It was a game that had a lot riding on it heading into the clash. Queensland wanted to make it 8 series wins in a row, whilst NSW wanted to end QLD’s 7-year run and record their first series win in quite some time.
As it turned out, despite a gritty and hard-fought affair, it was the Queenslanders who ended up as the victors and they celebrated well into the night, after recording a 12-10 win over the Blues at ANZ Stadium.
Widely regarded as one of the best sides to have ever played Origin, it was the resolve and grit from Queensland that got them over the line, after the NSW players threw everything they had at their opposition.
With a record crowd of 83,813 watching the game, it was on the back of a heavy penalty count that saw the Queensland side show their true determination as they continued to hold firm and hang on for the victory, even after Trent Merrin scored under the posts for NSW.
With no wins in Sydney since 2010 before this clash, QLD skipper Cam Smith – who claimed the Wally Lewis Medal for Player of the Series – told his players to remember who they are and where they come from.
“I just gave them a quick reminder of who we are, where we come from and what we’re about,” said skipper Cameron Smith.
“Queensland’s built on never giving up no matter what’s tossed in front of them – you just keep turning up for each other … that’s what we built this side around.
“We’ve been in that situation many times before aniston pokies as a team and we knew we’re a good enough side to withstand that last nine minutes of whatever NSW were going to throw at us.
“We didn’t play our best football … but what we did was tough.”
QLD coach Mal Meninga touched on similar points, highlighting the adversity that his side had to overcome to win, as he could not hold back his praise and kudos for the players efforts.
“We understood we had to handle adversity to its utmost tonight – I was very proud of the players in the way they played and the way they committed to each other,” said Meninga.
“That was a true Origin game – true grit, showed fantastic character and desire to get the result we were after.”
For any Blues fan, it might be described as the one that got away and despite his pre-game call of stepping up when it mattered, the performance by Mitch Pearce would have done very little to get the monkeys off his back.
Although Daley credits his side for making the opportunities to put pressure on the Queensland side, he knows that when it came down to it, his side were just not as clinical as they had to be.
“It felt like we were coming to get them for the last 60 minutes, but we just weren’t clinical enough to get there,” NSW coach Laurie Daley said.
“When Trent scored that try with ten minutes to go I was feeling very confident.
“But then a couple of silly penalties took the momentum away from us.
“We’re disappointed, it’s another loss – what do you do.”