1999 State of Origin series
|1999 State of Origin series|
|Won by||(series drawn; Queensland retained the title)|
|Attendance||165,800 (ave. 55,267 per match)|
|Top points scorer(s)||Mat Rogers (17)|
|Top try scorer(s)||Matt Geyer (2)|
The 1999 State of Origin series saw the 18th 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 drawn and the shield retained by the previous year's victors, Queensland. Each team claimed victory in a game and the deciding fixture finished at 10-all. It was the first series to end in a draw.
Wednesday, May 26, 1999
|Queensland||9–8||New South Wales|
|Mat Rogers (9 - 4g, 1fg)||(Report)||(4 - 2g) Ryan Girdler|
(4 - 1t) Anthony Mundine
Game I was a dour affair played in hot and steamy conditions at Suncorp Stadium with Queensland scraping in 9-8. The match was memorable for winger Mat Rogers' debut. Despite straining a ligament and being forced from the field, the gutsy flanker returned to score all of Maroons' points including a field goal (the first of his career) six minutes from game's end to win the encounter.
Wednesday, 9 June, 1999
|New South Wales||12–8||Queensland|
|Laurie Daley (4 - 1t)
Ryan Girdler (4 - 2g)
Robbie Ross (4 - 1t)
|(Report)||(8 - 1t, 2g) Mat Rogers|
Game II was played at the new Olympic venue, Stadium Australia, in driving rain and in front of a record crowd. Manly captain, Geoff Toovey returned to the hooking position for NSW after not being selected for Game I. The conditions implied it would be another dour battle, but it turned out otherwise. Melbourne Storm fullback Robbie Ross grabbed his own piece of Origin history by scoring the fastest try in Origin after just 42 seconds. It temporarily took the wind out of the sails of Kevin Walters' Maroons.
All the scoring was done in the first half with a try to Rogers and conversion which put Queensland momentarily in front before Laurie Daley, making his final Origin appearance in Sydney, tore onto an Andrew Johns pass and scored under the posts. Sideline commentator, Steve Roach, commented during the telecast that the difference between the two teams was the return of Toovey, who kept the opposing "markers honest" and whose delivery from hooker to his halves' partners was sublime throughout the soggy affair. After the match, and in company with other NSW retirees Paul Harragon and Andrew Ettingshausen, Daley completed a lap of honour.
Wednesday, 23 June 1999
|Queensland||10–10||New South Wales|
|Darren Lockyer (6 - 1t, 1g)
Paul Green (4 - 1t)
|(Report)||(8 -2 t) Matt Geyer |
(2 - 1g) Ryan Girdler
Game III played at Suncorp in treacherous wet conditions, featured plenty of dropped ball, but some of the skills on show made up for the errors. NSW captain, Brad Fittler was unavailable due to undergoing groin surgery earlier in the month. Laurie Daley once again demonstrated his prowess by miraculously scooping up a ball at his feet and off-loading to Terry Hill who then sent Matt Geyer over. Queensland's Paul Green somehow found his way through Ben Kennedy and Luke Ricketson to score and with Lockyer's conversion the Maroons led 6-4.
Adrian Lam whose club doctor at the Sydney Roosters had refused to allow him to play because of a dislocated shoulder, was cleared to play for Queensland and proved his worth by squeezing out a miracle pass to put Lockyer over. Geyer then scored for the Blues after an unlikely kick through by prop Rodney Howe to level the scores. Queensland, knowing a draw would be enough to retain the shield, had no interest in a field goal and put all their energy into holding New South Wales out.
The Blues were almost there until an inside pass from Daley to Ross went to ground. The Blues players stood around dumbfounded as the Queenslanders celebrated, having retained the title as per the rules of State of Origin at the time.
New South Wales squad
|Position||Game 1||Game 2||Game 3|
|Wing||Darren Albert||Adam MacDougall|
|Centre||Laurie Daley||Ryan Girdler|
|Five-Eighth||Brad Fittler (c)||Laurie Daley||Laurie Daley (c)|
|Prop||Jason Stevens||Mark Carroll|
|Hooker||Craig Gower||Geoff Toovey||Geoff Toovey|
|Second Row||Bryan Fletcher|
|Second Row||David Barnhill||Nik Kosef||David Furner|
|Lock||Nik Kosef||Brad Fittler (c)||Nik Kosef|
|Interchange||Glenn Lazarus||Michael Vella|
|Interchange||Ryan Girdler||Ben Kennedy|
|Position||Game 1||Game 2||Game 3|
|Fullback||Robbie O'Davis||Darren Lockyer|
|Wing||Mat Rogers||Robbie O'Davis|
|Centre||Darren Smith||Matt Sing||Tonie Carroll|
|Centre||Matt Sing||Darren Smith|
|Five-Eighth||Kevin Walters||Kevin Walters (c)||Ben Ikin|
|Halfback||Adrian Lam (c)||Paul Green||Adrian Lam (c)|
|Second Row||Gorden Tallis|
|Second Row||Chris McKenna|
|Interchange||Ben Ikin||Paul Green|
|Interchange||Tonie Carroll||Brad Thorn|
- Big League's 25 Years of Origin Collectors' Edition, News Magazines, Surry Hills, Sydney