Nothing lucky about Origin win: Fittler
NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler addresses his team following their win in Game 3 of the 2019 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
He admits he's had some good fortune as NSW coach, but Brad Fittler is adamant there was nothing lucky about their latest State of Origin triumph.
The Blues on Wednesday made it back-to-back series wins after James Tedesco scored on the final play of the game for a dramatic 26-20 victory.
It ended a run of seven straight defeats in Origin deciders dating back to the beginning of Queensland's dynasty in 2006.
The Maroons had since won two of the past 12 series, led by a number of champion players tipped to become rugby league immortals.
"Someone wrote that I have a bit of luck and without a doubt (I have)," Fittler said.
"A lot of things have changed over the last couple of years and a lot of (Queensland) players have left. i never disregard how good those players were."
The Maroons also had star fullback Kalyn Ponga (calf) out with injury, and lost veteran second-rower Matt Gillett (groin) out the day before the game.
Fittler also conceded Queensland were the better side in the decider.
"i thought Queensland were fantastic tonight. I thought they were better than us, especially considering the week they had," he said.
"A lot of the players they pulled in... I thought they were great."
However Fittler said there was nothing lucky about returning halfback Mitchell Pearce's risky long-ball for Tom Trbojevic that resulted in Tedesco's winner.
Pearce had never won a decider against the Maroons in seven attempts.
"Mitchell Pearce finding that space at the death, that's not luck," Fittler said.
"He's gone through a lot of disappointment. A lot of blokes wouldn't have thrown it, (and it) would've went into extra time.
"She was a tough game tonight, but there's no luck involved there.
"Those blokes worked so hard for each other, they were under a lot of pressure. They've been under the pump for a couple of weeks now."
Fittler also praised winger Blake Ferguson, who received the ball from Trbojevic before tiptoeing down the sideline before finding Tedesco in support.
Ferguson, who also hadn't tasted series success against Queensland and whose Origin career was seemingly over after 2017, carried the ball for 158 metres.
"He took every bomb and he runs into five blokes at a time," Fittler said.
"He does things so fast that there's always an error somewhere here or there. He never made one error. He made one error in the second game over in Perth.
"He has been outstanding, incredible. Talk about best players, there's not many better. He's just got everything when he's focused and he's calm."
© AAP 2019