War of words continues ahead of State of Origin III.
Who said game three was a dead rubber?
New South Wales prop James Tamou has made the stinging suggestion Queenslanders have resorted to mind games because they cannot handle losing.
The Maroons have lost the State of Origin series for the first time in eight years, prompting Queensland media to dub the Blues “grubs” for their niggling tactics in the first two games.
Tamou suggested the barbs from north of the border were simply signs they were not handling being the champions again very well.
“I think we are pushing back with what they’ve started,” Tamou said.
“ I think that’s false. I have seen a lot of videos in the past and footage where I can point out a number of Queensland players have done something here or there to myself or other New South Welshmen.
“We saw in game two when (Johnathan) Thurston — it was one of the first punches thrown in a niggly way with Thurston slapping Beau Scott in the face. Small things like that started off and I think this year we are only starting to push back. I guess that’s why we have taken the series.
“I don’t think they are coming out as sore losers but it’ll show on the field, it’ll show.
“They will really push the point where one of our guys will clench the fist and want to throw one. That’s how they get under our skin. It’s up to us to restrain ourselves and do our job. I’ve had to restrain myself a whole heap. It’s not just myself, the boys that the Queenslanders get under. I see it in their eyes. As a teammate it’s up to me to back them up.”
With the new no punching rule in all NRL games, Tamou suggested the Maroons tried to get the Blues to start several fights in Origin II, so as to give themselves the advantage through the sin-binning of a player.
“I think the whole public saw the way they were acting,” Tamou said. “They were trying to go to that boiling point to make us look like the bad guys.
“They are definitely that type of team that if they were losing the game, they would try and get under the skin to the point of making us to try and throw a punch.
“Thurston, for example, his normal characteristic in club footy, he is never normally like that. It’s what Origin brings.”
Queensland will be out to save face in Origin III in Sydney this coming Wednesday, while the Blues will be out to put the icing on the cake of a winning series a long time in the making.