Queensland’s 25 most memorable sporting moments: Part One
Queensland’s 25 most memorable sporting moments: Part One

Part I: QLD’s most memorable sporting moments

AS Queensland rings in the new year and the new sporting opportunities that come with it, Mike Colman looks back at the 25 biggest sporting moments in the state's history.

While we all look towards the future of sport in Queensland, with a potential new NRL team on the way and an Olympics bid incoming, we look back at the moments that defined sport in the Sunshine State.

From unexpected Origin comebacks to athletic miracles and cricketing sensations, these are the moments that happened on our turf and changed the history books forever.

Ian Meckiff “chucking” in 1963 test match between Australia and South Africa in Brisbane.
Ian Meckiff “chucking” in 1963 test match between Australia and South Africa in Brisbane.

25. Ian Meckiff Called

Gabba, December 7, 1963

IAN Meckiff would make history twice at the Gabba, and both occasions were for reasons he would prefer not be remembered. The first time was as the batsman who was run out to create the Tied Test against the West Indies and the second when he was no-balled for throwing four times in his first and only over in the first Test against South Africa. Australian captain Richie Benaud chose not to give him the opportunity to bowl from the other end and the left-arm quick's career was over.

Meckiff looks back over his prophetically titled autobiography Thrown Out while relaxing in his Brisbane hotel room.
Meckiff looks back over his prophetically titled autobiography Thrown Out while relaxing in his Brisbane hotel room.

 

24. Reds Win Super 12

Suncorp Stadium, July 9, 2011

THE Queensland Reds 2011 season will always be remembered for the wizardry of fly-half Quade Cooper, whose sleight-of-hand brought the crowds flocking to Suncorp Stadium, but it was his little mate Will Genia who stole the show in the Super 12 final against the star-studded Canterbury Crusaders. With 10 minutes left and the scores locked 13-all the Reds latched onto a turnover 60 metres out from their line. Centre Anthony Fainga'a passed to Genia who ran one way, dummied, then ran the other, slid between three defenders and headed for the line. With Cooper outside him, the defence held off and he carried Sean Maitland over the line for an 18-13 winner as the record crowd of 52,113 roared.

23. Roar Win A-League

Suncorp Stadium, March 13, 2011

THE Brisbane Roar's penalty shoot-out win over the Central Coast Mariners was described as Australia's most exciting and dramatic grand final - in any sport. With scores locked 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes the match went into extra time. The Mariners scored the first goal of the match after six minutes, and added another seven minutes later. Down 0-2 and with only 15 minutes left to play all seemed lost for Brisbane but spurred on by a record crowd of 50,168 they struck back with a goal three minutes from full time. With only seconds left a header to Eric Paartalu sent the game to penalities, with two brilliant saves by Roar keeper Michael Theoklitos and the final shot by winger Henrique sealing an astonishing comeback win.

The Australians and the Brits fight it out at the Gabba in the Battle of Brisbane in 1932.
The Australians and the Brits fight it out at the Gabba in the Battle of Brisbane in 1932.

22. The Battle of Brisbane

The Gabba, June 18, 1932

THE Australia-Great Britain rugby league Test match - which would become known as The Battle of Brisbane - was one of the bloodiest and most exciting of all time. At one stage Australia was down to 10 men with three on the sidelines nursing injuries. In the days before replacements Queenslander Dan Dempsey, playing his first game at hooker, cried when prevented from returning to the field despite a broken arm. Halfback Hec Gee, another Queenslander, went back and scored the winning try after being taken off on a stretcher unconscious. But the game belonged to NSW country five-eighth Eric Weissel who moved to the wing after breaking his ankle but somehow hobbled 50m with the ball before being dragged down two metres from the line. Gee scored from dummy-half to clinch the unforgettable 15-6 win.

David Hillhouse wins the lineout for the Reds against NSW at Ballymore in 1972.
David Hillhouse wins the lineout for the Reds against NSW at Ballymore in 1972.

21. Reds beat NSW 42-4

Ballymore, May 29, 1976

IT IS remembered as the match that kicked off a golden period for Queensland rugby; the one in which the men in maroon showed they would no longer stand in the shadow of their much-hyped counterparts from south of the border. After years of drubbings by NSW - at one stage the Waratahs refused to play Queensland because they believed it wouldn't be a contest - Ballymore came alive to the chant of "we want 50, we want 50'' as winger Paddy Batch charged like a runaway bull towards his favourite scoreboard corner with the likes of Paul McLean, Mark Loane, Andrew Slack, Billy Ross, Stan Pilecki and Chris Handy in support.