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New South Wales captain Paul Gallen
has slammed Queensland as ‘grubby’ and
‘disrespectful’, setting the scene for a
volatile encounter in State of Origin II at
the MCG tonight.
In his match eve press conference,
Gallen handed the maroons a clear
warning that the blues would not tolerate
a repeat of some incidents that upset them
in their game one defeat in Sydney.
“ We have been used to their grubby
tactics for years now,” said enforcer Gallen,
who returns after missing the opening
game loss in Sydney with injury.
“In game one I suppose the boys were
a bit naive to think that some of the so-
called angels of the game don’t get up to
any of it.
“I’m sure that none of the boys will take
a backward step this time. They know
what is coming and I’m sure Queensland
do as well.
“ We are not out there to fight, we are
not out there to play dirty, we are out
there to play hard and tough but we won’t
be taking any a backward step and if those
tactics start to sneak into the game I’m
sure our boys will adapt to that.”
Gallen again identified Nate Myles as
the maroons’ chief niggler and said Billy
Slater putting “his shoulder into” Josh
Morris as he lay on the ground was among
incidents that upset NSW in Sydney.
The blues have taken motivation from
reports that Slater may be headed for
season-ending surgery on his troublesome
shoulder following Origin II.
“If he is planning on having surgery
tomorrow, I think that is a sign of where
their team is at the moment,” Gallen said.
“They think they are that much better
“They think they are going to get this
series and Billy is going to get surgery and
have the rest of the year off.
“It is a little bit disrespectful to us. But it
is easy to be talking about it and having a
go at him.
“ We have to go out there and get the
win and prove that we are the better side.”
Maroons skipper Cameron Smith said
Queensland were not bothered by NSW’s
tough talk and that both sides were guilty
of niggling tactics in Origin I.
“I don’t think there was much difference
between the way the two teams played to
be honest,” he said.
“They are entitled to their opinion. It
doesn’t faze us.
“We are out there to win anddo
whatever we have to do to win.” — AAP
Gallen slams ‘disrespectful ’ Queensland
STATE OF ORIGIN
New Zealand coach Tony Readings
defended his decision not to shake hands
with his Chinese counterpart after their 2-2
draw at the women’s World Cup in Canada
that ended the Football Ferns’ tournament.
Readings refused to engage in the
customary gesture with Hao Wei after the
Chinese had been sent to the stands for
apparently interfering with Ria Percival as
she attempted to take a quick throw with
her side pressing for a winner in Winnipeg.
“It’s just something I don’t agree with,”
Readings said of Hao’s actions. “I would
“ You have just got to let the players on the
pitch do the business. While we want to
influence things we should be backstage, not
Replays of the incident are inconclusive,
with Hao appearing to be off balance as he
fell into Percival after he had jumped in the
air to stop the ball going further out of play.
Percival could not gather the ball and
immediately complained about what she
thought was interference.
Hungarian referee Katalin Kulcsar sent
the coach to the stands, but he took his time
leaving the field of play, no doubt increasing
the frustration the New Zealand side felt as
China’s players slowed the game down in the
final few minutes.
They twice deliberately stopped New
Zealand taking quick free kicks in the final
minutes, which resulted in tempers rising on
Readings, who has been both criticised
and commended in New Zealand, was also
frustrated at the penalty decision against
Betsy Hassett in the match the Football
Ferns needed to win to advance to the
knockout phase for the first time.
Television replays showed the ball had hit
Hassett in the chest and was nowhere near
“Football is such a close game; a referee
decision or a ball bouncing the wrong way
can make all the difference,” Readings said.
“ But we need to be better so that these
things go in our favour.”
Despite the group stage exit, Readings was
confident the campaign would only aid his
side ahead of next year’s Rio Olympics.
“It ’s the third game in a row where we’ve
said the same thing. The performances we’ve
put in haven’t got the results we deser ve in
this group,” he added.
“It ’s been one of the two toughest groups
in the tournament (and) ... we felt like we
were one of the better teams in this group
across the three games we played yet we
haven’t got the results.
“This team has massive potential. Despite
the fact we’ve got a few centurions, two of
them are 25-years-old and we’re going to
have the core of them at the Olympics and
even the next World Cup.” — Reuters
Ferns coach defends
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
New Zealand coach Tony Readings ignores his Chinese counterpart’s attempt to shake
hands after the match.
The West Coast premier
rugby league competition
semi-finals will be played at the
weekend, with the top finisher
Suburbs to play the fourth
Second and third, Waro-
rakau and Brunner-Runanga
respectively, are also set to go
There will also be plenty of
action in the under-18 grade as
teams compete for grand final
spots. After three rounds of
the competition, Hokitika and
Suburbs were tied on 12 points
and Hokitika got top spot
narrowly with a points average
of plus 42 over Suburbs, with
plus 32. Cobden-Kohinoor
were third with four wins for
eight points, and Brunner with
two wins for four points were
The draw is.—
Monteith’s Brewery semi-
finals, Sunday, Wingham
1pm: Suburbs v Cobden-
Kohinoor (G Lindsay, J
Hopkins, N Bower). 2 .30pm:
Runanga (K Calder, J Hopkins,
Westland Milk Products
1pm: Suburbs v Cobden-
Kohinoor, Hargreaves Park, (G
Cumming). 2pm: Hokitika v
Brunner, Hokitika (P Gibson).
West Coast rugby league
Black Ferns head coach
Greg Smith has pulled out
of his team’s upcoming tour
to Canada following his
misdemeanor in a club match.
In reality, Smith would not
have been eligible to coach
the Black Ferns anyway after
Waikato Rugby’s decision to
suspend him from coaching
for 14 weeks due to his verbal
abuse of match officials
According to a New
Zealand Rugby statement,
the organisation and Smith
yesterday agreed that the
decision to step down was
in the best interests of the
New Zealand Rugby will
appoint an interim head coach
this week and the Black Ferns
tour will go ahead as planned.
They will play Canada, USA
and England in the series
from June 27 to July 5.
Smith is said to have abused
assistant referee Josh Bull
in his position as coach of
the Fraser-Tech premier
side in their match against
University. Smith was sent
from the ground but is said to
have continued coaching via a
walkie-talkie. — NZ M E
Smith pulls out of
Black Ferns’ tour
Rafael Nadal has suffered a
shock first-round exit from the
Wimbledon warm-up event at
Queen’s Club as the Spanish star
was beaten 6-3 6-7 (6/8) 6-4 by
unheralded Ukrainian Alexandr
Nadal’s dismal defeat against the
world number 79 on Tuesday is the
latest in a growing list of lacklustre
performances in a troubled 2015
campaign for the former world
The 14-time grand slam winner
was beaten at the French Open
for only the second time in his
glittering career when Novak
Djokovic won their quarter-final
clash in Paris.
As a result, Nadal’s ranking has
plunged to 10th — his lowest
position for a decade — and to add
insult to injury he will now head
to Wimbledon, which gets under
way later this month, with renewed
questions about a decline that hit
another low with this setback in
Nadal tried to downplay the
significance of the result, saying:
“It ’s a loss. I didn’t play bad at all
and fought until the end. Games on
grass are like this.
“I played an uncomfortable player.
Sometimes just a few things decide
matches here and I wasn’t lucky
enough today. I probably didn’t play
aggressive enough when I had the
break in the third set.”
Three-time Queen’s champion
Andy Murray had no such
problems as he saw off Taiwanese
qualifier Lu Yen-Hsun 6-4 7-5.
The 28-year-old top seed is
coming off the best clay-court
campaign of his career after taking
titles in Madrid and Munich before
pushing Djokovic to five sets in the
French Open semi-finals.
He was never at his best against
Lu, who enjoyed one of the best
moments of his career when he
defeated Murray at the 2008
But the former Wimbledon
winner had enough guile to
eventually subdue the 31-year-old
world No 63 and set up a second-
round clash with Spain’s Fernando
“I felt like I moved pretty well. I
didn’t start ser ving so well. But I hit
the ball well from the back of the
court,” Murray said.
“I’ve had good runs here. It’s an
extremely strong field this year so
I’ll have to play great tennis. ”
champion Stanislas Wawrinka
returned to action after his Paris
triumph with a 6-3 6-4 dismissal of
Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios.
The Swiss second seed swept
through his first-clash in just 49
minutes to set up a second-round
meeting with big-ser ving South
African Kevin Anderson.
There was better news for another
promising Australian as 19-year-
old Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated
Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 6-4
to earn a clash with French seventh
seed Gilles Simon, a 6-7 (6/8)
7-5 6-2 winner against Belgium’s
Defending Queen’s champion
Grigor Dimitrov moved into the
second round, where he faces Gilles
Muller, after a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory
against 2010 winner Sam Q uerrey.
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