Daley missed dramatic Origin finish
NSW coach Laurie Daley was a relieved man after his team clawed back a win in the final match of the 2016 State of Origin series – but admits he missed the late match-winning try after having already left the coach's box.
A 75th-minute try to Darius Boyd had looked have to sealed another dose of heartbreak for a Blues outfit for whom close enough had not been good enough more often than not in recent years.
It looked even more like being a Queensland series clean sweep three minutes later with the Blues hemmed in their own end feeding a scrum, before new five-eighth Matt Moylan sent debutant fullback James Tedesco through a hole and racing downfield.
After some typically desperate Queensland defence pulled Tedesco down just short of the line, the Blues spread it wide. When a long ball hit the ground it looked like the Maroons would hang on, until skipper Paul Gallen scooped it up and popped it to the man blessed with greater acceleration than any other on the field, Michael Jennings, who jinked through several defenders then smashed through two more to plant it down and steal the win.
Daley had left the coach's box shortly before the 79th-minute line break and 80th-minute try, but he could afford to smile about it afterwards.
"I left the coach's box and I was walking down with [Blues staffer and welfare manager] Gavin Wood and I thought I'll drop my pad into the booth. I dropped my pad and we walked out the door and I heard this roar. I thought 'oh that's pretty good, I don't know what it was' and then it was more than a roar and I realised yeah, it was a try," Daley said.
"I got there just as you see it on the screen as you walk through the tunnel, as 'Jenko' put it down."
Gallen was relieved that when he got the loose ball, Jennings had been on hand to fix the mess.
"It was a good try. When I saw 'Friz' [Tyson Frizell] let it go and it came to me I thought 'oh no', I didn't know what to do," Gallen said.
"I was going to hit the winger but I thought I'll just tip it on to Jenko and he did the rest. He's got good feet, he's fast, he's good at cutting back and doing that and he got there which is very pleasing."
Gallen thought Tedesco wouldn't be run down and admitted Queensland's relentless scrambling defence was a source of frustration.
"I don't know if you saw me but I was jumping and whipping him on [but] Queensland are just so good at scrambling," he said.
"I can admit it now, I hate them, I don't like them but they just scramble and they're a great side.
"They just scrambled and got him, I couldn't believe it, they just got him and when the ball came out my way, I thought it was going to Friz, he let it go, he let it bounce and thankfully I picked the right man to hit in Jenko and he did the rest."