State of Origin’s Mongrel XVII: The nigglers, fighters and mad men

BY STAFF WRITERS

Let’s call them ‘The Mongrels’.

A team packed to the seams with men that have quite literally spilt blood for their state. They did the things others wouldn’t and they scratched for every inch. These are the players all State of Origin coaches love and opposition players despise.

All ran fearlessly, others hit like hammers and some niggled until the cows came home.

If they were playing for your state, you loved them. If they were on the other side, you hated them.

These are the expendables, State of Origin’s mongrels.

1 Justin Hodges
Queensland

One of the great nigglers. Despised south of the border.

2 Michael Hancock
Queensland

Legendary running style, always in to make the dirty metres from the wing.

3 Adam MacDougall
New South Wales

His nickname is ‘Mad Dog’, enough said.

4 Shaun Berrigan
Queensland

Fearless runner of the ball who played across the backs and hooker at representative level.

5 John Hopoate
New South Wales

Took on three Queenslanders in the infamous 1995 MCG brawl.

6 Josh Reynolds
New South Wales

Known as ‘Grub’ and for good reason.

7 Tommy Raudonikis
New South Wales

A vicious halfback who created ‘Cattledog’ as coach of NSW in the mid 1990’s.

8 Paul Gallen
New South Wales

Put two on the chin of good mate Nate Myles and is hated by all Queenslanders.

9 Steve Walters
Queensland

One of the great hookers. Strong as an ox and as tough as a $2 steak.

Why QLD hates NSW so much and how a VFL president helped create State of Origin

10 Arthur Beetson
Queensland

Belted Parramatta team-mate Mick Cronin in opening Origin in 1980, helping create the concept.

11 Gorden Tallis
Queensland

Ask Brett Hodgson about ‘The Raging Bull’.

12 Les Boyd
New South Wales

Ended rival Darryl Brohman’s hopes of an Australian jersey after breaking his jaw with a flying elbow.

13 Trevor Gillmeister
Queensland

‘The Axe’ was one of the most fearsome defensive players QLD has ever produced.

Bench: Greg Bird, Mark Geyer, Beau Scott, Luke O’Donnell.

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