Did security act quickly enough to stop streaker?
A streaker lost a try for Queensland in Origin III after he raced onto the pitch close to the end of the much anticipated game.PT1M50S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2q4yg 620 349 July 17, 2013
SHATTERED NSW five-eighth James Maloney jumped to the defence of his club and state halves partner Mitchell Pearce, saying individuals players could not be blamed for the Blues' heartbreaking defeat in the series decider.
Pearce, his clubmate at Sydney Roosters, enjoyed a largely unhappy evening at ANZ Stadium as NSW wasted a host of opportunities to finally snap Queensland's long-running supremacy in the interstate arena.
Maloney, who was playing in his first Origin series, however backed the NSW halfback on Wednesday night. ''There is no point putting it down to individual players. We're a team, there was 17 blokes out there,'' he said.
Scapegoat: James Maloney defended Mitchell Pearce. Photo: Brendan Esposito
''We weren't good enough. There is no point pointing fingers at different people. There was no one person out there that cost us the result. As a side we weren't good enough.''
Maloney said it was a ''pretty hollow feeling'' losing a decider, a sentiment echoed by another player in his first series.
''Massively gutted,'' said Andrew Fifita. ''I've never done this before, I'm a first-timer. I've watched it for that many years and this is the most painful thing in the world. I'm just heartbroken. It'd be up there [as the toughest loss], that's for sure. Massively up there.
State of Origin - Game III
Johnathon Thurston on the run. Photo: Brendan Esposito
''I never stopped believing and you never stop believing. Even after the last try they had, I just kept saying to the boys, 'Keep believing'. Then we got that try and we were on the edge and I really thought we were going to get there. In the end, we didn't and we just missed out by two points.
''I'm not going to back away from it, we lost fair and square. We all copped it on the chin. Next year we'll come back bigger and stronger.''
Asked about the late intruder onto the ground, Fifita added: ''That's not football, the crowd should just stay out of the game. I thought the ruling was that because it was the last tackle it would be a changeover, but I guess that's football and that happens.''
Queensland coach Mal Meninga said the ''big, fat fella'' cost Matt Scott a certain try.
''I thought he did very well,'' Meninga said of the way the streaker evaded his pursuers. ''It was disruptive. It cost us a try. We handled it … Silly, ridiculous it does happen in Origin, but it does happen.''
Maloney said the Blues had enough chances to win. ''I thought up until that final whistle we had a chance," Maloney said. ''We'd spoken about it all week that Origin is an 80-minute game and that's what it came down to. That was probably the difference tonight.''