Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Origin Sniping Not Good; Stoush Became More Than Just Banter between States

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Origin Sniping Not Good; Stoush Became More Than Just Banter between States

Article excerpt

EVEN though I had been given a Cyheads up' that Mal Meninga's newspaper column last weekend was venomous, I was still surprised by some of its content.

But I'm not about to take the Maroons coach to task. No doubt the tension of the past few months had built up inside the big bloke and his ghost-written column was just as much about releasing the pressure valve as it was about giving both barrels.

Chiefly through the News Limited press the vitriol that flowed between the two camps during the 2011 series was as offensive and as irrational as I have experienced in the 31 years of this inter-state war. And some story lines Co such as the Meninga column Co have been beaten to within inch of their lives.

The Cybeat-ups' started with the ludicrous claim before game one that the NSW team was the worst in Origin history and struck rock bottom with the assertion that Meninga was merely a cardboard cut-out coach.

That the respective coaches Co Meninga and Ricky Stuart Co are former Kangaroo and premiership-winning teammates seemed to be of little relevance. From day one it was gloves off at 10 paces, and the further the series went the nastier the insinuations became.

Most red-blooded Aussies enjoy a good stoush. And many also adhere to the age-old theory that any publicity is good publicity. But this sniping has now become out of hand and shows once again that rugby league lacks strong leadership.

As incident after incident escalated during the Origin series, Blind Freddie could see the matter becoming personal, and the acrimony was building. The time was opportune before game three for someone in authority to bring the parties together and have the peace pipe smoked. But therein lies the problem. Who is the authority in this case? Who is the figurehead of the game?

It should be NRL boss David Gallop, but Queenslanders believe he is painted blue and most barely respect him. Maybe it could have been ARL chief executive Geoff Carr, but he doubles as the NSWRL chief executive. …

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