Craig Wing had plenty of highlights throughout his decorated Rugby League career but it was the chance to be part of a fairy tale farewell for his childhood hero that stands out to him as far as the State of Origin arena goes.
Wing was part of the NSW Blues team in 2004 which managed to overcome suspensions and a stack of injuries to key players to score a memorable win over Queensland.
There was no shortage of special moments that year, including Shaun Timmins’ field goal in Game One and Billy Slater’s solo try in Game Two, but it was the return of Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler from representative retirement that Wing remembers the most.
Fittler answered an SOS call from NSW coach Phil Gould for Game Two, after Timmins, Craig Gower, Trent Barrett, Brett Kimmorley were all forced out through injury. He was unable to get the done that night with the Maroons hanging on for a 22-18 win but saved his best for Game Three.
“We came back to Sydney for the decider and what a decider it was,” Wing told nswrl.com.au
“We got Trent Barrett back in the halves to partner Freddy Fittler at five-eighth, we all played really, really well, we smashed the Queenslanders that day, it won us the series, it was the last game the great Phil Gould coached, it was the last ever representative game the great ‘Freddy’ Fittler played.
“He actually scored the last try of that game, and I was one of the closest people to him, one of the first people to him when he scored that try.
“I gave him a big hug and that was one of my favourite Origin moments because he was one of my childhood Origin heroes and I was stoked to play an Origin game with him.”