Queensland skipper’s mic drop moment
It wasn't enough for Paul Gallen to lose almost every Origin series he played in - he had to ruin this one for the Blues too.
NSW entered this year as an unbackable favourite to win its third straight State of Origin series.
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Even a game one upset wasn't enough to dent the confidence of former Blues like Gallen, who had been labelled the worst Queensland team in 40 years before the series.
After the Blues delivered a dominant win in game two, Gallen doubled down on the criticism agreeing the current Maroons were one of the weakest in the history of the game.
"I would much rather have played against this side than any of the teams I ever played (against). In the past 15-20 years, I'd probably say this is the worst team. There you go, let's fire them up even more," he said.
He added: "I look at the current side and they've got some great players, but I think as a team, when it comes down to ability, I don't think they've got anywhere near the ability of the Blues, so I think it's fair."
Oh dear. Gal will be spending the rest of 2020 removing the egg from his face after Wayne Bennett and his baby Maroons made history with a 20-14 game three win.
Captain Daly Cherry-Evans couldn't resist mentioning the swipe in a mic drop finish to his victory speech.
"On behalf of the worst ever Queensland team, thank you very much," he said.
In the days before the big game, Cherry-Evans agreed the sledge hurt a little bit.
He addressed the comments again in the post-match press conference.
"It probably motivated us all a little bit," he said. "Wayne gave 14 people an opportunity to play for Queensland. None of them weren't deserving of their opportunity. It's probably a nice moment for us to sit there and think about it.
"The media can sometimes motivate you as a player but there was more than that tonight, we were playing for each other. That was just a nice little finish."
NSW coach Brad Fittler distanced himself from the comments.
"I'm not sure who said it's the worst team in history around NSW or our team," he said.
"I think they did a great job. I think in Adelaide, coming from 10-0 down … I think where we lost the series, I've got to go back to the first half in Adelaide where we didn't take advantage at all."
Queensland blooded 14 debutants in the 2020 series after Bennett replaced Kevin Walters as coach a little over a month before the series began.
Cooper Cronk said it was "his greatest coaching performance".
The result brings back memories of the 1995 series, when Queensland won 3-0 with a largely unheralded side under the tutelage of Paul Vautin.
The Maroons boilover was on at the start of the series when Queensland won 18-14 in Adelaide, before NSW bounced back with the 34-10 win in Sydney.
While the Blues had to face a Suncorp Stadium nearly full of Maroons fans in the decider, NSW were still huge favourites despite not having won a State of Origin decider in Queensland in 15 years.
But after injuries to James Tedesco early and Cody Walker late in the game, it proved a bridge too far for the Blues as the Maroons regained the Origin Shield for the first time in three years.
Originally published as Queensland skipper's mic drop moment