Time to stop bagging

FORMER Queensland State of Origin players have never been afraid to vent their spleen if they thought their proud Maroon jersey was being disrespected by their successors.

One of the most degrading jibes came from Greg Dowling in 2002 when he said Dane Carlaw looked like Tarzan but played like Jane.

That comment came after the Maroons had been hammered 32-4 by the Blues in Origin One.

Queensland won game two, and ironically it was Carlaw who scored the try that enabled them to draw the third match in Sydney and square the series.

At the time many pointed the finger at coach Wayne Bennett, suggesting he had put Dowling up to it.

Because the humiliating taunt had the desired result, and only Carlaw and his family had been insulted, the comment was largely overlooked.

But Carlaw has never forgiven Dowling and I'm not sure Mitchell Pearce would have been too happy this week when he read comments attributed to former Blues skipper Steve Mortimer.

Okay, so Mortimer didn't exactly say Pearce wasn't the man for the job.

But he did question the creativity of the Blues' 12-game halfback, and claimed other candidates were more inventive.

How sad. Mortimer is a Blues Origin legend, having captained them to their first series win in 1985. And guess who followed him as skipper? Yep, it was Wayne Pearce, the dad of young Mitchell.

If the former Blues captains get together with the team before Origin One this year - as the Queenslanders do on a regular basis - the reception afforded Mortimer might be a tad frosty.

We are all patently aware that Queensland has won eight successive Origin series, but surely the Blues are on the cusp of victory. Last year they lost the decider by two points, the year before by just one.

And the Blues' halfback in both series was the 2013 premiership-winning No.7, Mitchell Pearce.

The last thing the players, the hierarchy, the coaching staff and the fans need is for ex- Blues players - seeking a headline no doubt - to be questioning players who need confidence, not condemnation.

YES, yes, yes

THE final piece of the Cowboys' premiership puzzle may well be put in place tonight when Cameron King debuts. The brother-in-law of former Test halfback Greg Alexander, King has been recovering from a knee surgery and will offer the Cowboys so much more in attack from dummy half. He is very good.

NO, no, no

LOYALTY is a two-way street and hopefully Ben Hannant is not looking for some at the Broncos. Hannant joined the club from school but has left twice, to join the Roosters in 2005 and the Bulldogs in 2009.

Both times he departed because the new contracts were juicier, financially.



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