State of Origin: Phil Rothfield discusses a
drinking session by Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson
in Blues camp.
NSW legend Peter Sterling has confirmed the Blues
backtracked on a gamechanging tactic at the eleventh hour
before their damning Game 3 loss to Queensland.
Earlier in the week, a rumour surfaced that NSW coach Laurie
Daley pulled the plug on a plan to shake-up the forward pack.
The move would have seen Bulldogs star David Klemmer start at
prop as the Sharks enforcer took the bench. Reports claimed
Fifita would come onto the field within 20 minutes into the
Sterling couldn’t confirm Fifita’s blow-up to Daley, but
assured fans the move to start with Klemmer was axed shortly
before the decider at Suncorp.
“I rang Laurie on the way to the airport on Tuesday evening
(before the game) just to ask about Andrew and he said it
wasn’t going to happen and that we was going to go back and
start with the same side that ran out for the first two
“I don’t know about any blow-up. I don’t know what the reaction
was but I can confirm the plan had been they were going to
start with Klemmer (followed by) Andrew coming on after about
20 or 25 minutes.”
Daley’s move to start with Fifita backfired spectacularly. The
28-year-old butchered his chance at making another
game-changing impact like he did in the first game at Suncorp
as the Blues dropped to a 22-6 defeat.
Daily Telegraph NRL expert Paul Kent admitted he wouldn’t have
Fifita back for next year’s Origin series after his poor
performance in the last two games.
“I wouldn’t have him in my Origin side. There was a time where
he started to convince me that he was starting to turn it
around, but I think over this series he was ineffective in
games two and three,” Kent told Triple M radio over the
“And as good as he was in game one, when the heat is on and
they can counteract you that easily, I think that’s a problem.
“He should’ve started off the bench in game three — that was
the best chance to get a result out of him and they didn’t do
JOEY ATTACKS ‘STUNNING’ BACKFLIP
Former NSW halfback Andrew Johns has been firing off in all
directions after his state’s monumental series loss. The
Channel Nine commentator shot down rumours he was going take
the coaching reins for next season, claiming he didn’t need
“that kind of pressure” in his life.
The Fifita-Klemmer bombshell had the 43-year-old in a state,
claiming NSW’s last second backflip was symbolic of their
continuous Origin horror show.
“If Fifita doesn’t want to swallow it, you say, ‘See you
later’. It’s stunning and it’s symbolic of what’s wrong with
NSW,” Johns said on Fox Sports’ NRL
360 on Monday night.
“Gus (Phil Gould) used to say, ‘I’ll tell you about Origin
football, it’s about putting your hand over a naked flame and
the opposition’s doing the same thing, and the one who takes
their hand off loses’.
“And I said to Chief (Paul Harragon), ‘What would you do?’ And
he replied: ‘Rather than let the boys down, I’d chop my right
“Queensland historically have gone for that sort of player …
we’re obsessed with body types and (the Maroons) just look
between the ears and under the shirt.”