Brett Morris looked to briefly dislocate a shoulder in the first half scoring a try but played on to make a match-saving tackle on former Dragons teammate Darius Boys in the dying minutes.
Anthony Watmough played through a serious bicep injury that may keep him out for some time, while Daley said Josh Morris and Trent Hodkinson were among others playing through pain. Captain Paul Gallen stayed down after another huge late hit from behind from Josh Papalii after he had passed the ball. He said after the match he had been getting burners in his neck and would need to go for scans.
"One of the most courageous efforts I've ever seen," Daley said when asked for his thoughts.
"I'm extremely proud, we had no ball, some other things were against us but geez I was proud."
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"We've got a truckload of injuries. We've got serious injuries," he said.
"We've got blokes that battled away that should have come off in the first half but courageously stayed out there because we needed them to and I hope everyone talks about that tomorrow.
"They dug deep. We've spoken about Origin and digging deep and they showed it tonight in truckloads."
He admitted to being emotional after the win, even producing a slip of the tongue by referring to the players as his "teammates" before correcting himself, highlighting how deeply he rode the effort with his charges.
"For the boys to do what they did under those conditions, I'm one extremely happy coach and I'm certain the whole state would be happy. I think this win has united us more than ever before," he said.
He said after winning the first game last year the side isn't getting ahead of itself and needed to improve further for Game II. Gallen described it as one of the toughest matches he'd ever played in.
"We played really smart in the first half, we controlled the ball, we controlled the flow of how the game went. They really aimed up, they're a great side, they're tough," he said.
"It was a credit to us the way we hung in there, they had a lot of kicks ... it was courageous the way we defended."