AT LEAST the New South Wales players and their coach were gracious in defeat after Origin III. Extremely gracious in fact, and full of praise for what might just be one of the greatest sporting teams of the modern era.
The same, unfortunately, cannot be said of some sections of the southern media. They are entitled to their opinion of course, and it is comforting to know they are passionate about their team and this unbelievably-close contest.
But before dissecting some whinges from the scribes, Ricky Stuart and Paul Gallen should be praised for their post-match civility. Given the option, both would have preferred to skulk off in to the darkness rather than front a press conference after that gut-wrenching loss.
In fact both press conferences, relayed on Foxsports news, were almost as enthralling as the game. The respective coaches and captains were an absolute credit to the game as they bared all with their honesty, sincerity and unequivocal desire to be the very best.
The manner in which all four articulated their emotions - after such a demanding and exhausting campaign - made this old rugby league journo proud.
But some of the drivel I read the next day did not. While Stuart, Gallen and their team took the loss on the chin and started plotting for next year, it was again the referees who copped the 'we was robbed' accusation.
While Brent Tate's punch to the head of Greg Bird and the non-obstruction ruling with the Justin Hodges try were understandably contentious, the best 'accusation' was that Nate Myles had deliberately 'tackled' Robbie Farah with his head. Please!
Tate's punch was wrong, but at worst could be considered a square-up for Jarryd Hayne punching Johnathan Thurston in game one. And had Farah not remonstrated like a kid who had lost his lollies after Ben Hannant 'brushed' him in the lead up to the Hodges try, he might have made it across in cover defence.
Gallen, a statesman to the end, summed it up best in five words - 'it was a cracking game'.
New Queensland Minister for Sport Steve Dickson may have been best served asking his deputy to unveil the Arthur Beetson statue at Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday.
Mr Dickson displayed his lack of rugby league knowledge when he said Beetson had played 300 games for Queensland. Of course rugby league aficionados know he played just three - his first the historic first State of Origin match in 1980.
And that appearance by Beetson, after 17 games for the Blues under the former place-of-residence format, signified the start of the rugby league phenomenon that has become one of the most-anticipated annual sporting events in our nation.
It seems inconceivable then that Minister Dickson, who obviously has an interest in sport, could get it so wrong. A question to his deputy, former Origin referee Tim Mander, would have saved the red-faced minister the kind of embarrassment which rivalled his Victorian counterpart who, before Origin, announced the clash between New Zealand and Queensland.
For the record, big Artie also played twice for Queensland in 1981 when only one Origin match a year was played. He had moved north that year to coach and captain Redcliffe, but did not play Origin.
With Nate Myles being named Wally Lewis Medal winner as man of the Origin series, Roosters supporters must be asking themselves whether the lunatics are running the Bondi asylum.
In front of only two teams on the premiership ladder, the Roosters are again struggling to be competitive yet continue to lose good players. Just last week they released Kiwi Test winger Sam Perrett, and that follows the loss of skipper Braith Anasta at the end of the season. Not only are both terrific players, they are champion blokes.
Add to that list of evacuees a young bloke called James Tamou a few years ago and, of course, Todd Carney.
Okay, Carney was given every chance to make amends for his bad behaviour and Myles was not exactly Saint Nate. But maybe the Roosters hierarchy might be better advised educating and nurturing these guys, rather than turning them lose.
Patience can sometimes be a virtue.
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