Selfless Maloney Credits Family And Teammates
Success and triumph has followed James Maloney all too often throughout his illustrious rugby league career.
A loss in the 2011 Grand Final with the Warriors ultimately galvanised success in the years following – two premierships with the Roosters and Sharks before three heartbreaking Origin series defeats making Sunday's historic victory just that little bit sweeter.
He's been through it all, but so too have have his family.
Basking in the glory only an Origin victory can bring in the NSW sheds, Maloney struggled to fight back tears when speaking of the support from those closest to him. Through all the euphoria of their defiant 18-14 victory, Maloney was quick to praise the ones who have first-hand witnessed the agony and ecstasy.
"It gets really emotional when you see them there after the game, they've been through it all and they've seen the highs and lows of my career," Maloney told NSWRL.com.au.
"It's just really special to have them here."
The despair of three Origin Series losses since his debut in 2013 makes it all the more special having been a core part of the changing landscape NSW have endured in previous years.
What Maloney brings to the sides is not only big-game experience and a calming influence on those around him, but a genuine winners attitude that helped amplify NSW to a memorable Series win.
Maloney praised the selfless team-first attitude that has been instilled by Brad Fittler and the coaching staff, and credited his fellow team-mates for their respective roles - with each player bringing a unique attribute of their own that collectively inspired NSW to victory.
"I'm so proud of this group, a lot of guys are going through this for the first time and they've all played so well and each played their part," he said.
"It's been an awesome experience with these boys and the [two] camps have been so good to be a part of."
Desperately holding onto a four-point advantage with just over 10 minutes to play, and James Roberts sin-binned for a professional foul on Gavin Cooper, NSW defied the odds with their committed goal-line defence to keep the Maroons at bay.
Starved of possession and Queensland threatening with their attacking raids, Maloney admitted their valiant defensive efforts, which were synonymous with State of Origin football, extends far beyond the confines of the footy field.
"Everyone is so tight-knit and everyone just played for each other," Maloney said.
"In the last seven minutes that's all we had, and we just needed to turn up for each other and the boys did it time and time again."