Smith: 'This team isn't finished'
Queensland's Origin dynasty is far from over according to captain Cameron Smith and coach Mal Meninga as the Maroons finished off the 2014 Holden State of Origin Series in style with a 32-8 victory over New South Wales on Wednesday night.
The Maroons were the dominant side for the majority of the match with 56 per cent of possession and 14 more sets than the Blues. If not for the resolute Blues' defence the Maroons could have gone on to score more than the five tries they managed as they were held up over the line on four occasions in the first half.
NSW leaked three late tries against the Maroons to wipe some of the gloss of their first Series win since 2005, but Meninga was quick to pay tribute to a deserving Blues team.
"First and foremost I want to congratulate and acknowledge NSW – they won the Series and deservedly so," Meninga said.
Queensland's coach went on to credit the win as a bitter sweet, yet satisfying victory for his men as the Maroons finally let the shackles loose to score some points and turn on the style they've been renowned for over the past eight Series.
"We could have just turned up tonight to play and to see what happens, [but] the character of this footy team is tremendous and they had a point to prove," Meninga added.
Skipper Cameron Smith also reiterated the sentiments of his coach while also declaring that the Maroons' Origin dynasty is far from over.
"Our goal tonight was to come here and play football and to stick to our game plan and we did that," Smith said.
"We obviously got the result we wanted and then some. Tonight we really showed that this team isn't finished.
"There was a lot of talk after the result [in Game Two] in Sydney that this dynasty is over, but as Mal said I think the team we had out there tonight played extremely well.
"The guys are very pleased with the effort tonight. We've always been confident throughout the whole three games this year about our game plan and the belief in each other.
"We are a very close-knit team and we're good enough to go around next year and really try to bring that shield back to Queensland."
Meninga also spoke of the younger brigade of Queensland players coming through the Queensland Origin system, such as Aidan Guerra and debutant Will Chambers
"It was great to see those younger guys come through and grab their opportunity like they've been a part of the team for years," he said.
"It's fantastic that some of these younger guys are starting to merge with the senior group of Cameron [Smith], John [Thurston] and Billy [Slater] around the traps – they look, see and observe how these guys go around with their preparation.
"How much passion [they have] for the Queensland jersey and the contribution they make through the week means [those younger players] grow a couple of legs from it all.
"It's invaluable to have those young guys come through at the moment and learn off the senior guys."
The Queensland coach also didn’t foresee the need for dramatic changes to the Maroons side heading into next year's Series.
"We don't need to make any changes to be honest. Obviously we had Matt Scott tonight and Brent Tate out through injury," Meninga said.
"I'm very happy with the players and they get along so well so there's no need to change anything."