Johnathan Thurston celebrates the Maroons' 2017 series win

State of Origin Top 5: Classic Finishes

Epic finishes and late heroics have become synonymous with Origin. So much so that of the 111 matches played since 1980, no less than 40 have been decided by four points or less.

5. All hell breaks loose, Game 3, 2009
Emotions spilled over at Suncorp Stadium after Maroons veteran Steve Price and Brett White went toe to toe and Price ended up being knocked out. Trent Waterhouse ran into the melee and was marched – the first Blues player sent off in Origin. Inexplicably, Justin Poore tried to drag the unconscious Price off the ground and that had Maroon blood boiling.

With the clock winding down, Queensland received a penalty and hoisted a bomb, intent on ripping into whichever Blue took the catch. That man was Kurt Gidley, who bravely accepted the catch and took his punishment before another melee erupted. "There were plenty of angry humans chasing down that ball," Gidley admitted with a wry smile.

4. Super Cooper, Game 3, 2012
Going in search of a seventh straight series success, the Maroons won the opener in Melbourne and lost the second clash in Sydney. The Suncorp Stadium decider turned out to be an epic, with NSW fighting back from eight points down at half-time to level through Josh Morris in the 70th minute.

Enter Cooper Cronk, playing just his third game as starting No.7, to calmly slot a 40-metre field goal in the 75th minute to secure a 21-20 win.

3. JT does it again, Game 2, 2017
Nursing a shoulder that would require surgery immediately after the game, Maroons champ Johnathan Thurston defied the pain and the pressure to convert Dane Gagai's 78th minute try and ice an 18-16 win at ANZ Stadium.

JT had been a virtual passenger throughout the second half but when his team needed him most he stepped up to level the series.

2. Stone's massive call, Game 1, 1987
Long before video technology, referee Mick Stone had to back his instincts on one of the biggest calls in Origin history. With the scores locked at 16-16 inside the final minute, the Blues launched one final raid with Mark McGaw surging down the touchline and throwing a pass back inside which was deflected by Tony Currie.

The ball rolled towards the dead ball line and McGaw managed to get his hand on it with inches to spare. Stone pointed to the spot and replays showed he got it spot on.

1. Timmo's golden glow, Game 1, 2004
For a bloke who'd only ever landed one field goal, Shaun Timmins sure hit this one sweet, giving NSW a 9-8 victory in the first Origin game ever decided by golden point.

With the clock ticking into its 83rd minute, the Blues five-eighth unleashed a left-footer from 35 metres out and was mobbed by team-mates as the ball flew straight and true.

Shaun Timmins wins Game One in 2004 for the Blues
Shaun Timmins wins Game One in 2004 for the Blues