Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Sea Eagles Get Rough Deal from Queensland

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Sea Eagles Get Rough Deal from Queensland

Article excerpt

LEAGUE OF

THEIR OWN

TONY DURKIN

LIKE 90% of rugby league fans who do not support Manly, I generally don't have a lot of empathy with the Sea Eagles. But I reckon they have been dealt a dud hand by the QRL this week.

Taking Daly Cherry-Evans in to Origin camp in Melbourne with the Maroons is a bit rich. After all, he is 18th man and only a chance of playing in game one if Cooper Cronk is injured during training.

I'm as captivated by State of Origin as the next bloke. I was at Lang Park for the first game in 1980 and estimate I have attended close to 50 of the 93 games played. It is my favourite sporting contest of the year.

But Origin is tough on the clubs. I have seen first-hand how Broncos players have returned from the Origin series physical and mental wrecks and, because of their massive involvement over the years, I have no doubt Origin has cost them a couple of premierships.

But it is not only after the series that players are affected. Had Origin not been on the horizon, Justin Hodges would have played for the Broncos last Friday night and maybe a specialist centre might have closed down the two breaks made by Steve Matai that led to Manly tries.

Queensland taking Cherry-Evans to Melbourne all this week for what is nothing more than an initiation, is out of bounds, and selfish. The Sea Eagles have already lost Glenn and Brett Stewart, Tony Williams and Jamie Buhrer and can ill afford to have their halfback and chief playmaker away on a holiday while they prepare for Sunday's vital clash with the Roosters.

Cherry-Evans will probably be a better player as a result of his week in Camp Maroon, and the Sea Eagles will be the chief beneficiary of his improvement. But surely the Manly club should at least be shown the courtesy of their permission being sought.

After all, it's the clubs who pay the wages.

Cheap shots unfair

WAYNE Bennett doesn't need anyone riding shotgun for him and wouldn't be looking for people to make excuses for him at the moment, but the veteran coach is copping some unfair bagging. …

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