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Rising Rabbitohs rookie Alex Johnston sets the record straight following his NSW no-show

Set of Six

Triple threat: Hat-trick hero Alex Johnston.

Triple threat: Hat-trick hero Alex Johnston. Photo: Getty Images

After scoring three tries in South Sydney’s shellacking of Newcastle, exciting winger Alex Johnston wanted NSW selectors to know that he cares about the blue jersey. Johnston and his coach, Michael Maguire, copped much flack back in May for pulling him out of the NSW under-20s side uninjured. He is now a leading NRL rookie of the year candidate, with 14 tries in 10 games. ‘‘It was tough,’’ Johnston recalled. ‘‘I’d only played, like, one first-grade game. It just seemed to be for the best. I definitely care about playing for my state and always will.’’ Maguire added the 19-year-old ‘‘values representative football’’.

Cowboys read the wrong comic 

 Because their team were dressed as Thor, whoever is in charge of North Queensland’s cheergirls thought it would be nice for the ladies to wear Wonder Woman costumes. And they looked smashing. One problem, though: It was Marvel superhero weekend and Wonder Woman is a DC Comics trademark. An inquiry has begun. Meanwhile, when Canterbury MC Tahir asked a fellow from Bathurst in the crowd on Friday which of the lovely girls next to him he fancied, he wasn’t prepared for the answer. ‘‘Well, they’re both in my family, so ...’’ ‘‘Forget that question,’’ the comedian said on the big screen.

Journos to lead integrity unit? 

 Further to our item last week about encouraging players to tell the truth about team changes rather than figure out what’s supposed to be a secret, Set of Six understands the NFL injury report has been looked at as an option. Some franchises put all their players on it, while others include hardly any or obfuscate the nature of injuries. It’s seen as a much better option to force clubs to name players either one grade or another, or on an unavailable list. If they’re on the latter, they can’t play. Another idea is open all training sessions up to the media once more and let the reporters do the job of the integrity unit.

Americans asked to mirror NRL promotion 

The Marvel Comics promotion gets the thumbs up from Set Of Six. Comic book website breathlessly raved: ‘‘Can we see something like this in America soon please? NBA, MLS ... anyone?’’ urged readers to ‘‘check your local cable provider’’ for matches. Sydney Roosters versus St George Illawarra looked like a colourised 1950s serial at times and, of course, Nate Myles got into the spirit by referring to Ashton Sims as ‘‘Thor’’. One quibble from us – let’s keep the colours in keeping with the club in future. Manly was a bridge too far in more than one sense.

Captains need to get involved 

Reports in Auckland say the Nines will go ahead at Eden Park on January 31 and February 1 after a compromise was reached between the promoters and the International Cricket Council, which is holding its World Cup at the same venue. Next year’s schedule is supposedly of great concern to players, yet only three skippers attended a captains’ forum at the NRL last week. It seems the players are defeatist: they feel they will never please the public or the media so they are just shutting themselves off. They badly need a streetwise, eloquent advocate.

Late kick-off to lead to rowdy revellers 

Here’s one that’s gone through to the keeper — what time do you think the Four Nations final at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium on November 15 is kicking off? Try 8.45pm – perfect timing, as it happens, for Australian television. Given the propensity for partying at the annual rugby union sevens tournament, things could be mighty rowdy by that time of night. Those taps may have to be turned off. Still on truncated versions of the codes, Mexico held its first rugby league nines at the weekend, despite reports of union authorities threatening to ban anyone who took part.

Twitter: @therealsteavis

2 comments so far

  • Steve "Captains need to get involved", and "They badly need a streetwise, eloquent advocate". Isn't that the role of the so called players association. Maybe they have the defeatist attitude, and ignore stuff. If the they(the players association) really have concerns about scheduling, and player welfare etc, then they should step up and go or talk to the NRL. There's no need for a captains forum, if you have a strong players association. Too many chiefs, not enough decision makers it seems by the players.

    Double Bay
    Date and time
    August 03, 2014, 10:38PM
    • Any chance that commentators might start pronouncing his name correctly. It's JohnsTon with a T. NOT JOHNSON. Greg Alexander, I'm talking to you. And you too Phil Gould. Johnston. JohnsTon. JOHNSTON. Please??????!!!!!!!!!

      Short Memory
      Date and time
      August 04, 2014, 2:36PM

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