1984 Rugby League State of Origin series

year = 1984

count = 3rd series
imagesize = 100px
caption = Logo of the Australian Rugby League
winners =
margin = 2-1
points = 91
attendance = 79309
top points scorer = (18 points)
top try scorer = (4 tries)
The 1984 State of Origin series was the 5th annual Australian Rugby League State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland. With Queensland wrapping up the series in the first two matches it produced the first dead-rubber finish and an infamous opening minute brawl in game II.__TOC__


Game One

bg = #eeeeee
date = May 29, 1984
report = [http://stats.rleague.com/rl/soo/game9.html (Report)]
team1 =
team2 =
score = 29–12
points1 = (12 - 3 t) Kerry Boustead
(4 - 1 t) Paul Vautin
(5 - 1 t, 1 fg) Wally Lewis
(4 - 1 t) Gene Miles
(4 - 2 g) Mal Meninga
points2 = Ross Conlon (8 - 4 g)
Noel Cleal (4 - 1 t)
stadium =Lang Park
attendance = 33,662
referee= Kevin Roberts
manofmatch= Wally Lewis

Queensland were motivated by the announcement that New South Wales coach Frank Stanton had been appointed as Australian national coach for the upcoming Ashes series against Great Britain. Queensland's own coach and favoured Origin son, Arthur Beetson was being dumped in favour of Stanton and notwithstanding that Stanton was merely returning to the helm having previously steered the national side on two triumphant Kangaroo tours, the Maroons were keen to avenge the honour of Beetson.

The Maroons won the match 29-12 with Manly winger Kerry Boustead achieving the rare Origin honour of scoring three tries.

Game Two

bg = #eeeeee
date = June 19, 1984
report = [http://stats.rleague.com/rl/soo/game10.html (Report)]
|team1 =
team2 =
score = 14–2
points1 = (4 - 1 t) Greg Dowling
(4 - 1 t) Gene Miles
(6 - 3 g) Mal Meninga
points2 = Ross Conlon (2 - 1 g)
stadium = Sydney Cricket Ground
attendance = 29,088
referee= Barry Gomersall
manofmatch= Wally Lewis

Game II was played on a horribly cold and wet night that saw almost 30,000 cram into the Sydney Cricket Ground, signalling that finally the New South Wales public had embraced the Origin concept. The mud, rain and tolerant eye of referee Barry Gomersall combined to form an explosive mix. Progress was arduous in the SCG mud and handling almost impossible.

Blues prop Steve Roach triggered an all-in brawl in the opening tackle of the match with players trading blows for more than a minute afterwards in three separate melees. The sight of Chris Close, his jumper torn off, going blow-for-blow with New South Wales lock Ray Price became an enduring Origin image. When order was finally restored, Gomersall merely awarded a penalty against the Blues and allowed play to continue.

Both sides dug in for a slogging defensive contest and not surprisingly, when Gomersall called a halt for half-time, neither side had scored. So bad were conditions, Blues second-rower Noel Cleal attempted a line drop out only for the ball to stick in the gluey mud and trickle a metre forward. The deadlock was only broken when Mal Meninga landed a penalty goal before Queensland prop Greg Dowling shortly afterwards scored a memorable Origin try. Lewis had been peppering the New South wales line with his searching kicks and chipped ahead, aiming for the in-goal area. In a moment of good fortune for the Maroons the ball struck the cross-bar and Dowling who had been following through, took an extraordinary catch on his finger tips centimetres from the rain soaked ground and plunged across the line in a splash of mud to score and give Queensland an 8-0 lead.

The Blues responded with a penalty goal to winger Ross Conlon reducing the Queensland lead to a converted try but when Maroon centre Gene Miles powered his way over the line from dummy half, the Queensland lead extended to 14-2 and there was no way back for the Blues.

Game Three

bg = #eeeeee
date = July 17, 1984
report = [http://stats.rleague.com/rl/soo/game11.html (Report)]
team1 =
team2 =
score = 22–12
points1 = (10 - 5 g) Ross Conlon
(8 - 2 t) Brian Johnston
(4 - 1 t) Noel Cleal
points2 = Kerry Boustead (4 - 1 t)
Bob Lindner (4 - 1 t)
Mal Meninga (4 - 2 g)
stadium = Lang Park
attendance = 16,559
referee= Kevin Roberts
manofmatch= Steve Mortimer

With the series decided in Sydney, game III at Lang Park became a dead-rubber but was significant for the selection of Canterbury Bulldogs half-back Steve Mortimer as captain of New South Wales for the first time after Ray Price had elected to stand down from representative football following the third Ashes Test.

New South Wales selectors took the opportunity to blood a number of young players for the first time like Chris Mortimer, Pat Jarvis and Peter Wynn who along with Mortimer would play dominant roles in the Blues revival of 1985. Mortimer inspired New South Wales to a 22-12 victory which avoided the embarrassment of a series whitewash and earned for himself the man of the match award.


New South Wales



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

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