From stapled wounds to commentary oopsies to flying cans of XXXX, our highlights of the Origin history book
First published on 3 Jul 2012. Updated on 3 Jul 2012.
State of Origin. It is the most coveted win in the Rugby League calendar. Such is its popularity, promoters now are billing it the greatest rivalry in sporting history (ahem, calm down). But things don’t always go to plan. Time Out has rummaged through the archives to dig up the strange, funny and downright obscene moments that make this series so loveable.
Rabs drops a K-bomb
In 2007, Veteran commentator Ray “Rabbit’s” Warren committed a tragic faux pas when he inadvertently made a portmanteau out of Maroons fullback Karmichael Hunt. Language warning!
Bob gets it wrong
Despite the current hype around State of Origin, back in its early days, the concept did not float well with many purists. When the inaugural match was announced in 1980, former Kangaroo’s captain Bob Fulton called it “the non-event of the century.” Good call, Bob.
State of Hollywood
There’s been a lot of criticism of the recent move to hosting an Origin match each year in Melbourne. But back in 1987, the game’s administrators took it a step further. New South Wales played Queensland in a Rugby League match in Long Beach Califorina. The Blues won 30-18 in front of 12,000 confused locals. All subsequent fixtures have been played on Aussie soil.
We Will Rock You
Rugby League and music don’t go well together. The Bon Jovi theme song of the 2012 campaign is further proof of that. But this re-imagination of the Queen classic in the build up to the 1995 series is a particular stinker. “Making big hits all over the place...” Really? Definitely no Mercury fist pump for this!
Bella in reverse
One of the more comic Origin moments came when Queenslander Martin Bella, evidently concussed from a tackle, got up to play the ball in the complete wrong direction, gifting the Blues the ball in quite bizarre circumstances.
When Wally Lewis was sent off the field in Game 2 of 1988, Queensland fans showed their dismay by pelting NSW players, and referee Mick Stone, with cans of XXXX beer. Dangerous, sure. But fantastic product placement of Queensland’s staple brew.
All your stationary needs
Speaking of staples, the Blues medic found a new use for the office item when he planted a few in Michael De Vere’s head to mend an nasty gash. On a side note, it is a little known fact that Micheal De Vere changed his name from Michael Hunt. But why? Michael Hunt. Mike Hu... oh, we get it now!
Gordy’s mum’s a….
Maroons hard man Gordon Tallis was (and is) a man generally best left un-provoked. So just what a young Blues fan was thinking when he referred to the passionate Queenslander’s mother in a banner he held at game 3 in 2002, is beyond us. Legend has it Lote Tuquiri told Tallis the banner read 'Gordy’s mum’s a pig!', inciting the big forward to give the crowd a one finger salute after the game’s climatic finish. After the match, the banner maker insisted the sign actually read ‘Gordy’s mum’s a rig’. Not a great case in his defence, perhaps.
A mother sees her son come from the field with blood streaming down his face and her maternal instincts lurch her from the stands to wipe the blood in an emotional display of motherly love. Mosman Under 10s? No, this was Barbara Elias, mother of ex-Blues skipper Benny, at the SFS following game one of the 1992 series. A touching moment in the often brutish game, and one for mothers everywhere. Head to about the 48th minute mark.