QLD v NSW - State of Origin Game 3
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: Blues players look on after a Maroons try during game three of the State of Origin Series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 13, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

New South Wales State of Origin icon Ben Elias has revealed the true extent of the hurt experienced by Blues players following their devastating loss in the 2022 Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium.

“I went into the dressing room and they were mortified,” Elias divulged to The Fox League Podcast.

Elias said Blues players were apologising to him and other Blues legends in the aftermath of the result.

“It was very sad. Players were coming up to me and saying sorry.

“I said ‘what are you sorry about? Be very proud.”

“They got beat – whoop-dee-doo. It’s not the end of the world.”

Speaking from personal experience, Elias – who played 19 games for the Blues between 1985 and 1994 – encouraged the shattered playing group to savour the pain and prepare for their next opportunity to exact revenge.

“I just said to them ‘remember the hurt in 12 months’ time,” Elias said.

“Remember what you’re feeling right now. That’s the way we start today – we start working for next year. Payback – that’s our theme and we are going for it.”

“We’re going to embarrass them 3-0. That’s our answer to the disappointment.”

Despite the disappointment, Elias said the team should be proud of themselves for never relenting in what was a brutal contest from the outset.

“That’s as physical a game as I’ve seen in a long time. They were very physically committed.”