2001 State of Origin series

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2001 State of Origin series
Won by Queensland colours.svg Queensland (10th title)
Series margin   2-1
Points scored 138
Attendance 158,599 (ave. 52,866 per match)
Top points scorer(s) Queensland colours.svg Darren Lockyer (34)
Top try scorer(s) Queensland colours.svg Chris Walker (4)

The 2001 State of Origin series was the 20th year that the annual three-game series between the Queensland and New South Wales representative rugby league football teams was contested entirely under 'state of origin' selection rules. The series was notable for marking the first time an England-based player was selected for State of Origin: Maroons legend Allan Langer was asked to make his comeback for the third and deciding match of the series and did so, helping Queensland re-claim the shield in Brisbane.[1]

Game I[edit]

Queensland stalwart coach Wayne Bennett made it a personal mission to regain the great loss of credibility suffered from the 2000 series whitewash and 40 point last game defeat and decided he wanted his old Maroon coaching job back after a two year sojourn.

May 22, 2001
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 34–16 New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales
Darren Lockyer (14 - 1t,5g)
Darren Smith (4 - 1t)
John Buttigieg (4 - 1t)
John Doyle (4 - 1t)
Carl Webb (4 - 1t)
Chis Walker (4 - 1t)
(Report) (4 - 2g) Michael De Vere
(4 - 1t) Matthew Gidley
(4 - 1t) Brad Fittler
(4 - 1t) Trent Barrett
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 38,909
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan
Man of the Match: Gorden Tallis

In game I Queensland blooded no less than ten new players[2] and Wayne Bennett gambled on the likes of Brisbane Broncos forward Carl Webb and North Queensland Cowboys John Buttigieg and John Doyle who were relative unknowns. But they each announced their representative arrival in dramatic style with a try each in the first game, won 34-16 by the Maroons in the last match played at the "old" Suncorp Stadium. The most spectacular was Webb's two minutes before half-time when he brushed off three defenders before powering his way across the line.

Game II[edit]

Queensland went into game 2 without captain Gorden Tallis who was out with a neck injury.

June 10, 2001
New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales 26–8 Queensland colours.svg Queensland
Brad Fittler (8 - 2t)
Ryan Girdler (6 - 3g)
Jamie Ainscough (4 - 1t)
Trent Barrett (4 - 1t)
Luke Ricketson (4 - 1t)
(Report) (4 - 2g) Darren Lockyer
(4 - 1t) Chris Walker
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 70,249
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan
Man of the Match: Trent Barrett

Played before 70,000 at Telstra Stadium, Blues skipper Brad Fittler scored two tries in what was to be his last match for NSW on home soil and inspired his side to a 26-8 victory. Man of the match was Trent Barrett playing halfback for the first time due to injuries to Brett Kimmorley and Andrew Johns. Debutante Mark O'Meley was particularly impressive, setting up Fittler's first try after 53 minutes with a smashing run that sent defenders skittling.

Game III[edit]

The lead up to Game III was dominated by emotion regarding Brad Fittler's pending retirement from representative football after 29 Origin appearances. But with the series tied at one game apiece Queensland needed some special emotion of their own to avoid a loss. Without inspirational captain Tallis and an established halves pairing, coach Bennett undertook furtive negotiations with Maroon's veteran Allan Langer, then in his second English season and captain of the Warrington Wolves, and the rumours were only confirmed after Langer had boarded a plane (under a false name) for the flight home, bound for his 31st career Origin appearance.[3] At almost 35 years of age, Langer was named in his famous No.7 jersey for the first time since leaving Australia part-way through the 1999 NRL season.

1 July
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 40–14[4] New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales
Darren Lockyer (16 - 2t,4g)
Chris Walker (8 - 2t)
Paul Bowman (8 - 2t)
Allan Langer (4 - 1t)
Dane Carlaw (4 - 1t)
(Report) (14 - 2t,3g) Ryan Girdler
ANZ Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 49,441
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan
Man of the Match: Darren Lockyer

Despite NSW centre Ryan Girdler scoring the fastest try in Origin history after 39 seconds, Queensland took a 28-8 lead into the break with Langer heavily involved in three of the Maroons' first half tries. Alongside Darren Lockyer who created his own form of havoc, Langer tore New South Wales to shreds and capped his comeback in the 54th minute when he scored a trademark solo try from close range to sentence the Blues to a series-deciding loss and Fittler to his own bittersweet representative farewell (although he would make a comeback three years later and help his state to a victory in his final year before retirement).

Sydney's The Daily Telegraph reacted to the New South Wales team's Origin loss with this headline on the front of its paper on July 2, 2001: "BLOODY ALF".[5]

New South Wales squad[edit]

Position Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
Fullback Newcastle colours.svg Mark Hughes
Wing St. George colours.svg Jamie Ainscough
Centre Brisbane colours.svg Michael De Vere Penrith colours.svg Ryan Girdler
Centre Newcastle colours.svg Matt Gidley
Wing Newcastle colours.svg Adam MacDougall
Five-Eighth Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Brad Fittler (c)
Halfback Northern Eagles colours.svg Brett Kimmorley St. George colours.svg Trent Barrett Northern Eagles colours.svg Brett Kimmorley
Prop Cronulla colours.svg Jason Stevens
Hooker Brisbane colours.svg Luke Priddis
Prop Melbourne colours.svg Robbie Kearns Northern Eagles colours.svg Mark O'Meley
Second Row Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Bryan Fletcher
Second Row Parramatta colours.svg Nathan Hindmarsh Northern Eagles colours.svg Adam Muir
Lock Canberra colours.svg Jason Croker Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Luke Ricketson Parramatta colours.svg Andrew Ryan
Interchange St. George colours.svg Trent Barrett Penrith colours.svg Craig Gower
Interchange Parramatta colours.svg Michael Vella
Interchange Newcastle colours.svg Ben Kennedy Penrith colours.svg Matt Adamson
Interchange Melbourne colours.svg Rodney Howe Parramatta colours.svg Andrew Ryan Northern Eagles colours.svg Steve Menzies
Coach Wayne Pearce

Queensland squad[edit]

Position Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
Fullback Brisbane colours.svg Darren Lockyer Brisbane colours.svg Darren Lockyer (c)
Wing Brisbane colours.svg Lote Tuqiri
Centre Canterbury colours.svg Darren Smith Brisbane colours.svg Chris Walker
Centre North Queensland colours.svg Paul Bowman
Wing Brisbane colours.svg Wendell Sailor
Five-Eighth Parramatta colours.svg Daniel Wagon
Halfback Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Paul Green Wolvescolours.svg Allan Langer
Prop Brisbane colours.svg Shane Webcke
Hooker New Zealand colours.svg Kevin Campion Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Paul Green
Prop North Queensland colours.svg John Buttigieg Melbourne colours.svg Russell Bawden North Queensland colours.svg John Buttigieg
Second Row Brisbane colours.svg Gorden Tallis (c) Brisbane colours.svg Dane Carlaw Brisbane colours.svg Brad Meyers
Second Row Brisbane colours.svg Petero Civoniceva
Lock Brisbane colours.svg Brad Meyers Canterbury colours.svg Darren Smith
Interchange Brisbane colours.svg Chris Walker New Zealand colours.svg Kevin Campion
Interchange Cronulla colours.svg Chris Beattie Brisbane colours.svg Carl Webb
Interchange Brisbane colours.svg Carl Webb Brisbane colours.svg Dane Carlaw
Interchange North Queensland colours.svg John Doyle North Queensland colours.svg Nathan Fien North Queensland colours.svg John Doyle
Coach Brisbane colours.svg Wayne Bennett

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, Michael (2008). Great Australian Sporting Moments. Australia: The Miegunyah Press. ISBN 978-0-522-85547-0. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Prichard, Greg (2010-06-15). "Scandals, losing streaks, injuries but there's never been a lost cause". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  3. ^ Crawley, Steve (2001-06-25). "Alf's back". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Digital). p. 21. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  4. ^ Barrow, Tim (6 July 2011). "State of Origin: The deciders". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  • Big League's 25 Years of Origin Collectors' Edition, News Magazines, Surry Hills, Sydney