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Memorable Matches From The Biff Era

(m07) FIRST STATE OF ORIGIN 1980 - The Legend Begins - Artie belts the Crow

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Friday, May 04, 2012

FIRST STATE OF ORIGIN 1980 - The Legend Begins



Get some more beers, or make another coffee, take your time and have some fun.

from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.

MATCH SUMMARY It was agreed that in 1980 if the first two interstate games were won by the same side, then a 3rd game would be played with players representing their State of Origin


State of Origin was alive and well in Aussie Rules and it was the brainchild of Queensland's Rugby League Supremo Ron McAuliffe, that it would bring life back into the New South Wales, Queensland rivalry.

New South Wales had won the previous 13 straight games and as the interest in the games declined, crowds in excess of 30,000 were now getting around 10,000 spectators.

It was agreed that in 1980 if the first two interstate games were won by the same side, then a 3rd game would be played with players representing their State of Origin.

New South Wales won the first two so the stage was set for the first ever State of Origin Match to be played at Lang Park Brisbane. It was a chance for Sydney based Queenslanders to play for the maroons. and, to be eligable to play depended on where you first played senior football.

Played on July the 8th, the game was played before 31,000 emotionally charged spectators in an electirc atmosphere at Lang Park. Who could forget the determination of Artie Beetson and how he gave his teammate and all round good guy Mick Cronin a whack and a smack for getting in his way.

Queensland won 20 -10. Raudonikas captained the Blues, King Wally played lock. Choppy Close was the first ever Man of the Match.

Chris Close scores the match clinching try in the historic
first State of Origin game

Both NSW Rugby League and the Qld Rugby League agreed that the concept should be run again in 1981 with the NSW club players against Queensland club players and if the same side won both matches then a State of Origin clash would be on again. As fate had it it was to be as such. Queensland won the State of Origin Clash, but that would be the last time that concept was taken and the future clashes were all played with players representing their states.

(were you at the first State of Origin - why not tell us about it)


Tries: Kerry Boustead, Chris Close
Goals: Mal Meninga 7
Team: Colin Scott; Kerry Boustead, Mal Meninga, Chris Close, Brad Backer; Alan Smith, Greg Oliphant; Wally Lewis, Rod Reddy, Rohan Hancock, Arthur Beetson (c), John Lang, Rod Morris Replacements: Norm Carr, Bruce Astill
Coach: John McDonald


Tries: Greg Brentnall, Tom Raudonikis
Goals: Mick Cronin 2
Team: Graham Eadie; Chris Anderson, Steve Rogers, Mick Cronin, Greg Brentnall; Alan Thompson, Tom Raudonikis (c); Jim Leis, Graeme Wynn, Bob Cooper, Craig Young, Steve Edge, Gary Hambly Replacments: Steve Martin, Robert Stone
Coach: Ted Glossop.

Venue: Lang Park
Date: July 8 1980
Referee: Billy Thompson
Crowd: 33 210
Man of the Match: Chris Close (Qld)

See stories about this match (2) click here


Link to Favorite Moment #22 Transcript of Interview with Artie where he again reiterates about his selection in State Of Origin #01.....  CLICK HERE

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