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Carrigan’s top five Origin moments

Playing for the Queensland Maroons is a dream come true for Pat Carrigan.

Watching epic State of Origin clashes and cheering for the Brisbane Broncos spurred him to play rugby league, to work hard, to excel.

“All I ever wanted to do as a kid was play for the Broncos and then play for Queensland,” Carrigan said.

“The Queensland jersey was the first jersey, apart from the one I wore as a kid, that I actually owned and wore around. I remember at school when you could bring in a gold coin on Origin day and wear your Queensland jersey. It was massive.”

Carrigan said Origin at his house growing up was quite the event given his mum and one of his sisters barracked for the Blues – noting they had converted now - and he, his dad and other sister were full blown Queenslanders.

“It was always split so Origin nights were feisty but fun,” Carrigan said.

“We’d always get pizza takeaway and be tuned in. I remember watching to pre-game shows and Phil Gould, and everyone spinning around and saying their junior club, and I’d be practising it in the loungeroom. That’s what Origin looked like for me as a kid.

“I used to pretend to be all of them. I think when you were in the backyard alone, playing imaginary footy, you’d be passing the ball to yourself. Lockyer to Inglis, Inglis back to Slater and all of a sudden Papalii would come out of nowhere, even if they didn’t play in the same era. Anyone.

“If they’d carved up in Origin the night before, you’d run around thinking you were them the next day.”

Carrigan said it was surreal to him that he was that person for a lot of young players.

“It’s pretty crazy… you don’t even think about it until people ask you, it’s pretty surreal,” Carrigan said.

“I think these are special moments. We have a pretty special coaching staff and players that I’ve played with that are pretty crafty players, and it shows you just how much this means to people.

“I think being one of those kids at the start, you know how much it meant to you, so you don’t want to let anyone down. I just think any time you put on the jersey, you’re standing up for more than yourself and you’re representing the kids and the future generations and the future of Queensland, so if I can somehow inspire any little kids to get here one day, and do our state proud, then I guess I’ve done my small part.”

Carrigan's top five Origin moments

1. The birth of Origin

"Number one I’ll go the birth of Origin, so Artie (Beetson). I just think it was massive when he played in the Sydney comp and was playing for New South Wales when Queenslanders had to play for them. When he played for Queensland and punched his Parramatta teammate – Mick Cronin – it was a line in the sand. I think he was pretty busted too, being older Artie. It was the start of Origin and the start of what it means to be a Queenslander. I just think my parents – any of the boys’ parents – lived and experienced that moment and as much as they dribble about it sometimes, it’s cool to hear and then you get into camp and you see the importance of it to guys like Billy (Slater) and Jono (Thurston), Greggy (Inglis) and Natey Myles. You see how much it means to them and they were the people that we looked up to so that history gets passed down, the culture is what makes you remember the roots and how important moments like that were."

1 - Artie runs out as a Queenslander

2. Locky starting the dynasty

"Locky is next. An early Queenslander memory for me is 2006… we had our backs against the wall and before that I can only really remember seeing Blues winning… I remember the grenade incident… when Locky swooped on that pass and scored, obviously that started a pretty successful Queensland team. That was most of my childhood that I remember so they were all my idols, superstars. That was a massive moment for Queenslanders in my youth."

3. Carl Webb’s ‘Q’

"I’m going to go Carl Webb, when he put the ‘Q’ on his head, as a moment. I think as a kid, you tried to run with the rivalry that was there and as a Queenslander, all my cousins were Blues, so it was pretty competitive in our family and household, but I think when he shaved the 'Q' in his head and did what Carl Webb did best, it was just the essence of how much it meant. I think that I will always remember that. I remember as a kid thinking ‘that’s mad… I wish I could do that one day’. I don’t think I’d suit the 'Q' now like big Charlie, but that was pretty cool I reckon. Jai Arrow is the sort of person who would do it now… I would get around Jai (Arrow) doing it, I think it suits him because he’s mental, made for Origin and goes to another level. Or Tommy Gilbert. Even Reuben Cotter to be honest… he could put a 'Q' in the side of his mullet. It would be iconic."

The enforcer - Carl Webb Origin highlights

4.  Slater’s chip-and-chase try

"That was a crazy try. It gets replayed heaps. To see how he did that as a young kid was pretty gnarly. Pretty cool moment. I think everyone, because of that, there was so many kids running around doing one-handed runs with chip kicks so junior coaches were filthy that Billy ran around with the ball in one hand. I remember ours yelled “two hands on the ball” every time we thought we were Billy Slater."

5.  Hunt’s charge down try

"Dozer... that try, Suncorp, 2022. That was a moment I was part of, because I was in it, in the game… Game III, Suncorp Stadium, packed out, only points in it, close as. That was my first series, first decider… we’d had a bunch of injuries, I’d played big minutes and I was just hanging on for dear life and Benny just did that. I still remember the feeling .. it was that loud that it was almost silent. When he took off… I was next to Tino and we stood back and we just hugged each other. I’ll never forget that feeling. I was just like ‘oh mate”. I don’t know how he did it, honestly. The emotion that comes with that, the feeling, that was my first series win so big Benny Hunt. And knowing the person he is, it was pretty mad to see him get that moment."

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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