The 2016 State of Origin series marked the final one for Paul Gallen, who announced his retirement from representative football to focus on his duties for the Sharks. Having led his state to series victory in 2014, Gallen was set to finish as the state’s most-capped skipper of all time, surpassing Danny Buderus when he led the side out for the 16th time in Origin III.
Unfortunately for Gallen, he wasn’t able to go out a series winner – and to make matters worse, he was staring down the barrel of a 3-0 whitewash when the Maroons held a 14-12 lead in the dying moments. A team movement to the left, upfield and back to the right followed, with Gallen finding the ball in his hands as the Queensland defence began to scramble. The skipper offloaded it to outside man Michael Jennings, who would beat six defenders to score, sending Gallen out on a positive note.
With the result beyond doubt, Gallen was thrown the ball to attempt the first conversion of his professional career – and,while his form was far from flawless, he slotted the kick comfortably. Capping off a fine career with an 18-14 win, the captain was chaired off ANZ Stadium in our finest Magic Moment of 2016.