‘Unreal’: Post-game interview a breath of fresh air
It was a reminder of what playing for the Maroons really means to a Queensland kid.
Xavier Coates's post-game interview after his Queensland Origin debut was jubilant, candid and a breath of fresh air from the usual rugby league rhetoric.
At 19-years-old, Coates was the youngest player in the Origin series opener in Adelaide and with just 15 NRL games for the Broncos, the kid who went to school on the Gold Coast was the least experienced Maroons player since Matt Scott in 2006.
None of that seemed to matter though as he conjured up a superb Maroons debut, capping it off with an incredible four-pointer.
But it was his ear-to-ear grin and teenage giddiness after the game that summed up just how special it means for a Queensland kid to play Origin and epitomised the mood around this year's famous squad.
"Honestly it is one of the best feelings in the world," Coates said after the game.
"I honestly don't know how to describe it.
"Oh man, this is unreal.
"I can't tell you how much of a good feeling it is.
"It is absolutely unreal. I am so over the moon right now."
It encapsulated all that is good with this underdog side - youthful, humble, hungry and elated just to be playing in the Queensland jersey.
They were never intimidated by the more experienced Blues and left brimming with ecstasy after fulfilling a childhood dream.
And it showed just how a team - almost half of who had never played Origin before - pulled off an incredible victory in Adelaide.
For those south of the border who don't understand the famous Queensland spirit, Coates' wholesome interview is just a glimpse into what it means to be a Maroon.
Originally published as 'Unreal': Post-game interview a breath of fresh air