How Locky kept a lid on his emotions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

How Locky kept a lid on his emotions

Wayne Heming 07/07/2011 04:54:20 PM Comments (0)

As Darren Lockyer presented his Queensland players with their Maroon caps last weekend, a week of built-up emotion kicked in.

Those emotions kicked up a notch when he addressed them at the team hotel, just before they boarded the bus on Wednesday for the short drive to Suncorp Stadium.

At the team dinner, where he handed out the Maroon caps, Lockyer spoke to his troops about his last game and about what it would mean to all Queenslanders to win the series - and to a man, they marvelled at his cool-headed approach to such an important game in his career.

"It was a really special moment to receive our caps from Locky," said his likely successor Cameron Smith, the player of the series after his man-of-the-match performance in the 34-24 series-clinching win.

"Darren spoke to us as a group before the game. It was a great leader's speech.

"He didn't say anything special or anything over the top. It was just a wonderful captain's speech about what he wanted from his players."

Petero Civoniceva - the skipper's right-hand man in most of his record 36 Origins, 22 as captain - said Lockyer's humility never wavered despite the enormous pressure of playing his last game for Queensland in his No.6 jumper in a series decider.

Lockyer was on the front and back pages of newspapers all week and on every TV and radio news bulletin and sports show.

"Locky didn't shed a tear but some of his team-mates might have," said Civoniceva who could have his own emotional farewell if he decides to play on in 2012.

"That's a great thing I admire about Darren. He didn't ask any player to do it for him. He's just a champion guy, so humble.

"Just to receive our caps off him meant so much to all the boys.

"He spoke very passionately before we left the hotel. He just told us what he needed from us and the boys delivered.

"It was a huge emotional week for us all.

"We had to keep it all bottled up inside. We had to keep a lid on it.

"Icould just tell it was simmering away but Mal (Meninga) did a great job in preparing us this week.

"We didn't let the emotions get to us too early in the week.

"And Darren got the send-off champions deserve."

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