The Queensland dynasty may have a few new faces in its ranks, but it is still very much alive and well.
For Mudgee, the battle itself came down to a player on each side – Josh Jackson and Jarrod Wallace, former teammates at the Mudgee Dragons and now enemies on either side of the paddock.
It was Wallace who came off the better of the two after finding himself in Jackson’s shadow in Origin II, and he was able to bag himself a try to celebrate the momentous occasion as well.
It was a masterclass at Suncorp on Wednesday evening, however, as the ever-present Cameron Smith led in a host of debutantes to Queensland’s eleventh series win in twelve years.
Valentine Holmes bagged a hat-trick in just his second ever State of Origin appearance, adding to Wallace’s try to give Queensland a 22 point haul to the Blues’ 6.
A glimmer of hope came for the struggling NSW team at 12-0, as Josh Dugan beat out two defenders off a kick to score a Houdini-like try and put hope back into the hearts of Blues supporters.
It wasn’t to be, however, and now the NSW team will be left scratching their head for another year.
For Josh, the slow burning wait for Origin 2018 will be agonisingly long.
For Jarrod, the celebrations will be like nothing else – Queensland has escaped the dying days of their dynasty, and look to make sure it never ends.