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Brisbane Belters: What's the best Origin moment in Queensland?

With the 2020 Origin series set to be decided at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday it's time to reflect on some of the epic moments from interstate clashes in Brisbane.

The Origin legend was born at Lang Park in 1980 when Arthur Beetson led Queensland to a momentous win and "The Cauldron" hosted several classic games before the name change to Suncorp Stadium in 1994.

From Wally Lewis to Alfie Langer, Darren Lockyer and Johnathan Thurston, the Maroons' finest have revelled in front of a home crowd but the Blues' finest have also gone to another level in enemy territory to produce some courageous wins. is giving you the chance to decide which Brisbane moment was the most memorable. The winning coach will be revealed on Wednesday before kick-off in game three of this year's Ampol State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium.

What was the best Origin moment in Brisbane?

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Top 10 Brisbane moments

(in chronological order)

Game 1, 1980 at Lang Park: The Legend is Born

It is almost four decades since Arthur Beetson charged on to Lang Park with the support of an entire state driving him on to finally get one over on "big brother" from down south.

Tired of being hammered in interstate clashes teams full of former Queenslanders who headed to Sydney to make their name, the Maroons embraced the Origin concept from night one.

The images of 35-year-old Beetson leading Meninga, Close, Lewis, Lang, Reddy and company on to Lang Park still send shivers down the spine. The big bloke was all business and he was ready to take on all comers.

Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues

Game 1, 1987 at Lang Park: Stone's brave call

Refereeing calls don't come much bigger than the one Mick Stone had to make in the closing seconds of the 1987 series opener.

With the scores locked at 16-16 and the Blues making one last push for victory, centre Mark McGaw broke clear down the left sideline and looked to send a pass back inside to Andrew Ettingshausen.

The pass was knocked down by Maroon Tony Currie and rolled towards the dead ball line where McGaw managed to ground it with inches to spare.

With no video to help him out, Stone backed his judgment and awarded the try, much to the disgust of Maroons coach Wayne Bennett, but replays showed the call to be spot on. NSW won 20-16.

Full Match Replay: Maroons v Blues - Game 1, 1987

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Game 2, 1988 at Lang Park: 'King' binned

That man Stone again found himself the centre of controversy, this time sending 'The King' Wally Lewis to the sin bin in front of his loyal Lang Park subjects.

What followed was a barrage of beer cans hurled onto the field by enraged Maroons fans.

The angry mob also screamed "Send Stone off" as Lang Park went into total meltdown.

Luckily for Stone the Maroons won 16-6, ensuring he could make it out of The Cauldron alive.

Full Match Replay: Maroons v Blues - Game 3, 1991

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Game 3, 1991 at Lang Park: Brave Lowey

When Graham Lowe defied ill-health to help the Maroons beat the mob from across the border, he earned a special place in Queensland folklore.

The first "outsider" to coach the Maroons, Lowe was rushed to intensive care with a deep vein thrombosis in the lead-up to decider at Lang Park and was so ill it seemed he had no hope of being at the match.

Lowe was in the middle of several major health crises – he also suffered a brain haemorrhage and two strokes around the same time.

A phone call to the hospital from Wally Lewis and his fellow players lifted Lowe's spirits and he courageously made it to the Cauldron to see his boys wrap up the series with a 14-12 win.

Langer immortalised in bronze with statue at Suncorp

Game 3, 2001 at ANZ Stadium: Alfie returns

Allan Langer had called time on his decorated career in Australia and was enjoying the slower pace of Super League with Warrington in 2001 when his old mate Wayne Bennett conjured a plan to bring Alf back for one last hurrah.

With the series tied 1-1 and regular halfback Paul Green injured, the super coach put in an SOS to 34-year-old Langer.

Bennett phoned Langer for one of their regular chats and asked "how would you like to come back for the third game?" and Alf cheekily replied, "what took you so long to ask?"

In front of an adoring home crowd, Langer orchestrated a memorable Maroons win and bagged a try, much to the delight of his young team-mates and his wily coach.

Game 1, 2005 at Suncorp Stadium: Bowen swoops

The opening game of the '05 series was an absolute beauty and it was perhaps fitting it went into golden point.

After the home side had opened up a seemingly unbeatable lead the Blues stormed back to lock it up at 20-20 after 80 minutes.

Blues halfback Brett Kimmorley then spotted an opening on the left-hand side in the 84th minute and looked to find centre Matt Cooper with a cutout pass.

That's when Maroons super-sub Matt Bowen pounced, picking off the pass and streaking away to score one of the most memorable tries ever scored at Suncorp as 52,484 fans went crazy.

Relive the final moments of Origin I, 2005

Game 3, 2011 at Suncorp Stadium: Locky's farewell

The Last Stand for one of Queensland's finest was an emotional night for so many reasons.

After 36 Origins, 22 of those as captain, the great Darren Lockyer took his final bow with a 34-24 win which secured the Maroons a sixth consecutive series win.

With the Suncorp Stadium crowd at fever pitch at full-time, the sight of Johnathan Thurston coming on to the field in a wheelchair to share in the celebrations tipped them over the edge.

Thurston had suffered a serious knee injury but was so desperate to be out on the field to farewell Locky that he had team doctor Roy Saunders wheel him out to join his mates. Swansongs don't come much sweeter.

Relive the final moments of Origin III, 2012

Game 3, 2012 at Suncorp Stadium: Super Cooper

With the series on the line and NSW desperately looking to break a six-year losing streak, ice-cool Maroons playmaker Cooper Cronk piloted a 41-metre field goal to hand Queensland a 21-20 win.

Tries to Darius Boyd, Johnathan Thurston and Justin Hodges for the home side were matched by Blues four-pointers to Brett Stewart and Josh and Brett Morris.

A late conversion to Blues halfback Todd Carney had levelled the scores but that's when Cronk showed his class to hand the Maroons a seventh series win on the trot.

Full Match Replay: Maroons v Blues - Game 1, 2014

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Game 1, 2014 at Suncorp Stadium: Blues dig deep

One of the bravest wins in NSW history set Laurie Daley's team on the path to a drought-breaking series victory in 2014.

Brett Morris suffered a shoulder injury while crossing for a first-half try but refused to leave the field and would come up with a match-saving tackle on Darius Boyd late in the match.

HIs brother Josh climbed from the canvas in the second half when he was being treated for a knee injury and raced 30 metres to make a crucial tackle.

The Blues knew it was going to take something very special to break Queensland's stranglehold on Origin and on this night that's exactly what they produced.

Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith celebrate the Maroons' 2017 series win.
Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith celebrate the Maroons' 2017 series win.

Game 3, 2017 at Suncorp Stadium: JT farewells the faithful

After his match-winning heroics in game two while nursing a busted shoulder, Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston watched on from the sideline in the third and deciding game as Cameron Smith led Queensland to a 22-6 win.

While JT would love to have been on the paddock he was at least able to savour the moment alongside his great mates and help Smith raise the Origin shield at full-time.

The adulation he received from the Suncorp Stadium faithful that night was just reward for a man who had won his state so many games over the years and done the Maroons jersey proud in a glittering 37-game Origin career.


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

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