Dane Gagai had flashbacks to being nearly run down by a back-rower as he watched Josh Addo-Carr chasing him on the big screen during his match-winning Origin I intercept try.
Gagai's 90-metre intercept set Queensland on the road to a 18-14 upset of the Blues on Wednesday night. It came in the same corner of Suncorp Stadium as a 2016 try that was made famous by Tyson Frizell's inspirational 80-metre pursuit.
Frizell's chase saw him ankle tap a flying Gagai as he just managed to stumble over the line, then-coach Laurie Daley vowed to replay it in Blues camp to illustrate the commitment Origin requires.
Gagai was clocked at 33.8 km/hr on both occasions by Telstra Tracker, and admitted he feared the NRL's fastest man was going to reel him in when he saw Addo-Carr closing fast – at 35.9 km/hr – on the Suncorp big screen.
"I was just thinking, 'you can't get ankle tapped again, just get there", Gagai laughed.
"When I got the intercept and got to the 50 I thought I was sweet, I was pretty confident I’d get there.
"But then I looked up on the big screen and I saw the Foxx coming but I couldn't tell how far behind he was. I was trying to check over my shoulder but I couldn't tell the distance, lucky enough he had to turn and chase because we all know how fast he is.
"He's a bloke that doesn't give up and that's what Origin's about. Tyson Frizell showed that a couple of years ago and I copped a bit of flak for that. But I don't think he got enough credit for that then.
"The [GPS] gadgets in the back of our jerseys that show how fast we run, I remember in that run I was doing something like 9.4 metres a second. Usually when you're running that as an outside back, no one's catching you so that showed then just how well Frizell did on that one."
Gagai's second try for the evening sealed a memorable Queensland comeback and was his 11th in as many Origins.
The 28-year-old now moves to a share of equal fifth on the all-time Origin tryscorers list alongside New South Welshmen Jarryd Hayne and Michael O'Connor.
Along with a match-winning double, Gagai's 270 run metres and sound work under the high ball earned him man-of-the-match honours, with teammate Will Chambers hailing Gagai's habit of producing his best on the game's grandest stage.
"He plays centre, he plays on the wing and he’s done it for Australia," Chambers said.
"It doesn’t seem to matter where he is, he just rips in and gets on with his job.
"He does the same at clubland and doesn’t matter where he’s playing, he’s a competitor and puts his hand up when you really need him to."