Daley, Gallen face greatest challenge
Together they engineered the greatest upset in Origin history but New South Wales' latest power couple, Blues coach Laurie Daley and captain Paul Gallen, are already outsiders to retain their State of Origin crown in 2015.
Before the Origin Shield had been passed through the sets of Blues hands on its somewhat muted lap of honour around Suncorp Stadium a spurned Queensland team had been named $1.80 favourites with Sportsbet.com.au to regain the title next year ahead of NSW at $2.
It's a far cry from the long odds bookmakers were offering of NSW finding a way to end eight years of Maroons supremacy this year but – along with the 32-8 scoreline on Wednesday night – is an indicator of the challenge that lies ahead.
In the lead-up to Game Three Gallen told Big League magazine that the 2015 Origin Series could be his last and having convinced Daley to stay on as coach this year, going back-to-back may be sufficient to leave a legacy that can prevent the Blues ever suffering such a losing streak again.
"We're a young team and we've got some really good players coming through but the senior guys are really showing them what it's all about," Daley said.
"The legacy will be there when these guys move on but they're the ones that will start it and they'll create it and people will understand what it means to play for New South Wales when they come into the system.
"I enjoy my time [as coach]. I really enjoy working with the blokes and I said in their earlier with a journo to have success you need people to buy into your vision and the people that buy into your vision have to be your leaders and the players follow them.
"So for me, to have 'Gal' believe in where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do, that drags other people along. They understand the expectation that's been set and I'm two years in but this year we made some different changes and I know we'll be better.
"I know we'll still have some tough times along the road but I know when my time is up and when Gal's time is up, we'll be in a good place."
After the disappointment of losing the 2013 series it took a heart-to-heart for Gallen to convince Daley to stay on in 2014 and the Player of the Series was relieved that he was able to talk him around.
"As a captain you're an extension of your coach. I'd never really had much to do with Laurie and I sat down with him over at North Sydney or somewhere and he spoke to me and his passion for the blue jumper and what he wanted to achieve was unbelievable," Gallen said.
"He spoke with such passion and I know how upset and how hurt he was last year and he wasn't going to do the job this year. I remember asking him to and he still wasn't going to do it but thank God he did because the passion he shows is unbelievable.
"To win it for him and all the boys and for five million people in NSW it's an enormous feeling and to be the biggest outsiders to win it, I'm so, so proud to lead that and it's just a great feeling.
"The support from the public the last two years has been unbelievable, the people of NSW, it's been awesome. Going down into Sydney 1-0 [up before Game Two] there was a lot of hype, a lot of support and a lot of expectation behind us and that probably put even more pressure on us but to our credit we did what we had to do in Sydney and got the win.
"After that the support was unreal and even talking to a lot of people at [Brisbane] airport, there were a lot more Blues supporters who spent their hard-earned to come up and watch the game tonight and we thank them immensely for their support.
"It's a little bit disappointing that we didn't win, couldn't put the icing on the cake, but we achieved our goal."