Queensland dominance set to continue
In a scary sign for New South Wales and their fans, Queensland have warned that their legendary dynasty is far from over.
The Maroons have now won 10 Origin series in the past 11 years after their 26-16 Game Two win on Wednesday night and Queensland admit they want more of where that came from.
The series win means that rookie Maroons coach Kevin Walters has a 100 per cent success rate in Origin matches, with the fan favourite starting where now-Australian coach Mal Meninga left off.
Walters couldn't be happier with the start to his coaching career and he says the leadership in the Queensland camp is what will guide the Maroons to success for many more years to come.
"What a lot of people do need to get their head around is how much experience we've lost this year," Walters said.
"There's no Billy Slater, no Nate Myles, no Justin Hodges and no Will Chambers. Three of them have nearly 100 Origin games between them.
"The leadership of the group to bring these younger players in is brilliant.
"Greg Inglis looks after Corey Oates, Matt Gillett and Cooper Cronk have looked after Justin O'Neill and Dane Gagai.
"Dane only just played his third Origin game. The leadership of this group is something that is very special."
Perhaps the most decorated leader of them all is captain Cameron Smith, with the Queensland hooker putting in another man-of-the-match performance.
It was the proud Queenslander's 38th Origin game for the Maroons and the skipper was as instrumental as ever, putting his body on the line in both attack and defence.
It's leaders like that of 33-year-old Smith that Queensland will inevitably lose over the coming years, but the man himself trusts the next generation coming through to continue the Maroons' winning ways.
"I'm extremely confident that the young players coming through can keep this winning culture moving forward," Smith said.
"We've got some quality young players in our side at the moment. Aidan Guerra, Gillett, O'Neill, Oates, Gagai and Josh Papalii.
"Papalii was outstanding tonight because he gave us so much go forward. The team is in good hands.
"We are losing Corey Parker this season so another young guy will have to step up in his place.
"They'll be fine with the guidance of 'Kevvy' and the other staff members. They are all playing exceptional club football so I think we can just keep moving forward."
The future is something that is firmly on Smith's mind, with the decorated hooker already looking towards Game Three.
Smith will lift the Origin shield in Sydney after that match, and although celebrating in hostile territory doesn't bother him, he says a slight change in tradition may be the way to go in the future.
"It would be nice to lift the shield in your home stadium if the series is won there in a Game Two match," he said.
"It hasn't happened in the past so I wasn't going to ask for it to happen tonight.
"Only two years ago New South Wales wrapped it up in two games and Paul Gallen didn't get to lift the shield in Sydney.
"I'm happy to lift it anywhere as long as it's in my hands.
"In saying that, maybe the NRL could look at offering it to the victorious Game Two side if they've wrapped up the series."