NATE Myles was so sore after Wednesday night's Origin decider, he couldn't even get up and walk around to mingle with the fans and share the joy of Queensland's seventh-straight series win.
But behind the pain, exhaustion and massive ice pack hugging his chest was a man on top of the world.
And deservedly so - Myles had also pocketed the Wally Lewis man of the series award. He carried the ball for 120m and made a staggering 36 tackles in his side's 21-20 win at Suncorp Stadium, billed as one of the greatest Origins of all time.
Myles had not even won a man of the match award at NRL or representative level before picking up the honour in Game I in Melbourne.
"I'm pretty spun out still ... I never thought it would happen but I'm fortunate enough to get it," he said.
The 27-year-old has played his best football since moving to the Titans this season after a checkered stint at the Sydney Roosters.
"The Gold Coast has been a fantastic place. Everyone stops and chats and everyone is there enjoying themselves," he said.
When asked if Wednesday night's performance was about redemption, he said: "No, no. Tonight had nothing to do with the past."
Myles was in no doubt the epic series decider was one of the more bruising games he has played in his eight-year first grade career.
"It sucks when you've got blokes like Greg Bird coming at you with a left or right-foot step, or Choc Watmough coming on, Luke Lewis, Ben Creagh," he said. "You've got front-rowers like Paul Gallen who can play 80 minutes ... T-Rex (Tony Williams).
"They're a terrific team and the way they came out this year has been exceptional."
The Queensland victory provided the perfect farewell for Origin veteran Petero Civoniceva.
Maroons front-rower and Broncos teammate Ben Hannant could not contain his excitement about sending the warhorse out a winner. "He (Petero) carted the ball up outstanding and really led from the front," Hannant said.
"There were 33 Origin games where he turned up and delivered in every one for Queensland. He deserves every accolade he gets."
While there were plenty of sore bodies in the Queensland changerooms, things were even worse next door with Jarryd Hayne, Greg Bird and Robbie Farah all picking up injuries.
Hayne had an appointment with the Eels' physio yesterday after injuring his foot in the final minute on Wednesday, leaving him with the prospect of missing the next two NRL rounds.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens confirmed late yesterday that Farah would miss tonight's crucial clash with the Bulldogs.
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