State of Origin: The top 5 Melbourne moments
From the first tentative steps in 1990 to a record Origin crowd at the MCG in 2015, Melbourne has provided a grand stage for rugby league's showpiece.
1. History in the making, Game 2, 1994
June 8, 1994 was something very special as league's finest strutted their stuff on Australia's biggest sporting stage in front of 87,161 fans. So pumped up were Phil Gould's men that they held Queensland scoreless – the only other time that has happened in Origin history was Game One in 1990.
Among the Blues' best was Glenn Lazarus, who scored a try under the sticks and shared the post-game celebrations with cricket great David Boon, who he had met at a Gabba Test match a few years earlier. The Brick With Eyes even gave The Keg On Legs his jersey.
2. Let's get it on! Game 2, 1995
The good folk of Melbourne had never seen the likes of it. Just three minutes in and the first scrum erupted, almost as if it had been scripted. Blues hooker Jim Serdaris let one fly and then it was on for young and old. Manly clubmates John Hopoate and Danny Moore traded blows, while heavyweights David Barnhill and Billy Moore threw plenty but collected with none.
When the dust finally settled, it was Paul Vautin's Maroons who went on to get the win, securing a famous series victory.
3. Welcome to Melbourne, Game 2, 1990
After a decade of games in Brisbane and Sydney, and the novelty that was California in 1987, rugby league ventured south to Melbourne's Olympic Park. The curious crowd of 25,800 may not have had much idea what was going on but they lapped up the big hits and got to see legends like Lewis and Langer and Stuart and Elias in full cry.
And speaking of Stuart, it was the Canberra No.7 who stole the show with an 80-metre intercept to set up a 12-6 win. New ground had been broken and the seeds planted for what was to come in 1994.
4. Hayne Plane Grounded, Game One, 2009
Not much went wrong for Jarryd Hayne in an incredible 2009 season but at Etihad Stadium on June 3 one blade of grass robbed him of a memorable Origin moment. The Blues flyer stood up Israel Folau on halfway before shifting into overdrive down the left wing.
In the blink of an eye, the Hayne Plane had landed in the in-goal and the Blues had an early lead – or so they thought. Referee Tony Archer went upstairs to check whether Hayne's flashy boots had grazed the sideline en route to the line. Debate raged as countless replays were viewed but in the end the try was disallowed. The Blues dropped their heads and dropped the game.
5. Now that's a crowd, Game 2, 2015
Origin was back at the MCG for the first time in 18 years and Melbourne took the opportunity to remind everyone why it is considered the sporting capital of Australia. A massive crowd of 91,513, the biggest in Origin history, made the pilgrimage to see NSW level the series with a 26-18 win which showcased the brute force of Aaron Woods and the brilliance of Michael Jennings, who became the first centre since Greg Inglis in Game 2, 2008 to take man of the match honours.