Why Origin II will be remembered

Let's be honest: Wednesday night's 6-4 Blues victory wasn't the most exciting, absorbing or epic battle we've seen in the Origin arena.

Nor was it the most free-flowing, miraculous or grittiest. It wasn't pretty, jaw-dropping or breathtaking in skill.

There was no superhuman effort from NSW saviour Jarryd Hayne. No 80-minute virtuoso performance out of skipper Paul Gallen. No last-second field goal, no records set in tackles, points or crowd figures.
 
But nonetheless it was one of the greatest moments in rugby league history. And Blues coach Laurie Daley knows why. 

"They'll always be remembered because it was the team that stopped this great Queensland side," he said. 

Sure, you can point to halfback Trent Hodkinson's 73rd-minute try and goal – the only points 34 of the best players in the NRL could muster over the second 40 minutes.

You could show footage of winger Will Hopoate dragging his dead arm along the ground for the entire second half.

And you might even be quick to spot a couple of try-savers from Josh Reynolds in the first half, and Hayne in the second.
 
But all these efforts, all these little things, that rugby league players hide in oft-used cliches have all been done before.

They were there in bucket loads after Game One. And in almost every series since Artie Beetson raised his arms in 1980. 

The difference is the whole generation that saw it for the first time. The Twittersphere, the Facebook community, the Obama office and all the kids aged nine and under. Like the kids Gallen saw on the bus on the way to the game. 

"Catching the bus here today and going down the road, I saw two kids and they were with their dad," he said.
 
"They would've been 9 or 10 years old and I thought to myself on the bus, 'Wouldn't it be good for us to let them see it because they've never seen it. When you stop and think about it like that, to see kids that are 8, 9, 10 years old who have never seen NSW win, but to see them turn up and support us, to win for kids like that... I remember when I was that age I couldn't wait to get home and watch an Origin game."

Queensland coach Mal Meninga was quick to point out his Maroons had won eight straight series before this. And he's right – but we've spent the past eight seasons celebrating it. 
On Wednesday night, NSW did what seven other sides were unable to do before them: beat the greatest squad in Origin history.
 
"For me, I'm just so proud of these players. What they've achieved over the years has been fantastic and will probably never be repeated again," Meninga said.