Queensland state rugby league team

Queensland state rugby league team

Infobox rugby league state
Name = Flagicon|Queensland Queensland
Badge = Queensland_Maroons.jpg
Badge_size = 120px
Nickname = Maroons / Cane Toads
Association = Queensland Rugby League
Coach = flagicon|Australia Mal Meninga
Captain = Cameron Smith
Most caps = Allan Langer (34)
Top scorer = Mal Meninga (161)
Home Stadium = Suncorp Stadium
Last series = 2008 State of Origin: WON
Queensland 2 - New South Wales 1
Largest win = )
Largest loss = )
The Queensland State of Origin team is a rugby league team representing the state of Queensland that plays in Australia's annual three-match State of Origin series against arch-rivals the New South Wales team.

Also known as The Maroons in reference to the colour of their jersey, the Queensland side plays three matches each year against New South Wales. Like the NSW Origin side, the team is purely representative, with players being chosen from the National Rugby League and England's Super League.


Before State of Origin

Queensland first played rugby league against New South Wales in the new code's first year of 1908. New South Wales won every match between the two states until 1922, when the Maroons, with Cyril Connell playing at halfback, got their maiden victory. This was the start of Queensland's only golden period before the introduction of State of Origin.

As the twentieth century progressed, New South Wales proved to be the dominant team. The powerful New South Wales Rugby League premiership attracted many Queenslanders south of the border, and the "residential" selection policy meant that the Maroons would often be disadvantaged against New South Wales teams containing many Queenslanders playing in the New South Wales club competition.

In the 1970s Queensland only won four matches, and it was decided that if New South Wales won the first two games of the 1980 series that there would be a State of Origin selection policy for the last game. This meant that selection would be based on the state a player made his senior debut in, not the state that he currently played in. Queensland's first truly representative team won the first State of Origin match 20-10 on 8 July 1980. After Queensland lost the first two games in 1981 the third match was again a State of Origin match. Queensland also won this game, and all subsequent series have been played under State of Origin rules.

Queensland's overall record in interstate clashes in non-State of Origin matches was 54 wins, 8 draws and 159 losses in 221 games.

Between 1908 and 1979 Queensland also played matches against a number of touring Test teams. In 1983 the Queensland team toured Papua New Guinea and Great Britain.

tate of Origin

In the inaugural State of Origin match in 1980, Queensland surprised all in a commanding 20-10 win over New South Wales. Arthur Beetson and Chris Close were the stars for Queensland, but Kerry Boustead scored Queensland's first ever try. This saw the new State of Origin rules applied a fairer game, saw it again in 1981. In 1981, legendary captain Arthur Beetson was ready to play before injury ruled him out, so he became coach of the team, and would remain so for the next three years. It seemed that State of Origin might still be dominated by New South Wales with the Blues ahead 15-0, but a remarkable comeback by Queensland saw them defeat New South Wales 22-15 with young captain Wally Lewis and Chris Close the stars of the comeback win. This match gave rugby league officials the impetus to decide that 1982 should have 2 State of Origin matches and a decider if required.

In 1982, for the first time all three matches of the interstate series were played using 'origin' selection rules. New South Wales won their first State of Origin match in Game One, but this was not enough to stop Queensland winning the second and third games with Mal Meninga, Rod Morris and captain Wally Lewis the heroes for Queensland of the series. The next year New South Wales again won the first game, but Queensland dominated the series winning the final two games with Wally Lewis being the saviour for Queensland. In 1984, Queensland won the first two games for the series, dominating the series, with Kerry Boustead and Wally Lewis the stars of the series, New South Wales won the final match.

In 1985, Queensland saw their first ever series loss to New South Wales, for the first time, New South Wales were dominate through the series. Queensland's poor performance could be seen as Arthur Beetson retiring as coach or New South Wales halfback Steve Mortimer in good form. Queensland lost the first two matches but won the third match. Under new coach, Wayne Bennett, the 1986 series saw Queensland play a lot better but the scoreboard didn't show, Queensland lost all 3 games, only by small margins for each game, but the fact was New South Wales had whitewashed Queensland.

In 1987, looking for redemption, Queensland lost the first game to New South Wales, but managed to win the last two games giving Wayne Bennett his first series win. Allan Langer debut in the 1987 series saw Queensland win their first series since 1984, Langer went on to play 34 games for Queensland. In the exhibition match fourth game of 1987 in the USA, Queensland couldn't manage to win. In 1988, the introduction of Queensland based clubs for the first grade competition Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast, saw more wealth of talent for Queensland. In 1988 and 1989 it was Allan Langer and Wally Lewis's formidable halves partnership that had them dominate both series winning all 6 matches and not letting New South Wales win. Wayne Bennett won the 1988 series while returning coach Arthur Beetson won the 1989 series.

In 1990, the New South Wales team managed to win their first game since 1987, and going on to defeat the Queensland team 2-1 in the series, giving Queensland coach Arthur Beetson his first ever series loss with the team. In 1991, it was Queensland legend Wally Lewis, now known as the King, last series. With a new coach, Grahame Lowe, Queensland won the first game, before New South Wales won the second. With Lewis's last game, the decider, the Queensland team managed to win the game by two points and give Lewis the perfect sendoff.

For the series 1992 to 1994 it seemed that Wally Lewis was sorely missed, losing a record three series in a row. With veteran Mal Meninga taking over as captain, Lowe continuing as coach, the Queensland team were unable to show any spark against New South Wales. They were able to win a game in each of the series in 1992, 1993, and 1994. The King Wally Lewis took over coaching for the Queensland team in 1993 and 1994, the QRL hoping he would revive some spark to the team.

In 1995, the Queensland team was noticeably hampered being unable to select players from the Super League teams, most notably the Brisbane Broncos. With new coach and former Queensland captain Paul Vautin, the Queensland team were apparently going to be belted by the New South Wales team. It was not to be. In one of the biggest upsets in Origin history, the baby Queensland team defied all betting odds and whitewashed the New South Wales team 3-0. In 1996, New South Wales got their revenge and whitewashed the Queensland team. In 1997, during the Super League War and the rival Super League Tri-series with another Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand representative teams. Queensland were unable to win the series ending Vautin's reign as coach.

In 1998, Queensland re-employed Wayne Bennett as coach of the team who only wanted a one year stint at the team. With the Super League War over, Queensland was able to pick a great side again. Allan Langer returned in style in a man of the match appearance guiding the Queensland team to a close 24-23 win in the first game. New South Wales won the second, but Queensland dominated the third and won. With new coach and former Queensland player Mark Murray at the helm the Queensland team won the first before losing the second. In controversial circumstances, Queensland were locked up at 6 all at half-time, scored with 8 minutes to go making it 10-6 seemingly wrapping up the game, but New South Wales scored and missed the conversion to finish the game 10-all, making it the first drawn game and series in State of Origin history. Queensland won the series by retaining the drawn shield. 2000 was a forgettable series, captain Gorden Tallis was sent from the field for dissent to referee Bill Harrigan in a 20-16 loss in Game One. Queensland lost Game Two 28-10 before suffering their worst ever State of Origin defeat 56-16 in Game Three to cap a 3-0 wipewish of the series.

In 2001, Wayne Bennett again took over after their humiliating 3-0 loss in 2000. Queensland won the first game decisively however injuries saw them lose the second game and those injuries were still there for Game Three. This saw coach Bennett take a huge risk, bringing out of retirement Allan Langer to make a miraculous comeback. Although some thought Langer couldn't rise to the challenge, the great halfback inspired Queensland to a win in the final game 40-14. In 2002, Langer again returned however Queensland were thumped in Game One 32-4. Queensland won Game Two 26-18 in spite of a horror debut by winger Justin Hodges who gifted New South Wales two tries via ingoal mistakes. The third game proved to be Langers final game, but a miraculous last minute try by back rower Dane Carlaw saw Queensland draw level with New South Wales 18-all. The game could have be won by Queensland if Lote Tuquri had converted the Carlaw try, but the conversion was wide thus resulting in the second drawn series in Origin history with Queensland retaining the shield.

With the 2003 series, began the New South Wales dominance of Origin. New South Wales won a hard fought first game 25-12 before disposing of Queensland 27-4 in Game Two. The Queensland team took their anger out by flogging New South Wales in the dead rubber third game 36-6. Queensland however could not stop New South Wales taking the 2004 series 2-1 even with new coach Michael Hagan, when Brad Fittler came out of representative retirement for New South Wales to help them defeat Queensland. Game One was notable for being the first State of Origin game to go into Golden Point extra time, with Shaun Timmins kicking the winning field goal for New South Wales to win 9-8. Queensland won Game Two 22-18 on the back of an incredible try to winger Billy Slater the game in which Fitter returned. New South Wales wouldn't be denied in Game Three, winning 36-14 on the back of an inspirational performance by Fittler. The 2005 series again was not much better for Queensland in spite of a Game One win in Golden Point extra time due to an intercept try to Matthew Bowen off a wayward Brett Kimmorley pass. Queensland however failed to dominate the series losing the final two matches to lose again to New South Wales after halfback Andrew Johns made a memorable return for the final two games. Queensland's 2005 series loss marked their third straight series defeat to New South Wales.

In 2006, former Queensland great Mal Meninga took the helm of coach and he took a big risk in Game One to have 7 debutantes against a formidable New South Wales side. This showed in the opening 30 minutes where mistakes were made and New South Wales dominated on the scoreboard. A comeback in the second half wasn't enough to win, New South Wales getting home 17-16 on the back of a field goal in the final moments by halfback and last minute Blues replacement Brett Finch. This put coach Meninga and captain Darren Lockyer under intense criticism by New South Wales media. The second game however saw the fired up Queensland team defeat New South Wales easily 30-6. In the third and deciding game, Queensland found themselves down 14-4 with 9 minutes to go after some controversial refereeing decisions. However a miraculous comeback started by Johnathan Thurston and Brent Tate and an intercept try by Lockyer saw them steal the win and the series.

In 2007, Queensland were the bookies' favourites for the first time in a long time. Queensland were down 18-6 at half time but came back with 19 unanswered points to win the first game by a score of 25-18. Queensland went on to win the second game 10-6 and win the series. This was Queensland's first win in 12 attempts at Telstra Stadium.

Queensland Players

Origin Greats

As part of the 25 year celebrations in 2005, Queensland named 25 legends for each year before that. [cite web | title=League names Origin greats | url=http://www.abc.net.au/sport/content/200503/s1334421.htm | accessdate=2007-05-12 ]

Greatest Ever Team

Queensland have named their best 17. [cite web | title=FOGS - Greatest Ever Teams | url=http://www.qrl.com.au/display.php?pg_id=3907 | accessdate=2008-06-18 ] Rugby league squad player | nat=Australia | pos=FE | name=Wally Lewis (C)

Current Team

Team for the 2008 State of Origin, Game 3.

* *Darren Lockyer was originally named at five-eight, and captain, however was ruled out through injury. Johnathan Thurston will move to five-eighth, with Scott Prince coming into the squad to play halfback. Cameron Smith will remain captain of the side.

It was announced that Karmichael Hunt would start at fullback and Ashley Harrison start at 2nd row and Billy Slater and Sam Thaiday moving to the bench, before the start of Game II.

Queensland Residents

Since 1988 a Queensland Residents team has been selected from players in QRL competitions (as opposed to the National Rugby League or its antecedents).

Against New South Wales Residents

The Queensland Residents team has played a New South Wales Residents (consisting of New South Wales players not in the top grade competition) team since 1994 as a curtain-raiser to one of the State of Origin matches. Queensland has won the Residents game in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2003.

Against Western Australia

Each year since 2003 the Queensland Residents team has played Western Australia. Queensland has the matches in 2003 and 2004, both of which were played in Perth. Western Australia will travel to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland to play the match in 2005.


The Queensland Residents team under took a number of overseas tours between 1988 (when the Brisbane Broncos were formed) and 1995. They have toured New Zealand (1988, 1990, 1992), Papua New Guinea (1989, 1995), France (1989), Fiji (1992, 1993), Western Samoa (1993), Tonga (1993) and South Africa (1994).


ee also

* State of Origin
* Queensland Rugby League
* New South Wales Rugby League
* National Rugby League

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