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Coyne's miracle try inspiring Maroons 30 years later

3 minute read

Mark Coyne has reflected on the key State of Origin lessons from his 1994 miracle try for Queensland as current Maroons reveal why it can drive them to success.

DALY CHERRY-EVANS.
DALY CHERRY-EVANS. Picture: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

It is 30 years since Mark Coyne's "miracle try" for Queensland and the unquenchable spirit of the never-say-die Maroons in that magic moment still resonates with the current squad.

Coyne finished a sweeping movement in the 16-12 win in game one of the 1994 State of Origin series in Sydney where the ball went through 10 sets of hands in a 79th-minute match winner.

It was immortalised by commentator Ray Warren when he famously said: "That's not a try. That's a miracle."

Reflecting on that win three decades on, Coyne and the Maroons' current players spoke of how being ready to fulfil your role in Origin and never being beaten when wearing a Queensland jersey were just as compelling truths today as in 1994.

The players who handled the ball in the 60m movement were some of the greatest to lace a boot for the Maroons, including Steve Renouf, Kevin Walters, Allan Langer and Mal Meninga.

Coyne, a businessman today, said having "the right people" was a key to success in more than just football.

"You think about lessons in life. I do talks about business to people and in the presentation, when I speak about that try, I say that it is important to have the right people in the right roles," Coyne told AAP.

"That particular try is a clear demonstration that we had the right people in the right positions at the right moment.

"Origin is all about your preparation and mindset.

"You have to be ready. I always had a pretty good mental approach to the game so I was ready to go.

"There were about 12 minutes to go when I came on the field. Origin is so fast. I had to slot straight into the game."

The Maroons have the right people in place ahead of Wednesday night's Origin series opener, also in Sydney.

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans and hooker Ben Hunt have been integral members of the Maroons side that's won three of the past four Origin series.

Just after Coyne came on the field in the 68th minute the Maroons trailed 12-4. In Adelaide last year in game one the Maroons trailed 18-16 with seven minutes to go and had prop Thomas Flegler in the sin bin, but late tries to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Lindsay Collins won the game 26-18.

"The miracle try, what it means is never give up," Cherry-Evans said.

"The closest I have come to that experience was game one last year in Adelaide. That was our moment.

"The chips were stacked against us and the right players at the right time came up with amazing plays for Queensland, whether it was Hammer down the sideline or Lindsay chasing a bomb.

"Not as special as that miracle try, but it just goes to show we are never out of it and never going to stop trying. That's been ingrained in us from Queensland's past players who we are really proud of."

Hunt is still blown away by the relentless appearance of each Maroon in the miracle try.

"You watch that try and how many sets of hands it went through and there were guys who kept turning up and putting themselves in the picture," Hunt said.

"It was the Queensland spirit of never giving up. Guys over the years have been thrust into action when they weren't ready but they got out there and did their job."

Coyne, a regular centre for St George, had come on to replace injured outside back Julian O'Neill. He played the ball at the start of the movement on the right wing. He saw centre Renouf scoot down the left touch line and knew his chance would come on the far right.

"As a centre I was pretty good at counting numbers," he recalled.

"Pearl (Renouf) made that break and threw it back inside. I could see that if the ball got to me I'd be a chance because NSW would eventually run out of numbers.

"The ball kept coming and coming. By the time it got to Mal I thought, 'you beauty. I'm going to have a fair crack at this.' Mal gave it to me and Freddy Fittler was flying over to get me. I had a pretty good right foot step so everything fell into line."

Coyne had roomed all week with fellow bench player Mark Hohn and they joked how they didn't receive any media questions the whole camp.

"I scored that try. Everyone wanted to talk to me then," Coyne grinned.

"It is pretty special in Origin folklore because of how we came back and scored on the bell to win it. It is a nice thing to be remembered for.

"I'm not on social media but my kids keep sending me memes that people are putting up about it. It still gets a run. It is hard to believe it was 30 years ago."

The Blues came back to win the 1994 series with wins in Melbourne and Brisbane.

"Most people forget that. When NSW people down here have a go at me about that try I remind them not to be too upset," he chuckled.

Coyne played 19 times for the Maroons and was a key figure in the 3-0 series win in 1995.

"I got to play for Australia which was really cool but Origin was such a passionate thing growing up in Queensland," he said.

"I loved going to games and watching Wally Lewis, Mal Meninga and Choppy Close. Pulling the jersey on was an amazing feeling and meant everything."

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