Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Discipline Is Key for Origin, Say Coaches

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Discipline Is Key for Origin, Say Coaches

Article excerpt

BRAD Fittler and Kevin Walters have told their players the onus is on them to avoid a penalty-riddled State of Origin series opener at the MCG tomorrow night.

As promised by NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg in April, both coaches have been told the crackdown from the start of the season will carry into the Origin arena.

That will include a heavy focus on play-the-balls, the ruck and offsides, as well as regular use of the sin-bin if penalties persist.

Penalties are up by around 40 per cent across the NRL this year to more than 17 a game - a telling statistic given there were only 25 blown across the whole three-game Origin series last year.

Maroons coach Walters said it would be solely on his players to ensure the rise didn't translate into a stop-start Origin. "Both Brad and myself have had some conversations and meetings with the referees to how it's going to be adjudicated," Walters said.

"We expect the referees to be no different to what they've been doing and our team needs to be disciplined from a Queensland point of view. …

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