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James Tedesco was named man of the match as the NSW Blues took a match and series win at ANZ Stadium in what might become the most memorable Origin decider of all.
It’s fitting that Tedesco was named the best afield in the match when he scored the winning try in the final play of the day, delivering the Blues their first back-to-back series victories in 14 years.
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It was Tedesco’s second try of the match and part of another dominant series that not only saw him take home man of the match honours, but also win the Wally Lewis Medal as player of the series.
That’s an honour that many feel he has been waiting 12 months for after the medal was somewhat controversially handed to Billy Slater in his retirement series in 2018.
“It was a pretty good feeling to score that try,” Tedesco said after the victory.
“It was pretty special to win the series last year but, to win it again, is magic.”
The night was also a special occasion for NSW’s long-time whipping boy Mitchell Pearce who for the first time in many, many attempts, knows what it’s like to win on an Origin series.
Asked after the match whether he felt the win would erase the memory of losses past, Pearce said “I don’t know about that, my Origin career has been up and down.
“But it’s about this game tonight. It’s an unreal feeling.”
The series victory means the Blues are one more in 2020 away from achieving the same back-to-back-to-back feat that they did in 2003-05.
If they were to win the series again next year, it will be only the third time in Origin history that they’ve managed three series wins in a row.
The result also elevates Boyd Cordner to a two-time series-winning NSW captain, and the same from Brad Fittler as NSW coach.