Centre Justin Hodges has declared champion Darren Lockyer the greatest to play the game in the euphoria of Queensland's 34-24 State of Origin series-deciding win, which sent his skipper off in style at Suncorp Stadium.

"In my eyes, he's the greatest player to ever play the game," said Hodges who had to win his own battle with a hamstring strain just to take the field.

"I know it's a big call.

"I don't want to be disrespectful to any other players, but he's the best.

"I'm not insulting anyone when I say that."

"It (winning six in a row in Lockyer's last game) is right up there with grand finals.

"Winning a game like that with a living legend is something I will always remember."

Hodges revealed Lockyer had been emotional on Sunday when he presented the players with their team caps.

"It's the first time I've seen him so emotional. Even tonight before the game, he got a bit teary, a bit angry, which most people, even myself, have not seen," said Hodges, who is Lockyer's club team-mate at Brisbane as well.

"It's just a great way to send a guy like that out.

"There was only one way he deserved to go out and that's on top.

Hodges doubts many players could have handled the pressures and kept a lid on his emotions as Lockyer did for past few months during his final Origin campaign.

"It just shows the class of the guy, everything he's been through with the media, the public, his family, his friends, everyone.

"It's just an honour to play with a guy like that."

What about life after Lockyer?

"It will be sad when he's not playing but you never know. If we're not going too good, I might ring him up and get him back," he joked.

A knee injury to Cowboys' star Johnathan Thurston took some of the gloss off the win, as did an incident in which hooker Cameron Smith was put on report. This led to an eight-point try to NSW centre Jarryd Hayne in the second half.

The judiciary however cleared Smith of the charge of using his knees in sliding into Hayne after he scored.

Initial fears were Thurston, who came out onto the ground in a wheelchair for Lockyer's presentation, had ruptured his ACL.

But Queensland team doctor Roy Saunders said it appeared Thurston had suffered a high grade tear of his medial ligament.

"He'll have scans and, depending of the level of the injury, it could be somewhere between four to eight weeks," he said.

"His ACL was a little loose but it seems OK."

- AAP