Centre Hodges scored the decisive try that helped seal an eighth consecutive series, while Tate, playing on the wing, was named man of the match in Wednesday’s 12-10 Game III victory.
The 31-year-olds made their Origin debuts in 2002 and have been blighted by injuries throughout their careers.
Gillett, 24, playing in his second series, said he could only marvel at the defensive performances of Hodges and Tate who worked overtime to keep the largely dominant Blues at bay.
“Watching from the sidelines in the first half and seeing the boys keep NSW out was inspiring.
“Hodgo prevented a certain try from (Ryan) Hoffman and Tatey is just Mr Consistent who always seems to be in the right place.”
Gillett plays alongside Hodges at Brisbane Broncos and is well aware of the qualities he brings to the side.
He believes the experience of knowing how to win is the biggest difference between New South Wales and Queensland.
He said, “NSW are a great team and with 80,000 fans behind them it was always going to be hard to win, but guys like Cam Smith, Johnathan Thurston, Hodgo and Sammy Thaiday have that big-game experience.
“The end of the first half we were really under the pump and to let in just one try was a huge boost going in at half-time.
“I feel very lucky to be a part of this great side.”