Incredible detail in NSW team photo that most people missed

Mitchell Pearce could have been forgiven for thinking about himself after finally tasting victory in a State of Origin series in 12 years on Wednesday night.

In his eighth series, the 30-year-old halfback finally laid his hands on the shield after the Blues' thrilling 26-20 win over Queensland at ANZ Stadium.

After having the finger pointed at him following series losses in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017, it was the ultimate redemption for the much-maligned star.

And in a moment of absolute class that showed a new level of maturity, Pearce made sure the man he replaced in the NSW No.7 jersey shared his moment with him.

Mitchell Pearce made sure Nathan Cleary was part of the celebrations. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Pearce grabbed Nathan Cleary and made sure he was on stage as the Blues celebrated with the shield after full-time.

The injured Cleary had featured in the first two games for NSW, but couldn’t take part in the decider.

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Other players also made sure Tariq Sims was on stage, the second-rower suspended for the game.

Fans noticed the gesture and took to social media with praise for Pearce.

Pearce’s pivotal role in match-winner

With the scores locked at 20-20 and with the game looking set to go to golden point, Pearce fired a long ball for Tom Trbojevic, who in turn put Blake Ferguson into open space.

And when James Tedesco crossed with the final play of the game, Pearce finally sealed his place as an Origin winner.

"I didn't expect the game to get to that situation where the game was 20-all," Pearce said.

"I thought we played really well for the 20-30 minutes after halftime.

"We created a lot of opportunities and we couldn't land the final punch out.

"There was a lot of linebreaks, a lot of good footy, it wasn't ideal. I just saw Turbo out there, I didn't do much at all. Fergo is an athlete and Teddy finished it off."

with AAP