NABIAC’S Harry Croker was a member of the NSW rugby league team that pulled off the greatest under 16s State of Origin try in the concept's brief history, going 109 metres in the last minute to defeat Queensland 22-16 in a thriller.
Playing 30-minute halves, it appeared Queensland had pinned New South Wales in their own half with just over 60 seconds to go as their field goal attempt rolled in the in-goal just centimetres from the dead-ball line.
Locked at 16-16, the ball was collected by Albert Hopoate, who could have been forgiven for just taking the tackle as New South Wales only needed a draw to hold onto the title.
But he went for it; beating a number of Queensland defenders to escape from the in-goal before pinning his ears back down the left sideline.
He ran to the 30-metre line before throwing an inside ball to Bradman Best who scooted away to score under the posts and break Queensland hearts.
Croker, a back rower and member of Newcastle’s premiership winning Harold Matthews team this year, played of the bench for the Blues.
He now turns out for Taree Panthers under 16s and Taree City under 18s in the Group Three competitions.
Taree’s Danny Buderus was assistant coach with the NSW team.
tries; Schoupp 3 goals) defeated Queensland under-16s 16 (Khan-Pereira 2, Evans tries; Coulston 2 goals) at Suncorp Stadium.