Jarome Luai was the breath of fresh air New South Wales needed if they stood any chance of shaking their State of Origin hangover from last year's shock upset.
And the Blues, with Luai in the halves, certainly delivered.
The Penrith Panthers five-eighth was in sensational from on his Origin debut, constantly threatening in attack and being just as reliable in defence.
The 24-year-old had a catalogue of highlights from the historic victory, but one moment in particular stood out from the rest.
When Blues fullback James Tedesco was taken out in mid-air by Queensland forward Joe Ofahengaue, Luai ran in to protect his teammate.
Clearly not afraid of a bit of niggle, Luai's actions got under the skin of Ofahengaue who proceeded to shove him in the face.
Luai did well not to react, but when referee Gerard Sutton cautioned him for running in, the Blues debutant replied with a classic one-liner.
"Did you see his (Ofahengaue) eyes, it was all on him (Tedesco) bro," Luai said to Sutton.
Jarome Luai throwing cut out passes, sledging and having a crack at blokes much bigger than him is tremendous areas and exactly what I signed up for. #Origin- Brendan Bradford (@1bbradfo) June 9, 2021
Blues score 50 points & Jarome Luai calls the referee bro. This is our peak guys this is it- Nat Sinclair (@nat_sinclair93) June 9, 2021
I can't stop thinking about Luai calling the ref bro- Victoria (@yeahthevic) June 9, 2021
I'm still in shock about Jarome Luai calling referee Gerard Sutton 'bro' :speak_no_evil::joy::joy::joy::joy:- Hannah (@hclaire29) June 9, 2021
State of Origin fans watching from hom were absolutely loving the casual "bro" thrown in on the end.
And when he was told that he was the first person in Origin history to refer to an official as "bro", Luai simply laughed.
"Hearing that blows my mind," he said.
"I think I was too comfortable out there, so I'll try to be more formal next time.''
Luai and To'o walking into the ground with their speaker blaring OneFour is a power move, retaliation is a must ain't no maybe's, if's or but's.- Nick Campton (@campo37) June 9, 2021
The Penrith Panthers stars certainly transferred their scintillating club form onto the Origin stage.
One man that seemed to reap the benefits of Luai's inclusion was his halves partner Nathan Cleary.
"He was less nervous than I was," Cleary said of Luai.
"It just sums him up and it's the way he plays.
"His confidence is infectious on the rest of the group.
"That's why I love playing alongside him. He was enormous again.
"I had full belief he would play well, but I think that puts it all beyond doubt.
"Origin really suits him because he's an X-factor. People were probably worried about his defence, but I think he defended really well.
"We first played together in under-16s and now we're in Origin - it's a dream come true.''
Featured Image Credit: Nine/NRL
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read