1984 State of Origin series

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1984 State of Origin series
Won by Queensland colours.svg Queensland (3rd series title)
Series margin   2-1
Points scored 91
Attendance 79,309 (ave. 26,436 per match)
Top points scorer(s) New South Wales colours.svg Ross Conlon (18)
Top try scorer(s) Queensland colours.svg Kerry Boustead (4)

The 1984 State of Origin series was the third time the annual three-game series between the representative rugby league football teams of New South Wales and Queensland was played entirely under "state of origin" selection rules. With Queensland wrapping up the series in the first two matches it produced the first dead-rubber finish and an infamous opening minute brawl in game II.


Game I[edit]

The New South Wales attitude to State of Origin had changed somewhat for the 1984 series, with the Blues squad being excused from their club duties the weekend prior to the first match and undergoing an intensive training camp, signalling the NSWRL's commitment to taking the series seriously.[1] Canterbury-Bankstown halfback Steve Mortimer was originally selected as the Blues halfback, but withdrew with a hamstring injury. Mortimer later confirmed he had actually faked the injury as he wasn't happy with the selection of long-time rival Peter Sterling on the bench. Mortimer felt that with Sterling's Parramatta team mate Ray Price as team captain, he would not have a voice or be able to run the team on the field as he wished to. Sterling was elevated to the starting line up after Mortimer's withdrawal with St George's Brian Hetherington selected as the reserve back.

29 May[2]
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 29–12 New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales
(12 - 3 t) Kerry Boustead
(4 - 1 t) Paul Vautin
(5 - 1 t, 1 fg) Wally Lewis
(4 - 1 t) Gene Miles
(4 - 2 g) Mal Meninga
(Report) Ross Conlon (8 - 4 g)
Noel Cleal (4 - 1 t)
Lang Park
Attendance: 33,662
Referee/s: Kevin Roberts[3]
Man of the Match: Wally Lewis

Queensland were motivated by the announcement that New South Wales coach Frank Stanton had been appointed as Australian national coach for the upcoming Ashes series against Great Britain. Queensland's own coach and favoured Origin son, Arthur Beetson was being dumped in favour of Stanton and notwithstanding that Stanton was merely returning to the helm having previously steered the national side on two triumphant Kangaroo tours, the Maroons were keen to avenge the honour of Beetson who had been dumped as Australian coach following the Kangaroos 19-12 loss to New Zealand at Lang Park in 1983.

The Maroons won the match 29-12 with Manly-Warringah winger Kerry Boustead achieving the rare Origin honour of scoring three tries.

Game II[edit]

19 June[4]
Queensland colours.svg Queensland 14–2 New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales
(4 - 1 t) Greg Dowling
(4 - 1 t) Gene Miles
(6 - 3 g) Mal Meninga
(Report) Ross Conlon (2 - 1 g)
Sydney Cricket Ground
Attendance: 29,088
Referee/s: Barry Gomersall[5]
Man of the Match: Wally Lewis

Game II was played on a horribly cold and wet night that saw almost 30,000 cram into the Sydney Cricket Ground, signalling that finally the New South Wales public had embraced the Origin concept. The mud, rain and tolerant eye of referee Barry Gomersall combined to form an explosive mix. Progress was arduous in the SCG quagmire and handling almost impossible.

Blues prop Steve Roach triggered an all-in brawl in the second tackle of the match with players trading blows for more than a minute afterwards in three separate melees. The sight of Chris Close, his jumper torn off, going blow-for-blow with New South Wales lock Ray Price became an enduring Origin image. When order was finally restored, Gomersall merely awarded a penalty against the Blues and allowed play to continue.

Both sides dug in for a slogging defensive contest and not surprisingly, when Gomersall called a halt for half-time, neither side had scored. So bad were conditions, Blues second-rower Noel Cleal attempted a line drop out only for the ball to stick in the gluey mud and trickle a metre forward. The deadlock was only broken when Mal Meninga landed a penalty goal. shortly afterwardse Queensland prop Greg Dowling scored a memorable Origin try. Lewis had been peppering the New South wales line with his searching kicks and chipped ahead, aiming for the in-goal area. In a moment of good fortune for the Maroons the ball struck the cross-bar and Dowling who had been following through, took an extraordinary catch on his finger tips centimetres from the rain soaked ground and plunged across the line in a splash of mud to score and give Queensland an 8-0 lead.[6]

The Blues responded with a penalty goal to winger Ross Conlon reducing the Queensland lead to a converted try but when Maroon centre Gene Miles powered his way over the line from dummy half, the Queensland lead extended to 14-2 and there was no way back for the Blues.

Game III[edit]

With the series decided in Sydney, game III at Lang Park became a dead-rubber but was significant for the selection of Canterbury Bulldogs half-back Steve Mortimer as captain of New South Wales for the first time after Ray Price had elected to stand down from representative football following the third Ashes Test.

New South Wales selectors took the opportunity to blood a number of young players for the first time like Chris Mortimer, Pat Jarvis and Peter Wynn who along with Mortimer would play dominant roles in the Blues revival of 1985.

17 July[7]
New South Wales colours.svg New South Wales 22–12 Queensland colours.svg Queensland
(10 - 5 g) Ross Conlon
(8 - 2 t) Brian Johnston
(4 - 1 t) Noel Cleal
(Report) Kerry Boustead (4 - 1 t)
Bob Lindner (4 - 1 t)
Mal Meninga (4 - 2 g)
Lang Park
Attendance: 16,559
Referee/s: Kevin Roberts[8]
Man of the Match: Steve Mortimer

Mortimer inspired New South Wales to a 22-12 victory which avoided the embarrassment of a series whitewash and earned for himself the man of the match award.

Teams[edit]

New South Wales Blues[edit]

Position Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
Fullback Balmain colours.svg Garry Jack
Wing Parramatta colours.svg Eric Grothe, Sr. St. George colours.svg Steve Morris
Centre Parramatta colours.svg Steve Ella Canterbury colours.svg Andrew Farrar Canterbury colours.svg Chris Mortimer
Centre Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny St. George colours.svg Brian Johnston
Wing Canterbury colours.svg Ross Conlon
Five-eighth Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Alan Thompson Canterbury colours.svg Terry Lamb Parramatta colours.svg Brett Kenny
Halfback Parramatta colours.svg Peter Sterling Canterbury colours.svg Steve Mortimer Canterbury colours.svg Steve Mortimer (c)
Prop Balmain colours.svg Steve Roach
Hooker Rex Wright Panthers colours.svg Royce Simmons
Prop St. George colours.svg Craig Young Canterbury colours.svg Peter Tunks St. George colours.svg Pat Jarvis
Second row Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Noel Cleal
Second row Balmain colours.svg Wayne Pearce St. George colours.svg Chris Walsh
Lock Parramatta colours.svg Ray Price (c) Parramatta colours.svg Peter Wynn
Interchange Illawarra colours.svg Brian Hetherington Parramatta colours.svg Steve Ella Canterbury colours.svg Mick Potter
Interchange St. George colours.svg Pat Jarvis Canterbury colours.svg Peter Tunks
Coach New South Wales colours.svg Frank Stanton

Queensland Maroons[edit]

Position Game 1 Game 2 Game 3
Fullback Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Colin Scott
Wing Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Kerry Boustead Redcliffe colours.svg John Ribot
Centre Western Suburbs colours.svg Mal Meninga Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Chris Close Western Suburbs colours.svg Mal Meninga
Centre Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Gene Miles Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Brett French
Wing Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Chris Close Western Suburbs colours.svg Mal Meninga Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Kerry Boustead
Five-eighth Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Wally Lewis (c)
Halfback Redcliffe colours.svg Mark Murray Norths Devils colours.svg Ross Henrick
Prop Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Greg Dowling
Hooker Norths Devils colours.svg Greg Conescu
Prop Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Dave Brown
Second row Redcliffe colours.svg Bryan Niebling Parramatta colours.svg Chris Phelan
Second row Redcliffe colours.svg Wally Fullerton Smith
Lock Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Paul Vautin Western Suburbs colours.svg Bob Lindner
Interchange Wynnum-Manly Colours.svg Brett French Western Suburbs colours.svg Bob Lindner Bob Kellaway
Interchange Western Suburbs colours.svg Bob Lindner Wests Panthers Colours.svg Tony Currie
Coach Queensland colours.svg Arthur Beetson

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Gallaway, Jack (2003). Origin: Rugby league's greatest contest 1980 - 2002. University of Queensland Press. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-7022-3383-8. 
  2. ^ 1984 State of Origin game 1 at nrlstats.com
  3. ^ State Of Origin - Game 1, 1984 at stats.rleague.com
  4. ^ 1984 State of Origin game 2 at nrlstats.com
  5. ^ State Of Origin - Game 2, 1984 at stats.rleague.com
  6. ^ "State of Origin - 1980s". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia: Fairfax Digital). 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  7. ^ 1984 State of Origin game 3 at nrlstats.com
  8. ^ State Of Origin - Game 3, 1984 at stats.rleague.com
  • Big League's 25 Years of Origin Collectors' Edition, News Magazines, Surry Hills, Sydney

External links[edit]