Sport State of Origin: Paul Gallen takes aim at Queensland Maroons' hypocritical 'loyalty policy'

05:57  03 july  2018
05:57  03 july  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Cherry-Evans set to start for Maroons in Origin III. Daly Cherry-Evans is set to return to the State of Origin arena for the first time since 2015 in a revamped Queensland side for the series decider on July 11.

Queensland Maroons team for State of Origin Game 2: 1. Darius Boyd, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Greg Inglis, 4. Justin O’Neill, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Johnathan Thurston, 7 Josh Morris*, 5. Josh Mansour, 6. James Maloney, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Paul Gallen , 11.

a group of football players on a field© Provided by Sportal com au

The Queensland Maroons' success has been built on loyalty, or at least that's what they'd have you think.

Throughout their decade (and more) of dominance, the Maroons had the luxury to be able to call on the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Darius Boyd and Johnathan Thurston. That's not including Darren Lockyer, Petero Civoniceva, Nate Myles, Sam Thaiday and the multitude of legends that Queensland have had at their disposal in the last decade and a half.

They never needed to change their players, because, a) they never lost, and, b) they never lost.

New South Wales have often been chastised for not picking and sticking with their players, but if you are constantly unsuccessful, you need to try different things in an attempt to reverse your fortunes.

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Minute-by-minute report: every bone-rattling hit from Paul Connolly’s live blog as Queensland triumphed in Johnathan Thurston (right) and Josh McGuire of the Maroons celebrate their win over NSW in State of Origin Game 1 Johnathan Thurston of the Maroons takes a drink and a breather.

Billy Slater will captain the Queensland Maroons in his final State of Origin match and Daly Cherry-Evans, Tim Glasby and Corey Oates have all won recalls for the side to play NSW in the game three at Suncorp Stadium on July 11.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters adhered to his loyalty policy when he revealed his side for game three, but also noted that winning was the most important thing.

"That's the thing with the Queensland team. We're very loyal as Queenslanders and the selectors have been very loyal. But we want to be loyal to a winning team. That's what we have to be loyal to more than anything else," Walters said at the announcement oh his side.

"Loyal to Queensland, but loyal to a winning Queensland State of Origin team."

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Skipper Paul Gallen expresses his disappointment after losing the first match of the 2016 Origin series. Robbie Farah of the Blues looks dejected after taking a loss in game one of the State Of Origin . David Klemmer walks of the field with his head hung after Queensland defeated his side on Wednesday.

Jarryd Hayne celebrates opening the scoring in State of Origin . Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/AAP. A flurry of punches aimed at the head of Queensland 's Nate Myles was described as "a great Origin moment" by the New South Wales coach, Laurie Daley – but is likely to earn his captain Paul Gallen

It appears the shoe is now on the other foot. Paul Gallen, a man who played in more Blues losses than just about anyone, has taken aim at Queensland's so-called 'loyalty policy' after coach Kevin Walters dropped Ben Hunt from the starting 13 onto the bench.

"He (Hunt) is the best halfback in the competition for Queensland at the moment," Gallen said on 100% Footy.

"It makes me smile and laugh. They carry on about their loyalty, and it's just not there."

Manly's divisive skipper Daly Cherry-Evans was brought into the number seven jersey for game three at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, July 11, but considering game three is a dead-rubber and won't affect the overall result of the series, it seems odd that Walters would make a change rather than back Hunt and look towards the 2019 series.

Phil Gould was astounded by the decision to move Hunt out of the starting line-up.

"They've virtually blamed Ben Hunt for the two losses," Gould said.

"Particularly in a new era where (Cooper) Cronk and (Johnathan) Thurston have retired. (Queensland have said) 'he will be our replacement, he's been groomed at the Broncos, he's been playing with the Dragons who are leading the competition', and after two games they've chopped him off at the legs.

"Queensland don't usually do that. I find it an extraordinary decision to dump this kid like that."

State of Origin: Freddy Fittler thought Tom Trbojevic deserved to win man of the series instead of Billy Slater .
<p>Billy Slater became the first footballer to win the Wally Lewis Medal for the best player in an Origin series while being on the losing side.</p>As you have probably heard, Billy Slater became the first footballer to win the Wally Lewis Medal for the best player in an Origin series while being on the losing side.

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