It was his sides spirit and belief that made him the happiest, as Darren Lockyer’s QLD side came from behind to score the match-winner, in a 16-12 win over NSW at Suncorp Stadium.

The Blues hit the lead for the first time in the match in the 69th minute, with QLD having previously led 10-0 earlier on in the game, but it was a great short ball from Lockyer that led to a storming Slater to barge over the line and score the match-winner.

“There was still 10 minutes to go and no one was putting the white flag up,” said Lockyer.

“We just said we’ve just got to pick our energy up and there’s still plenty of time to score points.

“And I think we all believed what we were saying.”

In what was a record equalling Origin game for Lockyer, who joined QLD legend Allan Langer on 34 Origin games, he put on a master-class, as he showed why he is a premier 5/8, and possibly, the best ever.

It was the spirit that we have all become well accustomed to with the Queensland side as they refused to give in, and NSW paid the price, as it ultimately cost them the game.

“Billy and I just sort of picked the hole inside Beau Scott,” Lockyer said of the match-winning four-pointer.

“Billy’s pretty quick there and he’s done that a fair few times over his career.”

As Queensland take a 1-0 lead heading into the next clash in a month’s time at ANZ Stadium, it is a deficit that they have never recovered from, since 2005.

“I was disappointed with a couple of parts of our game but, gee they’re courageous,” Stuart said.

“It’s amazing how we were even still in the game.

“I thought they were extremely tough.”

Another accolade to take from the game, was Mal Meninga surpassing the most wins for a QLD mentor with 12, going past both Arthur Beetson and Wayne Bennett.

Stuart praised the QLD sides tenacity and will to never give up, no matter what.

“You expect that from those guys,” Stuart said.

“That’s what they’re best at, the best players in the game.”

Man of the Match points

3 Matthew Scott

2 Cameron Smith

1 Darren Lockyer

Special mention to Tim Mannah for his solid effort from the bench too.

By ricky

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