Prop Panthers colours.svg Darryl Brohman Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dave Brown
Second Row Valleys colours.svg Bryan Niebling
Second Row Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Paul Vautin Redcliffe colours.svg Wally Fullerton-Smith
Lock Redcliffe colours.svg Wally Fullerton-Smith Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Paul Vautin
Replacement Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Brett French Western Suburbs colours.svg Bruce Astill
Replacement Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dave Brown Norths Devils colours.svg Ross Henrick Balmain colours.svg Gavin Jones
Coach Queensland colours.svg Arthur Beetson

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ 1983 State of Origin game 1 at nrlstats.com
  2. ^ State Of Origin - Game 1, 1983 at stats.rleague.com
  3. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby league's greatest contest 1980 - 2002. University of Queensland Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7022-3383-8. 
  4. ^ Steve Ricketts, Barry Dick, Paul Malone (23 May 2012). "The 30 greatest controversies in 30 years of State of Origin series". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  5. ^ 1983 State of Origin game 2 at nrlstats.com
  6. ^ State Of Origin - Game 2, 1983 at stats.rleague.com
  7. ^ 1983 State of Origin game 3 at nrlstats.com
  8. ^ State Of Origin - Game 3, 1983 at stats.rleague.com
  9. ^ Barrow, Tim (6 July 2011). "State of Origin: The deciders". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  10. ^ foxsports.com.au (1 July 2008). "Classic State of Origin IIIs". Fox Sports (Australia: Premier Media Group). Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  • Big League's 25 Years of Origin Collectors' Edition, News Magazines, Surry Hills, Sydney

External links[edit]