Pride remains for beaten Blues
Despite an unflattering scoreline in Origin III, the NSW captain and coach have expressed nothing but pride for their series-winning team's achievements.
A circumspect Blues coach Laurie Daley said after his team's 32-8 Game III loss said that given how thoroughly the side had been written off by everyone before the series, to be sitting there after Game Three as series winners was "pretty sweet to be honest with you".
He credited the side's first half defence – despite being on the wrong side of a 60-40 weight of possession the Blues didn't concede a point until the 38th minute, and held Queensland up five times – as being the best defensive effort of the series.
"They had 11 'good ball' sets [in the first half], we had zero... The last 14 sets in the first half we had three [of those] so to keep them to one try was significant," Daley said.
However Daley said with "the juice taken out of us" the effort from the first half took its toll in the second, with NSW conceding a few errors and Queensland making them pay.
"They were good, and clinical, and that's what happens," he said.
"We didn't have a bad player to be honest with you, even though the scoreline doesn't reflect the attitude and effort we put in."
Captain Paul Gallen said it was disappointing not to be able to repay the Blues fans that had travelled north with a win to seal the series, but despite that he was immensely proud of the series win.
"It's an enormous feeling... I'm so, so proud to lead that; it's a great feeling," he said.
Daley wouldn't be drawn on whether he would return for another series as coach next year but said regardless of when he and Gallen and the other senior players choose to move on, the legacy will remain for the new players coming in.
"People will understand what it means to play for New South Wales when they come into the system," he said.
He credited Gallen, named the player of the series, as one of the Blues' "greatest ever forwards" and said the players loved playing for him and would do anything for him.
"To do what he does – he's not a big man. The amount of work he gets through, the amount of effort he pushes his body through, it'd be hard to find anyone better."
Gallen said he was "really happy" to be named player of the series.
"It's a big achievement to be named the best player of the series. I work my backside off and put my body through a fair bit but I think it's a reflection of my teammates, without them I wouldn't have won it."