QUEENSLAND superstar Johnathan Thurston slammed NSW for being “disrespectful” towards Maroons captain Cameron Smith and defiantly pointed out that while the Blues won on the night they didn’t win the series – again.
Asked about NSW captain Paul Gallen and his Blues teammates walking away while Smith was giving his post-match speech on the field, which upset Smith, Thurston replied: “I don’t want to get into a slanging match here, but it’s pretty disrespectful, I thought. It just typifies what their team is about.”
Thurston was similarly critical of the Blues over the incident in which prop Andrew Fifita, who was sin-binned for his efforts, ran a distance to get Queensland try-scorer Gavin Cooper in a headlock from behind, triggering a melee. Cooper had dumped the ball in the face of Blues defender Matt Moylan on the ground as he got up after scoring the try.
“It’s another sign of what that team is about,” Thurston said.
“The officials dealt with it and sin-binned him, but, like I said, it typifies what that team is about.”
Thurston said Queensland could be proud of their effort in almost winning despite being hammered in the penalties.
“This team is built on mateship, working hard for each other,” he said.
“Tonight was a typical example of that. Lop-sided penalty count, the amount of possession they had, but, you know what? They had to win it in the 80th minute.
“Yeah, they got the result, but they didn’t get the series, the shield is still in Queensland for another 12 months and I’m pretty proud of this team’s dominance over a period of time. They keep turning up for each other and keep taking the shield back to Queensland.
“That’s what this team is built on, trust and effort and not letting each other down. They broke our line plenty of times, but we kept scrambling well enough and stopping them just short of the line. We did that for 79 minutes and they got us in the end, but that typifies what this team is about.
“We’re the Origin winners for another year and that’s what I’m most proud about.”