An angry Queensland claim Paul Gallen’s post-match snub has inspired them to extend their State of Origin dominance.
The Maroons could barely control their rage over retiring skipper Gallen turning his back and leading NSW away during Queensland captain Cameron Smith’s speech after the Blues’ 18-14 game three win on Wednesday night.
After raising the Origin trophy to mark Queensland’s 10th series win in 11 years, Smith was paying tribute to Gallen while the seemingly-oblivious NSW captain walked off.
It was a bad look after Gallen had criticised Queensland for being “bad winners” ahead of his 24th and final Origin.
Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston said the snub had put a “fire in the belly” for 2017.
“Yeah, no doubt about it,” he said.
“I don’t want to get into a slanging match here but it was pretty disrespectful.
“I think that typifies what that team is about.”
Gallen did not help his cause when asked about the incident, saying he “didn’t even notice” Smith’s post-match ceremony speech.
Smith was clearly not impressed after also accepting the Wally Lewis Medal as player of the series.
“It’s something our team wouldn’t do,” he said.
Smith said Queensland made a point of staying on the field during Gallen’s post-match victory speech after NSW’s rare series win in 2014 which snapped eight straight years of Maroons dominance.
“We didn’t walk away. We made a point of staying there for Paul’s speech and him lifting the shield and congratulating their victory,” he said.
“That’s what we are about.”
Queensland great Gorden Tallis compared Gallen’s snub with the Blues’ now infamous post-try celebrations during their 56-16 game three win in 2000.
“The greatest thing is that’s our motivation for next year,” Tallis told Triple M radio.
“There was the hand grenade (try celebration) 10 or so years ago and now there’s that.
“They just keep on motivating the squad every year.”
Smith said he wouldn’t lose too much sleep over Gallen’s “bad winners” tag.
“Gal’s been involved in the boxing game and it’s that showmanship really, trying to pump up the series and he does a good job at it,” he said.
“I think we have been gracious and humble with our victories, same when we lost in 2014.
“Gal can say whatever he wants. We are comfortable in our skin.”
The Maroons were denied a fifth series whitewash by NSW’s last-gasp game three win.
But Smith couldn’t see Queensland’s winning run ending any time soon based on their game three effort where they were on the wrong end of a 12-4 penalty count.
“I think we can continue our dominance, based on the team that we have got,” he said.
“What team has a right to be in a game with that penalty count against them?
“I don’t think I have ever been in a game with a count like that, let alone a State of Origin.”
Thurston added: “In the end Queensland got the shield and we will have it for another 12 months.
“I am very proud of this team’s dominance.”