Hated Blues: ‘He was king of the grubs’
COME Origin time, Queensland's loathing of NSW is in our DNA. And this grubs' gallery from over three decades of the gladiatorial bloodsport will only intensify those feelings.
30. Josh Reynolds: His friends nicknamed him "Grub". Who are we to argue? Was irritating enough for Johnathan Thurston to lose his cool, if that gives you some idea.
29. Jason Stevens: Born-again Christian who obviously took his God-loving ways from the Crusades. Most players try to split opponents in half with a good tackle. Stevens tried to do it by reefing their shorts and underwear up to the base of their skulls.
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28. Beau Scott: Based his Origin career on taking out smaller, more skillful players with cheap shots after they had kicked or passed.
27. Ray Price: Passionately hated Queenslanders with every fibre of his being. Hated Wally. Said he couldn't stand the place. Hated it he did. Retired and moved to the Gold Coast.
26. Mitchell Pearce: Still applying aloe vera after the burn he copped from Johnathan Thurston, who suggested Pearce have his photo taken with the Wally Lewis statue because that was the only way he'd get a photo with the Origin shield.
25. Anthony Mundine: Didn't play that many games for the Blues, but obviously that wasn't his fault. That was the fault of the selectors. We hated him when he did get picked, though.
24. Mark McGaw: When Mal Meninga put several punches on to his chin in a "legends of league" game not so long ago, it was probably because Meninga was still burning about McGaw's try in Game I of the 1987 series. Plus his nickname was "Sparkles", so, you know.
23. James Maloney: In this year's Blues team made up of clean-cut, clean-living young stars, Maloney stands out as an irritating relic. Even his teammates and coaches admit they can't stand him because he is a pest.
22. Andrew Johns: Absolutely no question the bloke could play, he is an Immortal after all. Received a ton of abuse from Queensland fans in his time, and he took it on the chin - much like Jamie Goddard's brick-like right fist in 1997.
21. Rodney Howe: The way he tore into Queensland defenders during the 1998 Origin series was unnatural. Testing later proved that correct.
20. Terry Hill: Famous for giving out sprays to opponents - quite literally given his speech impediment. Featured in the famous picture going nose-to-nose with Gorden Tallis in 1999, when all of Queensland was hoping the Raging Bull's fist would turn up to photo-bomb it.
19. Mark Geyer: Went absolutely berserk in the second game of the 1991 series, with a volley of forearms and elbows that would make Hulk Hogan blush. Went toe-to-toe with King Wally as the Emperor went into Game of Thrones mode to protect his Maroon troops
18. Andrew Fifita: Thoroughly unlikeable human who was talked up south of the border last year as the "new Arthur Beetson". If by that they meant he played one good Origin game, then they are spot-on the money.
17. Mick Ennis: Continued a long tradition of seriously unlikeable NSW hookers, Ennis' only redeeming feature during his Origin career was that he kept Robbie Farah out of the team on occasion.
16. Josh Dugan: People say he was born in the wrong era, given his love of the drink - particularly on Canberra rooftops, or if he had to break camp for a shooey. But we would have hated him in any era.
15. Mark Carroll: NSW's chief enforcer during the mid 1990s, and never afraid to let a fist, forearm or headbutt in a scrum get in the way of things. Spells his nickname "Spudd" with two Ds. Obviously has problems.
14. Jarryd Hayne: One of the worst offenders, most notably for taking tactics to bring down Queensland footy to new heights by turning out as a double-agent for the Gold Coast last year and pretending to care.
13. Robbie Farah: Probably more disliked by his own teammates than by anyone in Queensland, to be fair, but did enough to earn his spot on this list.
12. John Hopoate: Well before he the infamous "Cowpoke" against the Cowboys armed with just a single finger, Hoppa turned unsportsmanlike behaviour into a career choice.
11. Trent Waterhouse: Was lucky to get out of Suncorp Stadium alive when he became the first NSW player sent off in Origin after laying out Steve Price in 2009.
10. Bryan Fletcher: Threw the infamous "grenade" celebration when the cocky Blues were winning games in 2000. Queenslanders never forgot, and Fletcher's arrogance helped fuel the Maroons' dynasty through the past 13 years.
9. Ryan Girdler: It makes us sick when NSW score more than 30 points in an Origin game. In 2000, Ryan Girdler scored 32 by himself with three tries and 10 goals - and not a hair out of place. Cretin.
8. Steve Roach: Sure, he's a nice guy and genial commentator these days but he was a menace in a Blue jersey. Laid out Bobby Lindner with a behind-the-play elbow to the head once. Not friendly.
7. Michael O'Connor: A really nice guy actually, and hard to dislike. But we didn't have much trouble when he booted that conversion from the sideline in driving rain in Game Two of the 1991 series.
6. Ricky Stuart: Wore his heart on his sleeve, passionate and incredibly skillful. Which is fine when it is a Queenslander, annoying as hell when it is a NSW halfback
5. David Klemmer: Part of the thuggish collective known as the Bruise Brothers as part of the NSW tradition of talking tough and delivering little.
4. Ben Elias: The Michael Ennis of his generation, the mere mention of his name was enough to rile Queenslanders during the late 1980s. Professional irritant.
3. Greg Bird: Remember that time he grabbed his throat and crashed to the deck like a sniper had shot him when his Titans teammate Nate Myles ran into him too hard? Class act.
2. Les Boyd: Shattered Darryl Brohman's jaw with an elbow to the head, allegedly under the instructions of Test selectors, and was banned for 12 months.
1. Paul Gallen: Where do you start and how long have you got? Big mouth, short temper. Was almost cartoonish in his villainy. King of the grubs.