The beers sat on ice in an empty changeroom, with stray bits of used tape and the faint, fading smell of Dencorub the only evidence there had once been a team so full of ambition there only minutes before.
NSW couldn’t exit Suncorp Stadium quickly enough on Wednesday night, after their record 52-6 thrashing to Queensland.
By the time most journalists were able to gain entry to the Blues sheds, the only thing close to a NSW player was a banner of their images that had been plastered on the wall pre-game.
Enough VBs sat clumped in eskies for a decent bucks party and they are probably still sitting in the bowels of the stadium now. The Blues were in no mood to drown their sorrows and nothing will wipe that bitter taste of defeat out of their mouths, expect a series win this time next year.
But that appears an eternity away now, and NSW’s droughtbreaking series win last year seems like nothing but a dream.
‘I don’t know what to say,” Blues captain Paul Gallen said.
There will be the inevitable post mortems, but perhaps it is best that Blues coach Laurie Daley puts it down to what Gallen describes as “just one of those nights”.
“I never expected that, I don’t think anyone expects 50 to be put on you in Origin,” Daley said.
“You can tell when people are getting ahead of themselves but that wasn’t the case in camp.
“It is not who we are. The cold hard facts were they jumped us early and we couldn’t recover.
“The challenge has been set, we will come back again.”
The Blues dominated most of game one, but lost their way late at ANZ Stadium, before their win in game two at the MCG. Gallen was left to rue the one that got away.
“Game one we probably should have won at home, game two we were dominant,” Gallen said.
“It’s just not good enough for the Blue jumper.
“They were too good, you get the possession they had they ran hard, there are absolutely no excuses.”
The good news for NSW is they will only have one game in Brisbane next year, with Origin I and III to be played in Sydney.
However Suncorp Stadium in 2016 might be BYO beers for the Blues.