ALF’S BEST ORIGIN MOMENTS
IN Game one 1988, I was only in grade four but it was the first series I really watched. I loved Allan Langer. He was from the same city and he was a bit on the small side like me. If only he had red hair. I re-watched the game to find Alf’s best Origin moments.
It was the first time Queensland played an Origin game minus their King “Wally’’ Lewis and coach Wayne Bennett gave the treasured number six to Peter Jackson.
I spoke to Wayne Bennett about why he arrived at Jackson.
“I chose Peter Jackson because he was an extrovert and I knew he would not lack in confidence,’’ Bennett said. “I was right. He did a great job and we had a great win.”
How did you think no Wally would affect Alf? “I did not think it would affect him at all,’’ Bennett said. “I was more concerned that this was the first Origin game Wally missed.”
The game starts with a near empty Sydney Football Stadium. Darrell Eastlake is going on about the ridiculous $34 ticket price. I wonder what he would say about the $200 we pay today.
Paul Vautin’s first act as captain is to kick from dummy half on the fifth. It was a bold move. “Grasshopper’’ (the referee) finds a penalty and Gary Belcher take the two points.
Alf comes into the game on the fifth with a little kick ahead, comes out the other side and kicks it again but in the scramble for the ball, it goes loose. Bob Lindner got in his way.
Alf goes the short kick again. It’s a dud bounce and could not get it back.
Do you think New South Wales are noticing a pattern with Alf yet?
Gene Miles tries to offload and drops it, from the scrum the ball comes out Queensland and Alf is off for the corner before anyone can react stepping past Peter Sterling on the way. That is Alf’s first try in Origin.
Just before halftime, it’s a bit of scrappy play and Alf takes the ball at first receiver, kicks ahead between two tired forwards. He bends down to pick it up and just decides to kick ahead and kicks it again. Now it’s a race with Blues’ fullback Jonathan Docking and Alf wins.
It was Alf’s second Origin try and his second man-of-the match-in his fourth game. Queensland won 26-18.
“I cannot remember much about the game expect Peter Jackson played really well and we won when everybody wrote us off because Wally was not playing,’’ Bennett said. “We won that series three nil.”