Origin highlights: Teddy, you little beauty
Heavyhitters were out in force at the Origin decider as ANZ Stadium produced another cracking night of Origin.
James Tedesco you champion. This correspondent thought Queensland was about to pull off another miracle when Blake Ferguson and James Tedesco combined to steal victory with one of the greatest tries you'll ever see.
The train ride from Central to straight to Olympic Park. It beats Sydney's peak hour traffic and parking hassles any day of the week. Just 23 minutes. Fans pumped. Great atmosphere.
Guy Sebastian's pre-match entertainment. He's got 10 lengths on Macklemore.
The referees crisis crept into Origin as Gerard Sutton and Ashley Klein almost blew the pea out of the whistle last night. Ten penalties in the first 27 minutes was a shocking start. The ball was only in play for 26 minutes in the first half.
Sco Mo, Gladys and Albo among the corporate heavyweights with Peter Beattie and Todd Greenberg in the NRL suite.
Peter 'Wally' Wynn doing a roaring trade at his Parramatta sports store before the game. Young Xavier Mobbs (pictured) got there just in time. Such was the demand for Blues gear, the store sold out of beanies and scarfs by midday.
NFL aspirant Valentine Holmes in the Queensland dressing room before kick-off, wearing a Maroons scarf and mingling with his former teammates.
Old ARL bosses Ken Arthurson, John Quayle and Colin Love in the corporate suites.
STATE OF FOREIGNERS
Origin deciders even attract fans from the northern hemisphere. There were 90 people who purchased tickets from the UK, 70 from the US and 30 from France.
BROADCAST A WIDE NET
Channel 9's Origin coverage was beamed into more than 100 countries, including New Zealand, the UK, USA, France, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Holland, PNG, Tonga, Niue, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Fiji and the Ivory Coast.
Catch you tonight on NRL 360 on Fox Sports with Ben Ikin and Paul Kent for the final verdict on another great Origin series. Greg Alexander and Kevin Walters will be the special guests.
TICKETS WILL BE HARD TO GET
It won't always be as easy as last night to purchase a ticket to State of Origin.
Next year will be the last time Sydney can cater for more than 80,000 fans.
After that, ANZ Stadium will close for three years.
It will be rebuilt into a rectangular venue that caters for 70,000 fans much closer to the action.
While Olympic Park is out of play, the NRL will use the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2021 and the new Allianz Stadium in 2022. Good luck getting a ticket.
The Moore Park venue will be a magnificent 45,000-seat venue but the SCG trust has 18,000 members plus all the corporates.
It means only 20,000 seats will be available to the general public.
The NRL returns to the new Homebush venue in 2023.
Before the game we spoke to Freddy Fittler about his coaching plans after Origin.
He says he is unlikely to chase a job in club land.
"There's a much bigger workload in club football," he said. "I'm loving what I'm doing and I love my job at Channel Nine."
Fittler coached the Roosters for two season from 2007.
"I had one good year and one awful year," he said. "It was an unbelievable lesson that has helped me with my current role."