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Throwback Thursday: Origin Edition

After twelve rounds of intense NRL action, the rugby league world has turned its attention to State of Origin.

While no Wests Tigers have been selected for the first game of the 2022 series, eleven players have represented the club in blue and maroon over the past twenty-two years.

Joe Ofahengaue loving his time in maroon
Joe Ofahengaue loving his time in maroon

Terry Hill was the first Wests Tigers player to earn selection in 2000, while Joe Ofahengaue and Botille Vette-Welsh both represented their state last season.

Ahead of next week’s match at Accor Stadium, we’re partnering with Boomer Home Loans to revisit three of the finest State of Origin performances from Wests Tigers representatives.

Robbie Farah - Game 2, 2014

After a dynasty of dominance from Queensland, Game 2 of 2014 provided the Blues with the opportunity to win their first Origin series in eight years on home soil.

Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods lined up alongside one another in the front row of the scrum, with Farah putting in an immense eighty minute performance at Hooker.

In a low-scoring affair, Farah made 49 tackles and missed just one as New South Wales kept the potent Maroons attack tryless for the entire match.

James Tedesco: One of eleven Wests Tigers players to play State of Origin
James Tedesco: One of eleven Wests Tigers players to play State of Origin

Farah then set up the series-winning try from Trent Hodkinson, who stepped through the defensive line in the seventieth minute to send the home crowd into raptures.

Botille Vette-Welsh - Game 1, 2020

After becoming the first Wests Tigers woman to feature in State of Origin in 2019, Botille Vette-Welsh earned the starting fullback role for the Blues in 2020.

Vette-Welsh: All smiles ahead of the 2019 Origin victory over Queensland
Vette-Welsh: All smiles ahead of the 2019 Origin victory over Queensland

In a widely-touted battle against Maroons fullback Tamika Upton, Vette-Welsh held her own at the back as both sides traded tries in a high-scoring affair on the Sunshine Coast.

Vette-Welsh topped the charts for her side with fifteen runs for 140 metres and set up a try for Tiana Penitani with a crisp right-to-left pass.

She then scored a try of her own with a scintillating show-and-go before turning Upton inside-out with a weaving run to the line.

The try gave the Blues an opportunity to win the match, but Queensland would ultimately go on to win their first State of Origin series.

Harry Grant - Game 3, 2020

Harry Grant: A try and victory on debut for Queensland in Game 3, 2020
Harry Grant: A try and victory on debut for Queensland in Game 3, 2020

With pundits describing Wayne Bennett’s side as the worst Maroons squad ever produced, Queensland were given little hope of beating a strong Blues outfit headlined by Tedesco and Cleary.

However, the Maroons remained a chance of holding the shield aloft as both teams travelled north to Brisbane for the deciding game of the series.

After a sensational debut season for Wests Tigers, Harry Grant earned his first Origin call up for the final game and immediately proved that he was made for the big stage.

Coming off the bench, Grant played 56 minutes and had two line break assists before busting through the defence for two line breaks of his own.

Grant threw an audacious dummy and burrowed his way past several defenders for his first Origin try, which would ultimately prove decisive as Queensland won the match by six points.

Wests Tigers Origin XI:

NSW: Terry Hill (2000), Brett Hodgson (2006), Robbie Farah (2009, 2012-2016), Keith Galloway (2011), Aaron Woods (2013-2017), James Tedesco (2016-2017), Botille Vette-Welsh (2019-2021)

QLD: Scott Prince (2004, 2008), Moses Mbye (2019), Harry Grant (on loan 2020), Joe Ofahengaue (2021)

Scott Prince celebrates victory in Game 2 of the 2004 Origin series
Scott Prince celebrates victory in Game 2 of the 2004 Origin series
Acknowledgement of Country

Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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