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Maroons Frankenstein: The Queensland stars who make monster of a player

Imagine if you could slice and dice the best attributes from 40 years of State of Origin to fuse together the ultimate Maroons player, Frankenstein-style.

Fans have their chance to come up with the Ultimate Origin Player using the best aspects of players from each state by clicking here. NRL.com will announce the fan-voted Origin Frankenstein, fittingly, on Friday the 13th of November.

NRL.com and Stats Perform have been cooking up the data in their lab, using information from four decades of interstate rivalry to build a rugby league monster from parts of nine players. Here is what we cooked up for a Blues Frankenstein.

And here is how the Ultimate Maroons Origin Player was assembled and who made the cut to form this all-round monster of a player that would give any opponent nightmares.

Enter to win a Hisense Bar Fridge after creating your Origin Frankenstein

Maroons Frankenstein

Right foot: Wally Lewis

Notables: Darren Lockyer, Allan Langer, Johnathan Thurston, Cooper Cronk

In an unbelievably stacked field, the King of Origin takes the cake.

For a player perhaps best remembered for his raw physicality, damaging running and instinctive playmaking, it may be a surprise that Lewis kicked further in his 31 Origins than Thurston did in 37 or Lockyer did in 36 but with 10,489 metres at 338 per game, Wally's long boot helped kick Queensland to plenty of wins.

Maroons legend Wally Lewis after winning the 1991 series.
Maroons legend Wally Lewis after winning the 1991 series. ©NRL Photos

Let's hope our Frankenstein can pull in some of his power running game from the same leg.

Left foot: Johnathan Thurston

Notables: Mal Meninga, Mat Rogers, Darren Lockyer, Gary Belcher

Cowboys superboot Thurston's goal-kicking record at Origin level simply leaves everyone else for dust.

Telstra Tracker: Johnathan Thurston 2017

His 99 goals are 30 clear of next best Mal Meninga and he got them at 80% accuracy – well ahead of Meninga's 63%. The next most – Lockyer's 22 – isn't even in the frame.

Thurston's final ever act on the Origin field was a clutch sideline conversion to square the 2017 series that the Maroons went on to clinch in the decider.

Left leg (line breaks): Greg Inglis

Notables: Mal Meninga, Darius Boyd, Billy Slater, Gary Belcher

With the most ever line breaks and tries in the Origin arena, who else could this be but Inglis.

The lanky centre's loping gait in open space is a sight that regularly struck fear into Blues fans – 26 times in 32 Origins to be precise, one more than Meninga managed in the same number of games.

Maroons legend Greg Inglis.
Maroons legend Greg Inglis. ©NRL Photos

GI was also heavily involved in the 24 line breaks – the third most ever – of long-time left-edge partner Darius Boyd.

Slater (20 line breaks) was every bit as dangerous while Maroons legend Gary Belcher (18 in 16 games) is the only man on this list to go at better than one per match.

With Inglis's running game, this Frankenstein will be mighty hard to stop.

Right leg (run metres): Petero Civoniceva

Notables: Steve Price, Nate Myles, Martin Bella, Shane Webcke

Of all the metre-eaters who have trucked it up relentlessly though the middle for Queensland over the past 40 years, none have done it quite so effectively as big Petero.

Maroons prop Petero Civoniceva.
Maroons prop Petero Civoniceva. ©NRL Photos

He has the most metres gained in the history of Origin, with 4285 at 130 per match over his 33 games.

The next prolific metre gainers among Maroons forwards, Price and Myles, finished with around 1000 fewer career metres than Petero whose leg drive will add plenty to our Maroons Frankenstein.

Left arm (tackle breaks): Mel Meninga

Notables: Greg Inglis, Bob Lindner, Dale Shearer, Wendell Sailor

Of all the players in Origin history you wouldn't want running at you, big Mal at full gallop with the bumpers up would have to be right near the top of the list. He struck fear into the hearts of Blues defenders from 1980 all the way through to 1994.

Mal Meninga scores for the Maroons during the 1989 series whitewash.
Mal Meninga scores for the Maroons during the 1989 series whitewash. ©NRL Photos

With tree trunk legs and one of the most savage left-arm fends in the sport's history, Meninga bumped his way to 141 busts for Queensland – the most in Origin history, six clear of what Inglis achieved in the same number of games.

Meninga's 4.4 busts per match over a long career is eclipsed on a per-game basis by the likes of Sailor (5.9 in 14 games), Hancock (5.4 in 14) and Belcher (5.2 in 16) but for destructive running over a long period we have to take that Meninga fend for our Maroons Frankenstein.

Right arm (offloads): Artie Beetson

Notables: Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga, Gene Miles, Steve Walters

Our Maroons Frankenstein is truly spoiled for choice here. There is a strong argument to include a second limb from Origin's greatest player – Lewis's 99 offloads in 31 games is easily the highest tally in Origin history, 21 clear of Meninga's 78. 

At 3.2 offloads per game it's also the best per-game rate of anyone with more than seven caps. But we couldn't resist the chance to include a piece from the Godfather of Origin, Artie Beetson.

Immortal Arthur Beetson
Immortal Arthur Beetson ©NRL Photos

Big Artie dismantled NSW in the first ever Origin match in 1980, and his only Origin game, with a starring performance that included seven offloads.

The seventh Immortal was also a renowned offloader through a long and successful career with Balmain, Easts, Parramatta and Australia and is a must for our Maroons monster.

Torso (work rate): Gary Larson

Notables: Nate Myles, Petero Civoniceva, Billy Moore, Steve Price

Origin success is built on heart and hard work and there are any number of honest toilers who could supply the engine for this Frankenstein but what better candidate than North Sydney Bears stalwart Gary Larson.

He didn't miss a single Origin from his 1991 debut to his 1998 swansong, with his record of 24 straight still the second best ever, only eventually beaten by Thurston.

Maroons legend Gary Larson.
Maroons legend Gary Larson. ©NRL Photos

Larson has the second-most tackles in Origin history behind Cameron Smith, with 879 at 37 per game to go with 2662 metres at 111 per match, plus one offload and just over one bust per game.

Billy Moore, Nate Myles, Steve Price or Civoniceva could just as easily have supplied the engine to this monster but none were more deserving than Larson.

Head (try assists): Johnathan Thurston

Notables: Darren Lockyer, Allan Langer, Wally Lewis, Cooper Cronk

As great as the likes of Lewis, Lockyer and Langer were, no playmaker consistently excelled at Origin level over such a long period as Thurston, as he becomes the only player from either state to provide two separate body parts to an ultimate Origin Frankenstein.

Johnathan Thurston has always been a fan favourite.
Johnathan Thurston has always been a fan favourite. ©NRL Photos

Thurston had the advantage of playing through an unparalleled era of Origin dominance – though to be fair he was also a big part of the reason for that dominance.

He finished his career with 26 try assists in 37 games, creating a whopping nine more tries than the second place on the list, Lockyer with 17 in 36 games.

Langer (15), Lewis (14) and Meninga (11) also racked up plenty of assists through their careers.

Shoulders (tackles): Cameron Smith

Notables: Gary Larson, Billy Moore, Dallas Johnson, Josh McGuire

We couldn't make a Maroons monster without a piece of the player who holds the record for the most games, most wins and most tackles in Origin history.

Smith may not have been the hardest hitting defender the arena has ever seen but the man effected 1666 career tackles – almost twice as many as anyone else in history with Larson's 879 a distant second.

Queensland record-breaker Cameron Smith.
Queensland record-breaker Cameron Smith. ©NRL Photos

He made those tackles at nearly 40 per match and better than 90% effective rate. Noted Origin hitmen like Trevor Gillmeister and Tonie Carroll played vital roles for their sides but each averaged fewer than 20 tackles per match and a lower than 80% effective rate.

The likes of Larson, Moore, Johnson and the recently discarded McGuire each racked up 30-plus tackles per match at over 90% effective but for defensive workrate over a career, no-one comes close to Smith's numbers.

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.