Thanks to the fact they were raised with the belief that expressing your emotions is a character weakness, there are two places that emotionally repressed Australian dads feel comfortable crying: daughters’ weddings and Origin matches. I was at Suncorp for Darren Lockyer‘s final Origin match and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people openly weep in one place. It was emotional stuff.
There was no way it wasn’t going to be the same tonight. With Johnathan ‘Best Player In The League’ Thurston missing out on Game III thanks to a year-ending shoulder injury, in an Origin series that might well be his last, it was always going to be emotional.
I’m a bit sensitive but I was on the bloody verge of tears just watching him walk out:

He held it together beautifully though, saying he’s happy to watch from the box and encouraging the side to get in and get the job done – even managed a few of his signature chuckles, the angel:

He got a well-earned standing ovation as he walked off and, clearly, people were a bit moved:

Mate, you’ll be sorely, sorely missed. (He’s definitely still alive, just to clarify, just very, very well-liked).

Photo: Getty Images / Cameron Spencer.