Rugby League


Shillo takes Stuart's dig personally

Prop Dave Shillington has made it clear Queensland will take added motivation into the second State of Origin game after NSW coach Ricky Stuart accused them of being smug and ungracious winners.

''I take it personally, I think we all do,'' said Shillington yesterday.

The war of words between the camps has ramped up ahead of game two at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, reviving memories of Maroons coach Mal Meninga's inflammatory ''rats and filth'' newspaper column after last year's series, when the relationship between the coaches became severely strained.

Upset by Meninga's comments during the week that the Blues lacked the mentality to win Origin, Stuart wrote in his Sunday column: ''To be honest, I have had a gutful of Queensland's smugness and their fake graciousness in victory.''

Asked his reaction, Meninga initially responded: ''Who writes it?''

Then added: ''We work very hard, and Locky [retired Queensland captain Darren Lockyer] will tell you, we show a lot of respect, I believe''.


''We prepare hard. We put the game first, we put the team first, we do everything we can to make sure we do everything that is right. I don't know where he [Stuart] gets that terminology from.''

Lockyer, who ended his Origin career last year by leading Queensland to a record sixth straight series win, said Stuart was entitled to his opinion. But he said during his reign as captain, and before he took over, Queensland sides had always been humble in victory or defeat.

''We're very focused on success and we never carry on too much when we win,'' Lockyer said yesterday. ''If you ask me, I reckon we've always been pretty humble in success. People may construe that in other ways but I think that's just us being humble and focused on being successful.''

Lockyer said the media coverage of Origin was so intense that every word spoken about it was analysed.

''It's part and parcel of the pantomime I guess,'' he said.

Chris Close, who along with Arthur Beetson, Wally Lewis and Meninga helped forge Origin in the early 1980s, responded less tactfully.

''Who cares what Ricky says or thinks, he's the greatest gibberer that NSW has produced,'' fired Close. AAP