Who else but Johnathan Thurston?
The veteran playmaker marked a triumphant return for Queensland by kicking a sideline conversion in the dying minutes on Wednesday night to seal a come-from-behind 18-16 State of Origin game-two win in Sydney.
The stage is set for Queensland to send Maroons warrior Thurston out of Origin a winner in the July 12 decider at Suncorp Stadium.
NSW appeared in sight of just their second series win since 2005 when they led 16-6 at halftime in front of a 82,259-strong crowd at ANZ Stadium.
But as always, the Maroons weren’t to be denied, matching NSW’s three tries – including a double by Queensland winger Dane Gagai – to send the series into a decider.
The Blues hoped to launch their own golden era with a series win on Wednesday night in Sydney.
Instead, the ageing Queensland somehow remain on track for their 11th Origin triumph in 12 years.
It marked a fitting return for Maroons playmaker Thurston from a shoulder injury and fullback Billy Slater after he was controversially overlooked for Queensland’s record 28-4 game-one loss in Brisbane.
The once-mighty Maroons were at an Origin crossroads after undergoing their biggest team shake-up in 15 years ahead of game two, making seven changes and naming four debutants.
Now, they are on track to send off some of their biggest warriors as winners in game three in Brisbane.
Thurston will bow out of Origin after game three while the future of Maroons skipper Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk remains up in the air.
NSW scored two tries in three minutes to lead 16-6 at halftime.
Queensland drew first blood through debutant winger Valentine Holmes in the ninth minute but, from there, it was one-way traffic in the first half.
Centre Jarryd Hayne scored in the 14th minute, marking four pointer No.11 for NSW – equalling Michael O’Connor as NSW’s leading Origin try-scorer.
The one-two punch of tries to winger Brett Morris (24th) and halfback Mitchell Pearce (27th) ensured NSW had all the halftime momentum.
However, Gagai scored twice (53rd, 77th) before Thurston again broke Blues hearts by kicking the sideline conversion to give the visitors an 18-16 lead.
Melbourne are sweating on centre Will Chambers who suffered concussion in the 71st minute.