It was supposed to be the night the tide officially turned in State of Origin.
Taunts of “one in a row” by Queensland fans were to be silenced as NSW’s generation next firmly ended the reign of the Maroons.
Instead, with a rabid capacity crowd howling at them, the Blues were washed away as a Maroon king tide swept through Suncorp Stadium on their way to a record-breaking 52-6 victory.
The much-vaunted Blues’ pack lost their heads, and the series, as Queensland’s veterans showed they aren’t done just yet.
Few in a Blue jersey walked off the field without having in some ways contributed to their own demise.
Mop-haired prop Aaron Woods conceded three penalties in the opening half.
Beau Scott’s brain explosion as he unnecessarily gave away a penalty with a late dangerous tackle on Cameron Smith after the Queensland captain had kicked the ball.
Trent Merrin and James Tamou were both placed on report following ill-discipline of their own.
Even NSW’s man of the moment – giant rookie prop David Klemmer – was given a dose of Origin reality when he dropped the ball 20m from his line with his first carry of the second half.
From the resulting set, a miraculous bat back from the deadball line by Justin Hodges allowed Matt Gillett to extend Queensland’s 20-point halftime lead.
Ryan Hoffman’s cool head and Origin experience would certainly have been useful as the Blues’ house crumbled but, unfortunately, the 31-year-old was sidelined with a torn calf before the floodgates opened.
Through it all, Queensland punished every infraction, every error, racing to an emphatic victory.
The Blues may well find their own dynasty from this team but, for now, it’s still the Maroons who rule the Origin roost.