It was the run of his life.
NSW five-eighth James Maloney had 90 metres of Suncorp Stadium turf in front of him when he pinched a pass from Queensland’s Dane Gagai in the 67th minute of State of Origin II.
The Blues’ playmaker tucked the ball under his arm and started sprinting.
For most of the longest sprint in Maloney’s rugby league career it looked a sure thing Maroons centre Justin O’Neill would run him down.
But incredibly Maloney hung on, evading the Maroons again in the in-goal before collapsing in exhaustion under the posts.
It closed the margin in the match to 20-16 with just over 10 minutes to play as NSW chased a win to keep the series alive.
Maloney’s efforts were nearly match-winning when the Blues thought they had claimed the lead minutes later but a Michael Jennings knock-on in the in-goal area cruelled that hope.
Queensland then made Maloney’s lung-busting run a distant memory when Corey Oates crossed the line to restore their two-try advantage.