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‘Keep your head where your feet are’.

Of the many mantras Maroons coach Billy Slater implores his men to live by, this is perhaps the most poignant.

It's Slater's way of saying 'don’t get ahead of yourself, boys, just stay in the moment’.

Rather than being drawn into comparisons between his all-conquering 2023 outfit and great Queensland teams of the past led by such luminaries as Wally Lewis, Allan Langer and Darren Lockyer, the back-to-back series-winning mentor simply wanted to stop and smell the roses on Wednesday night.

He wanted to lap up the adulation of an adoring public that had just seen the Maroons bury the Blues 32-6 to make it three series wins in the past four years.

With King Wally at the helm in the 80s, Queensland twice put together a three-peat, first from 1982-84 and then again between 1987 and ‘89.

With Lockyer and Cameron Smith leading the way the Maroons ran roughshod over NSW for eight years from 2006-13, with a bloke named Slater wearing the No.1 jersey in 17 of the 24 matches.

“There have been some great eras but these guys are creating their own era,” Slater told media in the afterglow of the Suncorp smash-up.

Slater happy with DCE's want

“This is just the beginning of their football. They’re just getting started, they’re building, they’ve created a really good foundation but I would never compare them to different eras.

“Their footy will grow, their footy will get better. They’ve got a great connection and they’re all mates, so as long as we’ve got that we’ve got a really good base to work with.

We’ve got a bunch of Queenslanders in there willing to play for Queensland.

Maroons coach Billy Slater

"There's no excuses in this team. They are being resilient, that’s what the people of Queensland do and we are trying to reflect that.

“It’s easy to [let your mind] wander off, but our feet are right here, right now."

The prospect of this Maroons outfit getting even better is a scary one for the vanquished Blues, who now head to home soil in Sydney to try and salvage some pride.

Should Slater’s men salute on July 12 they will become just the third Queensland side to complete a sweep in Sydney, emulating the feat of the 1988 and 2010 sides.

They'll be coming for him for years

It’s a fair bet the coach’s mind won’t wander any further ahead than Game Three in enemy territory but if he was to indulge thoughts of another dynasty, it’s entirely feasible this crop of Maroons could still be ruling the Origin roost five years from now.

Apart from 34-year-old skipper Daly Cherry-Evans, who admitted afterwards that he is “enjoying every Origin as if it’s his last”, and 33-year-old hooker Ben Hunt, the rest of the squad can look forward to many more games in the maroon jersey they treasure so much.

From the winner's sheds: Daly Cherry-Evans

At 20, gun fullback Reece Walsh will be featuring on highlight reels long after DCE has put his feet up, while Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (21), Xavier Coates (22), Murray Taulagi (24), Jeremiah Nanai (20), David Fifita (23) and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (23) all look set for distinguished Origin careers.

The game’s best hooker, Harry Grant, is a mere spring chicken at 25, as are enforcers Reuben Cotter (24), Thomas Flegler (23), Patrick Carrigan (25) and Moeaki Fotuaika (23).

Then consider those who weren’t in Slater’s team for Game Two, like Cowboys whiz kid Tom Dearden, who is 22, Titans flyer AJ Brimson (24), Raiders firebrand Corey Horsburgh (25), injured duo Tom Gilbert (22) and Selwyn Cobbo (21) and Knights superstar Kalyn Ponga (25).

From the winner's sheds: Ben Hunt

The likes of playmaking genius Cameron Munster (28), forward leader Lindsay Collins (27) and try-scoring machine Val Holmes (27) have at least another three years in them of tormenting the Blues so it’s little wonder the word 'dynasty' is being thrown around, albeit it in hushed tones when the coach is in earshot.

“It’s a really special side, and apart from myself and Chez [Cherry-Evans] and Munny [Munster], it’s a very young group, they’re all really humble lads, they want to work really hard, they want to get better and it’s exciting times,” said Hunt, who chalked up a ninth win in his 16th Origin appearance.

“This group has so much Origin footy ahead of them and hopefully they can just keep getting better.

“Billy keeps talking about ‘just keep moving your feet’, no one walks in a Queensland jersey.”

For now, those feet are standing atop the Origin dais for a second straight year, and with Billy's kids blossoming before his eyes, the Maroons find themselves on the verge of another golden era.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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