Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Taming the Munster; Rocky's Cameron Munster Comes Back with a Little Help from Mum

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Taming the Munster; Rocky's Cameron Munster Comes Back with a Little Help from Mum

Article excerpt

Byline: Gilbert Gardiner

CAMERON Munster had to change -- for better or worse.

If being scolded by Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga and Melbourne Storm mastermind Craig Bellamy after a rocky off-season didn't get the point across, then a third mentor certainly did.

It was direct. It was pointed. It was familiar.

Let me make one thing clear. Revered rugby league icons 'Big Mal' and 'Bellyache' are not shrinking violets.

But neither is Munster's mother, Deborah.

Reports of Munster being disciplined for a boozy bust-up with Kangaroos -- and Maroons -- teammate Ben Hunt prompted MrsMunster to reach for the telephone.

"She obviously was hearing stuff that I was making poor choices," Munster told the Sunday Herald Sun.

"She said to me, 'look, you're living your childhood dream and you don't want to throw that all away'."

Her words resonated with the Rockhampton junior who is set to make his second State of Origin appearance for Queensland on Wednesday night at the MCG.

"A lot of people have got talent and a lot of people throw it away ... I don't want to have second thoughts in my head about what I could have been, should have been," Munster said.

It all happened so quickly for Munster that getting caught up in it was inevitable.

The "it" being rugby league and success.

At 22, Munster had a 73 per cent NRL winning strike rate (48-16) in three seasons.

He started and starred at fullback, stepping in for an injured Billy Slater, and then moved to five-eighth where he turned into one of the game's most exciting and damaging playmakers.

The rapid rise reached a crescendo last year, with Munster putting in one of the great Origin debuts, winning a premiership and World Cup.

He toasted the wins with gusto, and ultimately lost control.

The controversial and well-documented World Cup blue was the catalyst for change. …

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