FOR 15 of the previous 19 State of Origin deciders, Queensland had always come up with the big plays.
But last night, New South Wales' most maligned player in history delivered the biggest play of his Origin career.
Mitchell Pearce had never won a series-deciding match in seven attempts and had only tasted victory on five out of 18 occasions.
With the scores locked at 20-all, the Blues had seen a 12-point lead disappear into thin air as had been the case numerous times before.
But then Pearce saw space on the right side which allowed him to start the passage of play that saw James Tedesco score in the corner.
Remarkably, the halfback was the only NSW player on Tedesco's inside when the Roosters fullback pinned his ears back and went for the corner 60 metres down the field.
Regardless, the redemption was complete.
Speaking with Fox Sports after the game, Pearce passed up on the opportunity to have a sly dig at the naysayers.
"Origins ... they go in ebbs and flows and you've got to come up with the moment and we nailed the moment tonight," he said.
"As I've gotten older I'm not too fussed about (the criticism), I'm fussed about not letting my teammates down and I'm fussed about not letting the state down as well.
"I've never felt good about not winning. Don't get me wrong, every time the criticism comes ... you don't feel good about losing and that's what feels good (tonight)."
The Knights halfback did what he had to do. He wasn't outstanding, but he didn't need to be.
But despite all that, he still faced criticism from some quarters on social media that he didn't do enough and was "poor", but his statistics made for compelling viewing.
He kicked the ball seven times and made 229 metres. He made 24 of 28 tackles. He made four tackle breaks.
He also delivered the early ball to Tedesco when he crossed for the Blues' first try of the second half.
Mitchell Pearce wasn't man of the match, but he also didn't fail.
And most importantly, he's now a State of Origin series winner.
He is also now faced with the task of steering Newcastle into the NRL top four, but don't for a second think his focus will be on anything other than defeating Canterbury on Friday night.
"I don't ever predict the future because there's always new things that come up and that's the best thing about life," he said.
What else is happening in sport?
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.