Defensive focus key to victory: Meninga
Mal Meninga lauded the defensive attitude of his record-breaking Maroons after their 52-6 hammering of New South Wales in Wednesday night's Holden State of Origin decider.
Despite piling on eight tries the Queensland coach took greater pleasure with the solitary try the his side conceded in front of a sell-out Suncorp Stadium crowd of 52,500.
The Maroons only had to make 208 tackles compared to the visitor's 353, while enjoying 70 percent of possession in a lopsided contest.
However, Meninga said that Queensland's defensive resilience was the most pleasing aspect of the record breaking 46-point victory.
"I don't think I've seen a better defensive effort from a Queensland side at Origin level," Meninga said.
"It was an outstanding effort and what they did with the footy came from great intent and a great attitude in our defence."
Meninga's words were reiterated by Queensland captain Cam Smith, who put a controversial week off the field behind him to lead his side to their ninth Origin series victory in 10 seasons.
"We knew we played nowhere near our capability in Game Two and we worked really hard on fixing that," Smith said.
"Our biggest focus was on our defence – conceding 26 points [in Game Two] is not a Queensland effort – that's what we built on this week and the reason why we played so well.
"We built momentum and never let up. I couldn't have asked for a better effort tonight."
The Maroons skipper finished his 36th Origin with 44 metres from six runs and 25 tackles in a relatively subdued performance, although the 32-year-old found himself in awe of the damage his team was doing on the scoreboard.
"We were all out on that field at some point thinking 'what's happening here?'," said Smith, who equalled Darren Lockyer's record for most Origin appearances.
"We couldn't afford to let up – they're a very good side, the Blues. At any moment if we thought we'd get comfortable and think the game was ours they could have bounced back in an instant.
"It was all about sticking to our game plan and keeping our composure. We didn't do that in Game Two, but we certainly did that tonight and put on a good score."