Queensland assistant Michael Hagan does not believe it is arrogant for the Maroons to celebrate their streak as NSW are about to raise the Origin trophy.
The greatest State of Origin streak has already been savoured by Queensland but Maroons assistant Michael Hagan doesn’t believe it is inappropriate to toast it again on a night when NSW finally get to raise the trophy.
Hagan revealed on Wednesday that past players involved in Queensland’s record eight-year series-winning dynasty snapped by the Blues in 2014 attended a team celebration on Tuesday night in Brisbane.
However, Hagan believed it was appropriate that they still hold a ceremony during game three on Wednesday night to reflect on their glorious run barely an hour before NSW captain Paul Gallen receives the Origin trophy.
NSW greats Steve Mortimer and Ben Elias have slammed the Queensland Rugby League’s initiative to pay tribute to players involved in the streak at halftime at Suncorp Stadium.
A match highlights video package of the 2006-2013 run will be played before about 20 players walk onto the field.
Mortimer and Elias this week claimed the move was “disrespectful” and “arrogant”, stealing NSW’s thunder just as they were about to get their hands on the Origin trophy.
But Hagan believed it was a suitable and time and place for the tribute.
“It is what the QRL have decided to do and we are at Suncorp Stadium so I don’t think you can bag them for doing that given how successful they have been,” Hagan said.
“The fans have been behind them for so long – I am sure it will be a good night.”
Hagan said the team had their own private ceremony with past players on Tuesday night that also raised their glass to Johnathan Thurston’s 30th straight Origin, Darius Boyd’s 20th and winger Will Chambers’ debut.
“A few guys who have played 30 games were there to honour JT joining that illustrious group,” he said.
“I think that is something the QRL does really well.
“It was an opportunity to really celebrate what the team has done.
“It was good to see some familiar faces who contributed to a fantastic eight years.”
Hagan said the walk down memory lane had sparked Queensland as they looked to the future.
“It (game three) is still an important game for setting up next year,” he said.
“There is a little bit at stake from our point of view to finish the series on a good note and play well.”
Hagan did not expect an explosive game three after Meninga chatted with NRL referees boss Tony Archer on Wednesday.
“Perhaps a bit of the heat has gone out of the series but NSW want to come out here and finish off their campaign,” he said.
“Maybe the intensity and a bit of niggle may still be there but the referees can control and handle that a bit better.”