1985 Rugby League State of Origin series

year = 1985

count = 1st
imagesize = 100px
caption = Logo of the Australian Rugby League
winners =
margin = 2-1
points = 81
attendance = 90937
top points scorer = (29 points)
top try scorer = (2 tries)
The 1985 State of Origin series was the 6th annual Australian Rugby League State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland. It was the year that New South Wales finally ended Queensland's siege of supremacy.__TOC__


Game One

bg = #eeeeee
date = May 28, 1985
report = [http://stats.rleague.com/rl/soo/game25.html (Report)]
team1 =
team2 =
score = 18–2
points1 = (18 - 2 t, 5g) Michael O'Connor
points2 = Mal Meninga (2 - 1 g)
stadium =Lang Park
attendance = 33,011
referee= Kelvin Roberts
manofmatch= Peter Wynn

Heavy rain confronted the players at Lang Park when the teams took the filed for the opening match of the series, and it was thought players new to Origin football such as Michael O'Connor might struggle to cope with the conditions. However the former Wallaby displayed nerves of steel to complete one of Origin's most memorable debuts scoring two tries and kicking five goals to finish with all 18 of the Blue's points.

The relentless Blues defence led by Steve Roach, Pat Jarvis and Peter Wynn continually repelled the Maroons and helped keep the Blues line intact for the first time at Origin level. Five-eighth Brett Kenny earned wide praise for his efforts opposite Wally Lewis who was subjected to merciless pressure for almost the entire match. New coach Terry Fearnley and his captain Steve Mortimer had plotted for months to uncover a secret factor that would bring an end to the Maroons' Origin stranglehold. The strategy was to heap pressure on Lewis, Queensland's five-eighth and playmaker and the Blues carried out the plan pefectly.

Game Two

bg = #eeeeee
date = June 11, 1985
report = [http://stats.rleague.com/rl/soo/game26.html (Report)]
|team1 =
team2 =
score = 24–20
points1 = (4 - 1 t) Chris Mortimer
(4 - 1 t) Benny Elias
(4 - 1 t) Brett Kenny
(9 - 4 g, 1 fg) Michael O'Connor
points2 = Bob Lindner(4 - 1 t)
Ian French (4 - 1 t)
Mal Meninga (6 - 3 g)
stadium = Sydney Cricket Ground
attendance = 39,068
referee= Barry Gomersall
manofmatch= Wally Lewis

With history possibly in the making a large New South Wales home crowd turned out in wet conditions at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The match was played on a knife's edge when after the Blues had taken a 12-0 lead with two tries after only 16 minutes, Queensland struck back in typical style and took a 14-12 lead despite having lost Bob Lindner and Colin Scott with serious injuries.

The New South Wales forwards relentlessly hurled themselves at the Queensland defence until cracks slowly began to appear. A penalty goal and then a sharply taken field-goal by O'Connor gave the Blues a 15-14 lead and then when Lewis attempted to level the scores with his own field-goal attempt eight minutes from the end, Mortimer flew from the ruck to charge down the kick.

It was the inspiration the Blues needed and when five-eighth Brett Kenny dashed over for the decisive try a minute from fulltime, it sparked scenes of jubilation among the New South Wales players. Broadcast images that now form part of Origin folklore captured a rapturous Mortimer chaired from the field and then falling to the ground full of emotion and pride in the Blues' historic first series victory.

Game Three

bg = #eeeeee
date = July 23, 1985
report = [http://stats.rleague.com/rl/soo/game27.html (Report)]
team1 =
team2 =
score = 20–6
points1 = (8 - 2 t ) Dale Shearer
(4 - 1 t) John Ribot
(4 - 1 t) Ian French
(4 - 2 g) Mal Meninga
points2 = Steve Ella (4 - 1 t)
Michael O'Connor (2 - 1 g)
stadium = Lang Park
attendance = 18,825
referee= Barry Gomersall
manofmatch= Wally Fullerton Smith

Queensland took the field in game III determined to avoid a whitewash but also smarting from a national selection controversy. Blues coach Terry Fearnley was also the Australian national coach and the match was played after the Australia v New Zealand Test series that year. Fearnley had dropped four players, all of them Maroons after the second Test.

Queensland came out breathing fire and as the score mounted, late in the game Maroons forward Greg Dowling, one of the players axed by Fearnley, left the field replaced and stopped by the Blues bench to give Fearnley a passionate serve and tirade of abuse. Following this event ARL officials would legislate that the national coach never be a serving Origin coach to avoid the possibility of such embarrassing scenes or the potential for claims of bias.


New South Wales



* "Big League's 25 Years of Origin Collectors' Edition" , News Magazines, Surry Hills, Sydney

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