Boyd Cordner may have had the 'C' beside this name but it was James Maloney who ultimately stood up to lead the Blues to victory in the opening State of Origin in Melbourne.
The NSW playmaker was in everything - both good and bad - as the Blues turned in a massive second half to beat Queensland 22-12.
Fielding 11 debutants, the Blues needed the experience and leadership of Maloney more than ever.
The 31-year-old was playing in his 10th Origin and is yet to savour a series win.
But that could just be one match away if the Blues can win on home turf in Sydney in game two.
Maloney was asked post match about playing at the MCG with his answer a reflection of his own game.
"It was a bit of a mix at times - we were getting the cheers and the boos," he told Channel Nine.
Maloney had a hand in the first NSW try after 21 minutes when hooker Damien Cook darted from dummy half and offloaded to the No.6, who found fullback James Tedesco on the fly.
But six minutes later the Penrith star also played a key role in the Maroons first try, throwing the pass that was intercepted by Valentine Holmes, with the winger racing 90m to score.
He also threw a forward pass before Queensland's second try, gifting the Maroons possession which ultimately led to Dan Gagai scoring out wide.
Then he came good.
With the scores locked 12-12 midway through the second half, Maloney put up a bomb - Tom Trbojevic leaping high to take the ball from Holmes and score.
It proved a game-breaker.
Queensland fans questioned whether his final pass for Josh Addo-Carr's late try was forward but either way, Maloney and the Blues had all the momentum.
Now they just need to keep it.