It was a feeling he'll never forget. Similar to last year's NRL grand final, but different again.
Now Queensland prop Dunamis Lui hopes for an even more emotional affair in front of family and friends in Brisbane.
Lui's debut in the Maroons' 34-10 loss to NSW drew praise from Queensland pundits, with both Johnathan Thurston and Paul Vautin both questioning why he wasn't brought back earlier for his second stint.
After his opening 20-minute spell, he returned with less than seven minutes remaining when the game was over.
If picked for Origin III, he'll play in front of his home crowd, having grown up in Brisbane.
He started his NRL career with the Broncos before three clubs later finding a home in Canberra where he's established himself.
It's also seen him play in last years' NRL grand final and now he's made his Origin debut.
"A bit emotional at first. Even though it was my debut I'd rather the win over that. Just looking forward to next week now," Lui said of his debut.
"It was a feeling I'll never forget, really similar to the grand final last year. Obviously a different game and I'll cherish that moment for ever. It was pretty emotional running out.
"It's going to be even better [at Lang Park]. Hopefully I get to run out there again and this time I'll have my family there. I'll try my best not to get too emotional."
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He was brought in to cover Christian Welch, who was rested after suffering a head knock in game one.
Lui was confident Welch would be fit for the Origin decider against the Blues at Lang Park on Wednesday.
What that means for Lui was in the hands of Maroons coach Wayne Bennett, who could opt to keep him alongside his Canberra Raiders front row-partner Josh Papalii or shift him to the bench.
"I think he'll be back next week. I was only filling in for him," Lui said of Welch.
"He was just having a week off. I'm certain he'll be back next week.
"Either way, whether I play or not I'm grateful and privileged to be here amongst the boys.
"I'll definitely be looking forward to playing next week, but if I don't I'm still grateful to be here."
If it was up to Thurston he would be. The Maroons legend was full of praise for the 30-year-old debutant.
Vautin was similarly complimentary as they questioned why Bennett didn't give starting trio Lui, Papalii and Tino Faasuamaleaui more minutes given the impetus they gave the visitors.
"I thought Dunamis Lui, his first stint was enormous ... I don't know why Dunamis was on the bench for so long," Thurston told Channel Nine.
Lui praised NSW for the way they played, stating that's how Queensland had wanted to perform going into the game.
He said Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster appeared OK in the sheds after the game and was confident he would be available for the decider at Lang Park.
The team vowed to leave their Origin II performance in the sheds and move on to trying to win the series on Wednesday night.
As for the biff coming back? Lui was unaware there was any bad blood between Payne Haas and Faasuamaleaui before they exchanged punches and got sent to the sin bin in the second half.
But he did know where he wanted to be when the push and shove ensued.
"Origin footy. I was a bit gutted I wasn't out there to be honest. You expect those," he said.