More Myles to the Gallen
Regardless of how many people loved it, how many were appalled by it, and whether the rules really are different for Origin football, the NRL have set a dangerous precedent by giving NSW captain Paul Gallen just a week’s ban for his one-two combo on Queensland rival Nate Myles’ head – an admittedly enormous target. The enforcers were not locked in a toe-to-toe brawl, nor did Myles even have his hands up; to add insult (and further injury) to injury, Gallen had just clubbed Myles with a grubbish swinging arm. Gallen’s complaints to the referees – who were gutless in not sin-binning the skipper – that Myles had been twisting knees and leading with the head ‘for years’ was a ridiculous justification, not to mention a spectacular case of the pot calling the kettle black. Wally Lewis has since stated that Myles tackled Gallen three times in the match, of which none involved knee twisting. Myles and the Queensland camp stoically – and surprisingly – talked down the incident, but will without doubt be looking for retribution. Game two could be open slather, especially given Gallen’s slap on the wrists with a feather.
Pine-riding Reynolds gives lesson in humility
NSW interchange utility Josh Reynolds had every reason to be bitterly disappointed at being left on the bench for the entirety of the Blues’ emphatic series-opening victory, but his responses in the days since is a testament to the qualities of a tremendous team player and a sensational young man. Reynolds became the first player since NSW’s Ken McGuinness in 1998 to fail to get a run from the bench in an Origin match. The absence of the resentment Daly Cherry-Evans showed – and the subsequent media beat-up – after he was not used by Tim Sheens in last year’s trans-Tasman Test, and the furore that surrounded the Aaron Raper Origin fiasco in 1997, was refreshing. Fortunately for the tenacious Canterbury five-eighth, he will get his opportunity in game two – and many more times, no doubt, in future campaigns.