Queensland utility Michael Morgan has hailed NRL clubmate Johnathan Thurston after yet another State of Origin match-winning display by the Maroons playmaker.
Thurston set up three tries and kicked nine goals from nine attempts as Queensland smashed NSW 52-6 in the series decider in Brisbane on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old now has 200 points from 33 consecutive Origin appearances, his nine goals the most ever by one player in a single Origin.
Morgan, who himself scored his maiden Origin four-pointer in the eight-tries to one romp, says Thurston’s greatness is there for all to see.
“He’s been doing it for such a long time,” Morgan said.
“To play the consecutive Origin games he’s played shows how consistent each and every year he is.
“When people knock him, he comes back in the next game and is even more dominant.
“There’s been a lot of talk about this group being too old and that type of thing, but guys like him, he’s over 30 and he’s still performing like that.”
Thurston’s individual haul matches that of Lote Tuqiri in Queensland’s 26-18 victory in game two in 2002.
But he could have secured another milestone of his own had he not let retiring teammate Justin Hodges convert the final try of the night at the fulltime siren.
Queensland captain Cameron Smith admitted he wasn’t aware that record was on the line when he allowed Thurston to hand over the kicking duties.
“Did it really?,” Smith said when asked if Thurston knew he’d passed up the shot at the record.
“We’ll just keep that quiet … I won’t tell him.”
Morgan says that wouldn’t have been an issue however and Thurston would still have given Hodges the chance to sign off even with the milestone begging.
“I don’t think he would have known but I reckon he still would have given it up,” he said.
“That’s just the person he is.”