AAP Rugby

Cordner almost missed Blues’ crazy finish

By AAP Newswire

It was the State of Origin revenge he waited exactly 12 months for and Boyd Cordner almost missed it.

But the NSW captain emerged from the sheds just moments before the full-time siren on Sunday to be on hand as the Blues claimed just their second series win in 13 years with an 18-14 victory.

Cordner almost missed the celebrations after coming off with concussion following a collision with Sydney Roosters teammate Dylan Napa when the series was in the balance late in the match.

"I can't really remember the last 12 minutes to tell you the truth," he told AAP.

"The game is slowly coming back to me. I remember collecting Napa's hip pretty heavily so I had to come off. Before that Jimmy Roberts had just got sent to the sin bin."

That was when the Blues were up by four and the Maroons were closing fast.

However Cordner clearly recalls the feeling he had about the team before the lights went out after getting caught in an awkward position to tackle Napa.

"You look around and we just knew we were going to hold on," he said.

"It was an unreal performance by the boys and to hang in there and wrap the series up at home.

"I went to the sheds and then with a minute to go we had the ball and I walked back onto the sideline."

Cordner, who was awarded just the second penalty try in Origin history after being taken out by Ben Hunt in the first half, had more metres than any other Blues forward and was man of the match.

And while he missed almost the entire grandstand finish, he was quick to recall how former Blues coach Phil Gould made the shock pre-series call that Cordner was the wrong man to captain the state.

"I copped a bit of criticism at the start of the year but I was very comfortable in the way I was playing footy and the way I could turn up and lead these boys," Cordner said.

He also hadn't forgotten the motivation of avenging the heartbreaking defeat in game two last year when the Blues threw a late lead that left him in tears.

"There's just so many different emotions right now. I'm happy but relieved," he said.

"We were sitting here 12 months ago, we just lost this game on the bell. It was the worst I've felt after a loss. But it drove me even more to come back and want to win.

"To come back the way we did and put in that performance, I'm lost for words."