Speech that sparked the streak
Darren Lockyer's Melbourne miracle in Game Three 2006 is most often credited for the start of Queensland's incredible streak of eight straight Origin series wins but it was a speech by Maroons legend Paul Vautin prior to Game Two that helped to turn the tide.
Having been defeated in the past three Origin series and 1-0 down after a Brett Finch field goal secured a 17-16 win for the Blues in Game One in Sydney, the Queensland team gathered for Game Two with many suggesting that if they lost again it would signal the end of the interstate concept.
That was the scenario that 22-year-old Jacob Lillyman with just 19 games to his name was thrust into to make his Origin debut and he told NRL.com that it was an address by Vautin and leadership of the senior players that saw the Maroons keep the series alive with a comprehensive 30-6 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
"I remember 'Fatty' Vautin coming in and he said a few stirring words. We had a bit of a meeting and he spoke and I remember him speaking as a passionate Queenslander and had a few things to say," Lillyman said.
"That kicked things off and then the week at training and the game, you could just tell that everyone was that on and ready to go and the result spoke for itself.
"I do remember them saying that if New South Wales won that series that Origin would pretty much be dead. My head nearly fell off.
"Although I was a young kid coming in you could tell there was a bit of pressure around it. You could tell that was weighing on the senior guys a little bit but we had a massive week at training.
"The senior players really led from the front and then the game, from go to whoa they put a bit of a score on them and that was the start of the streak."
Lillyman has been an irregular member of the dominant Queensland teams of the past decade, making way for the return from injury of Tonie Carroll for the Maroons team for Game Three in Melbourne in 2006.
Wednesday night will be the 32-year-old's 13th game for Queensland but denied that he felt slighted to be overlooked for Game Three a decade ago as the Maroons clinched their first series since 2002.
"The best way to sum it up was that it was a roller-coaster. It just blew my whole world," said the Warriors prop who has now played 222 first grade games.
"I'd only just come into first grade and played 20-odd games and then next you thing you know I get called up into the Queensland team.
"It was a surreal experience walking into a room with guys like 'Locky' (Lockyer), Petero Civoniceva and all these blokes that I'd grown up watching. It was an unreal experience but certainly blew my mind.
"I wasn't overly disappointed that I missed out (for Game Three), I was just thankful enough to get that game.
"They had Tonie Carroll coming back from injury so went for a bit of experience.
"It would have been nice to get another one back then but at the time I was just happy to chalk one up."