Magical Slater earns man of the match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magical Slater earns man of the match

By Wayne Heming 16/06/2004 11:07:37 PM Comments (0)

It was a spectacular scoring play that would have done Kerry Boustead proud and one that is already being hailed as one of the great State of Origin tries.

Billy Slater, a product of the north Queensland town of Innisfail, scored a 63rd minute try reminiscent of those scored by the flying Boustead, who also hails from Innisfail.

The try sent Queensland on the way to a 22-18 victory which levelled the rugby league series at 1-1 ahead of the July 7 decider in Sydney.

Slater, who will head home to the Queensland sugar town on Friday as a state hero in order to celebrate his 21st birthday with family and friends, described his try as one in 100.

"It was a spur of the moment thing," said Slater, named man-of-the-match after his two-try performance on the wing.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the time it probably wouldn't come off, but luckily this time it did."

Lockyer's deft chip set the try in motion but Slater's marvellous skills and speed finished if off.

The record crowd of 52,478 held their breath as video referees Tim Mander and Graeme West scrutinised replays to see if Slater was off-side and there was only a blade of grass in it.

Blues fullback Anthony Minichiello appeared to have Slater covered, forcing the former jockey to swerve right. But Slater, at full speed, kicked the opposite way, back over Minichiello's head before winning the race to the ball and diving across the line in one motion.

"He (Minichiello) would have got me so I had to bring him back on the inside and he read it pretty well so I had to put something else on him and thankfully it came off," Slater said.

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