All honours to the team, says Qld star
JT DEFLECTS GLORY
record of highest individual points scored by a Queenslander, but equalled it instead after handing one of his conversions to good mate and retiring Maroons centre Justin Hodges.
It was a typically selfless act by Thurston, who impressed onlookers so much that one sporting agency yesterday paid out all bets on him winning the Dally M with nine rounds remaining.
“After we lost the series last year there was a lot of talk about us being too old, too slow, and they ( NSW) were dominating our forward pack,” Thurston said.
“I though our middle third were outstanding and they really laid a platform for us, so I’m very proud to be part of a record game for the Maroons.
“I was only sitting back and thinking about it last night, and it’s right up there with the ’ 06 series – the first one that we won – and the whitewash in 2010.
“To put 50 points on the Blues had never been done before, so it’s a great effort from the boys.”
any talk of his individual heroics and records, instead praising the effort of his team following a week of distractions that included skipper Cameron Smith being put in the spotlight by a Minutes report on Alex McKinnon.
The Maroons also copped flak from southern media, who called Origin’s most successful team Dad’s Army.
“You don’t play the game for the records, you play the game for the moments of being around your best mates,” Thurston said.
“It’s an honour and privilege to wear that Maroons jersey, represent the state and get the result that we wanted for the people of Queensland.”
Thurston said the retire- ment of Hodges from Origin would leave a big hole at the Maroons, with the centre an influential figure for younger players such as Cowboys teammate Michael Morgan and Raider Josh Papalii.
“He’s going to be missed – he’s always bossing the young fellas around at the front of the bus,” Thurston said, tongue- in- cheek.
“He always plays aggressively out on the field and he’s been a big part of the team, so it was great that we could send him out the way that he deserved.”
Thurston and his North Queensland teammates will have the weekend off thanks to the club’s bye, before a return to training next week.
FIRED UP: Johnathan Thurston pumps up the crowd after yet another Maroons try on Wednesday night; ( inset) Thurston back in Townsville yesterday.