Queensland captain's brutal Paul Gallen sledge in victory speech

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Daly Cherry-Evans, pictured here in his victory speech at State of Origin.
Daly Cherry-Evans delivered the ultimate parting shot at Paul Gallen. Image: Channel Nine/Getty

Daly Cherry-Evans delivered the ultimate mic drop moment in his State of Origin victory speech after Queensland pulled off a miraculous series victory on Wednesday night.

Cherry-Evans was instrumental in steering Queensland to one of the greatest State of Origin upsets in the last 25 years.

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The Maroons won games I and III to shock NSW, who came into the series as red-hot favourites.

NSW supporters were so sure they would win the series that veteran journalist Dean Ritchie labelled Queensland the “worst State of Origin side in 40 years.”

That came back to bite Ritchie when Queensland won the opening game, however it looked to have settled down when NSW won Game II 34-10.

But former NSW captain Paul Gallen thought it would be a good idea to repeat the cutting claim earlier this week.

Gallen said Ritchie’s call that Queensland were the worst side in 40 years was “probably fair”.

“I would much rather have played against this side than any of the teams I ever played (against),” Gallen declared.

“In the past 15-20 years, I’d probably say this is the worst team. There you go, let’s fire them up even more.

“I look at the current side and they’ve got some great players, but I think as a team, when it comes down to ability, I don’t think they’ve got anywhere near the ability of the Blues, so I think it’s fair.”

Daly Cherry-Evans, pictured here celebrating with the State of Origin shield.
Daly Cherry-Evans celebrates with the State of Origin shield. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Daly Cherry-Evans’ brutal Paul Gallen sledge

Needless to say, Queensland won’t be letting Gallen forget his comments anytime soon.

Cherry-Evans wrapped up his victory speech on Wednesday night by saying: “On behalf of the worst ever Queensland team, thank you very much.”

In his post-match press conference, Cherry-Evans admitted the sledge had fired Queensland up.

“It probably motivated us all a little bit,” he said.

“Wayne gave 14 people an opportunity to play for Queensland. None of them weren’t deserving of their opportunity.

“It’s probably a nice moment for us to sit there and think about it.

“The media can sometimes motivate you as a player but there was more than that tonight, we were playing for each other. That was just a nice little finish.”

NSW coach Brad Fittler was quick to distance himself from the comments, heaping praise on Queensland.

“I’m not sure who said it’s the worst team in history around NSW or our team,” he said.

“I think they did a great job. I think in Adelaide, coming from 10-0 down …

“I think where we lost the series, I’ve got to go back to the first half in Adelaide where we didn’t take advantage at all.”

Queensland used 14 debutants to win the 2020 Origin series, which coach Wayne Bennett likened to the Maroons’ heroics of 2001 in which 10 new players were blooded.

“We achieved something similar in 2001 when we brought Alf (Allan Langer) back for that third game and I think the key to us tonight was getting (Cameron) Munster back on the field,” he said.

“And we didn't have to bring him from England, we just had to make sure his head was okay.

“He's got a lot of Allan Langer characteristics about him, can just make it happen, just backs his instinct.”

with AAP

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