There were just seconds on the clock and the NSW VB Blues were staring down the barrel of a 3-0 series whitewash – a result achieved by Queensland just once in two decades. The team dug deep, however, spreading it wide to send Blake Ferguson and James Tedesco down the length of the field. Tedesco was pulled up millimetres short of the line but showed great restraint not to reach out for a double movement, before the team sent it to the left in the following play.
The ball landed in retiring skipper Paul Gallen’s hands, who passed it to outside man Michael Jennings – and what the 18-time Origin representative did next was enough to get an entire state on their feet. Jennings beat six Queensland defenders to break through and slam the ball down, ultimately sealing a last-minute NSW victory and preventing the series whitewash.
Jennings’ involvement in the moments after his try was amusingly minimal; as the entire team rushed over to celebrate with rookie Tyson Frizell, the try scorer himself was left to congratulate himself alone. The post-try celebration may not have been ideal for the 28-year-old, but he had won his state the game and it is a moment that will live on in fans’ minds forever.