The seven moments that stole the spotlight as Queensland clinched the Origin decider

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That one will not be forgotten any time soon.

With three players out of the game after suffering concussion in less than ten minutes of play, it was clear something was well and truly up in the 2022 Origin decider.

What came next was a rollercoaster of unbelievable footy, of villains and heroes, of long bombs and fast passes — and of one try that may go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.


These are the seven moments that stole the spotlight in Queensland’s unbelievable series victory over New South Wales.

13th minute: The Dearden hunter

After one of the most brutal starts to an Origin match in recent history that made the first 10 minutes feel like 10 hours, Queensland draws first blood on the back of a splash of magic, and a dash of good old fashioned Maroons grunt.

The opening try looks like it is on the set before as Kurt Capewell gallops in that awkward Kurt Capewell style down the Lang Park wing, before putting in an awkward Kurt Capewell kick and an awkward Kurt Capewell chase that doesn’t come off.

As the Blues take possession, the Maroons gang up on the ball carrier like a pack of Caxton Street revellers on the last pint of the night, and force the dropout.


Then the magic happens.

With Ben Hunt collecting the pill and passing to debutant Tom Dearden, the Cowboys playmaker looks, pauses briefly, and quite possibly stops literal time to get the pass to teammate Valentine Holmes, who darts in for the opener.

It is, in this viewer’s humble opinion, on.

19th minute: Stumblin’ in

As the Lang Park crowd coos over the blond locks of Tom Dearden, the old enemy of Nathan Clearly and Jarome Luai put on their finest villain boots and dance the dastardly tango to the try line.

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It is another moment of Cleary Origin brilliance as he weighs up his options, thinks about it once, twice, and thrice, then kicks a grubber in the path of his Panthers mate.

Luai stumbles and tumbles but gets a clear set of hands on the ball to answer back in fine style.


Paul Gallen then waxes lyrically from the sideline about the try, and it gets a bit weird.

“If you have a look up in the day, if you have a look up in the sky, there’s a full moon tonight,” he says as the commentary box listens nervously.

“We all know how much Freddy loves a full moon.”

We have no idea what any of it means.

40th minute: The Tupou tangle

Just minutes after the commentary box loses its collective mind over a Blues kick described as “the highest kick in history”, Daly Cherry-Evans returns serve with a swirly, twirly mongrel that Daniel Tupou completely misreads.

He’s left in two minds deciding whether to catch it or not, and in the end, his third mind wins, getting a half-hearted hand to it as it tumbles out of the field of play.


The Maroons get the ball back and the referee is generous enough to award six again as halftime looms. Harry Grant takes the play of the ball, fakes left, and fools James Tedesco, heading back outside and grubbing a kick to the ever-awkward Kurt Capewell, who awkwardly falls over the line for a crucial awkward try just before the hooter hollers.

Holmes misses the conversion, but the stadium is absolutely heaving.

41st minute: Blood, biff, and bedlam

What looks like a possible Cherry-Evans try turns into chaos as punches are thrown in the back field.

When the commentators suggest it’s Dane Gagai and Matt Burton going toe-to-toe, viewers prepare to laugh the callers out of the stadium for such a foolish assertion — but sure enough, they’re right, and it’s an old-fashioned swing fest.

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In the play leading up to the Cherry-Evans no try, Kalyn Ponga had been laid out by Burton as he tried to pick himself up off the turf. Gagai, not overly impressed with the helmeted one’s actions, returned the favour, and put Burton on the grass.


Seconds later, there’s blood, there’s boos, and there’s two players being sent to the sidelines.

“They’re taking us out of the ball, they need to stop that shit,” Cherry-Evans pleaded at the ref, desperately trying to ignore the fact his star winger had just swung the most punches at Lang Park since Jeff Horn was just a plucky Brisbane schoolteacher.

The fight opens the game up and turns the tide of the match.

57th minute: Hunt becomes the hunter

It’s at the 57th minute of the game when this writer decides to expand this article from five moments to how ever many damn moments we need.

And we’ll still probably miss some.


Ben Hunt, who will later go down in Origin folklore, spots a weak point in the Blues defence and goes for the 40-20. And he only bloody nails it.

James Tedesco and Brian To’o are out of position and the brilliant kick sets the Maroons up for another attacking set. It pays off, as Kalyn Ponga goes over for the try that puts Queensland ahead.

It’s arguably the moment that turns the game — and the series — in Queensland’s favour.

68th minute: Holmes sweet Holmes

With the game well and truly in the balance, Clearly takes the drop out for the Blues and belts it towards the sideline.

Tom Gilbert tries to trap it with his feet, but fails, and as the pill rumbles towards the white paint, a flash of lighting blazes across the Lang Park turf and the ball miraculously finds itself back in play, and in Queensland hands.

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On slow motion replay, it is revealed that the lightning strike is in fact one time American Football hopeful and New York Jets battler Valentine Holmes.

It’s a miracle play that lifts the decibels in the stadium to the loudest of the night, as Jets fans worldwide wonder what might have been.

79th minute: What more can you say

“Grandpa, where were you when Ben Hunt scored one of the greatest tries in Origin history,” my future grandchild will squeak.

“Well, I was in the ABC Sport offices in Brisbane, listening to the screams of an unnamed colleague who I’m quite sure almost fainted in pure ecstasy,” I’ll reply, my eyes glazed with tears thinking about my lost youth.

This was the Origin moment.

A moment in time that few fans — Maroons and Blues alike — will ever forget.


As the ever dangerous Cleary stalks forward for one last crack at taking the lead, the Maroons defenders stand off waiting for the Blues skipper to make the first move.

Pass, run or kick? He decides to kick, and Ben Hunt pounces.

Attempting to merely smother the ball into irrelevance, the pill lands perfectly in Hunt’s arms, and his little legs power their way to the other end of the field on a wave of Queensland hollering from the crowd.

It not only seals the game, but it immediately goes down as one of the greatest Origin moments of all time.

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