Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bouquets Followed Barbs; Lockyer Reveals How Criticism over State of Origin Performances Spurred Him On

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bouquets Followed Barbs; Lockyer Reveals How Criticism over State of Origin Performances Spurred Him On

Article excerpt

Byline: Wayne Heming of AAP

DARREN Lockyer has revealed how criticism he copped over State of Origin performances provided a major turning point in his record-breaking rugby league career.

Preparing for his 36th and final Origin match on Wednesday, a reflective Queensland skipper Lockyer said it was barbs he received after the 2005 series loss and again after losing the first game in 2006 that made him reassess himself as a player.

aI got to a point where I wasn't working as hard as I should have been and the criticism I copped made me want to prove all those people wrong,a Lockyer said.

aIt pulled me back down to earth, made me really work a lot harder than I had been.

aIt taught me if you want to get rewarded for something in life, you have to be prepared to work really hard for it.

aI started to work harder again and I started to see the rewards. That's how I've approached things then and still do.a

While Lockyer used that criticism as a positive, he admitted he had tended to avoid sports reporting later in his career.

aI look at the front of the paper but I don't go near the back section,a he said. aWhen the news is on TV I watch the first 15 minutes and then I'll change the channel.

aIt's out of sight, out of mind for me. I've done that for the last six or seven years of my career and I've found it's helped to give me a clear focus.a

Lockyer said the game's high-profile players were always going to attract criticism from time to time.

aIt's important you don't take it to heart too much,a he said.

aIt's part of what we do, you're going to get criticised and you're going to get a rap every now and then.

aBoth those things, they don't really help you although getting criticised can help you want to prove a point.a

Veteran prop Queensland Petero Civoniceva, who will share in Lockyer's special night in the 2011 series-decider on Wednesday, says his captain would sit easily alongside the game's seven Immortals.

aHis record speaks for itself,a Civoniceva said.

aAs a mate who's been lucky enough to play alongside him for so many years, I've lost count of the number of games he's been able to win single-handedly with his individual brilliance whether it was for the Broncos or State of Origin. …

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