Game One of this year's Holden State of Origin Series marks the 100th clash between fierce rugby league rivals New South Wales and Queensland. To mark the occasion NRL.com is reliving 100 of the most iconic moments of the past 34 years of this compelling contest. Right through to Game Three on July 9, we'll publish videos of the Milestones, Superstars, Gamebreakers, Superplays, Heroes, Emotions and Controversy - all of the exciting elements that have made Origin the most-watched spectacle in rugby league. This week: Origin's Greatest Superstars.
100. 1980: Chris Close try crowns his man-of-the-match performance
8th July, 1980: the day that State of Origin left its mark on the rugby league calendar forever. While it will be mostly remembered for Arthur Beetson's sole Origin appearance and Queensland's 20-10 victory over their more fancied Blues team, history will always read that Chris Close was the first (and subsequently second) Man of the Match recipient in Origin. Close's crowning glory was his 25-metre try in the second half that saw him break through the New South Wales defence. With fullback Graham Eadie to beat a deceivingly quick Close raced around his future Manly teammate to put the icing on the cake for the Maroons to kick-off one of the greatest rugby league concepts ever.