It’s the moment which sent everybody north of the border absolutely mental, and left every Blues fans dejected.
It was State of Origin I, 2005. After falling behind 19-0 early in the second half, New South Wales had fought back to send the game to golden point.
With scores locked at 20-20 in the fourth minute of extra time, Blues halfback Brett Kimmorley spotted an opportunity deep inside his own half, with a two man overlap developing on Queensland’s right edge.
Backing himself, Kimmorley fired a long ball towards Matt Cooper. Unfortunately for Kimmorley, Cooper and NSW, it never made it to its intended destination.
A young North Queensland player named Matt Bowen swooped on the pass, intercepting to race 40 metres to score under the posts.
It’s a moment that still plays heavily on Kimmorley’s mind.
“I can still see Matt Cooper in my vision,” he told the Our Town Our Team podcast.
“I hadn’t even watched it until 2 years ago.
“I threw the pass because they were shorts and I play instinct football and play what’s in front of me. I still think the pass was on, because if I threw it a few steps earlier then it probably lands on Matt Cooper’s chest and we go off and make a line break.”
A devastated Kimmorley was clearly distraught on the field, with the post-match wash up very unfairly placing the blame on Kimmorley’s shoulders.
“I lose a game for our teammates, our state…I was shattered, dejected,” he said.
“It caused massive scarring and doubt in my game for the whole season, I could never throw long which wasn’t what I was about, I always just played what was in front of me, which is where I had so much success.
“I’m sure there was more occasions where it failed, but nothing as big as that.”
Kimmorley was replaced in Origin II by none other than Andrew Johns, who went on to lead the Blues to a 2-1 series win with two of the most dominant performances in Origin history.
It was little consolation for Kimmorley, who couldn’t stand to watch the rest of the series.
“I was told I’d play game II but unfortunately I got dropped,” he said.
“I didn’t want to watch game II, so I went to a nice restaurant where I thought there was no way they’d have the football on.
“But then it was like ‘Hey Brett, don’t sit over there, sit over here we’ve got the football on,’ so I sort of had to watch it out of the corner of my eye.”
It took around six months for Kimmorley to fully recover, with an off-season holiday required to clear his mind.
“I had no confidence and couldn’t pass long all season,” he said.
“The off season came, so I went away and had a holiday, came back, started training again and built up some confidence, built up some trust and started backing myself again.”
The man known as ‘Noddy’ traced a lot of the resilience it took to get through the incident back to his time in the Knights junior system.
“I’d built up a lot of that resilience in a way, not getting picked in the Knights u/15s made me so motivated, at the time I didn’t realise but it gave me some resilience,” he said.
“Three years later they brought me back for Game III, which just goes back to backing yourself, don’t whinge about it and train hard.
“Those games were the most enjoyable Origins I played, because I’d lost the fear of failing in a way.”