“Lunch and a few beers”: Review into NSW Origin pair’s pub visit

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    New South Wales Rugby League boss Dave Trodden will investigate the circumstances around a pub visit by key players Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan on the Friday before the State of Origin decider.

    The former Canberra Raiders teammates reportedly spent their day off drinking at Lennox Point Hotel in northern NSW, five days before the Blues suffered a heavy defeat in Brisbane.

    The Blues were based in Kingscliff, about an hour’s drive from the hotel, and were given the day to themselves ahead of the crucial clash.

    Trodden confirmed he would question team officials in the review of the team’s 2-1 series loss to the Maroons.

    “It hasn’t been raised with the team management,” Trodden told News Corp Australia.

    “I’d heard the rumours. We do a review of all these things in the immediate wash-up of all Origin campaigns and I’ll be asking questions about it.”

    Dugan confirmed to News Corp Australia that he was at the hotel visiting friends but said there was no misbehaviour.

    “We were with two of our good mates having lunch and a few beers,” Dugan said.

    “We were home at a respectable hour and there’s nothing more to it — it was six days (sic) out from the game.”

    The Blues’ culture was further called into question on NRL 360 on Friday night by Matthew Johns, the former New South Wales five-eighth labelling the Blues “classless”.

    Johns was disappointed that the the plan to start David Klemmer ahead of Andrew Fifita in the Origin decider was scrapped.

    “It was a good tactical move (to start Klemmer) … that was the right decision,” Johns said.

    “If Fifita doesn’t want to swallow it, say ‘see you later’. It’s stunning and it’s symbolic of what’s wrong with New South Wales.”

    “Compare that to Billy Slater, (being left out in) game one … he handled that with class. Whereas our side of the fence is classless.”

    Blues adviser Peter Sterling confirmed on Friday that the original plan was for Klemmer to start, but did not know why that changed.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • July 18th 2017 @ 8:14am
      DAYER said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      who cares. Andrew johns talks too much, why doesn’t he coach? full of crap he is.. imo

      • Roar Guru

        July 18th 2017 @ 8:31am
        eagleJack said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        It was Matthew Johns that was quoted.

        As for the lunch and beers? I’m not sure what I think of this. When it broke yesterday it sounded like they had been on a bender. But a few beers over lunch, on their day off? Not how I would have liked them to spend their free time. But not a terrible crime. Especially given it was a fair way out from Origin.

        I’m more disturbed by the Klemmer v Fifita thing. Daley is too busy trying to be everyone’s mate. Rather than an authoritative figure.

        • July 18th 2017 @ 9:17am
          Gray-Hand said | July 18th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Where should they be at lunchtime 5 days (5!) before a match? The monastery?

          • July 19th 2017 @ 12:55am
            Bugo said | July 19th 2017 @ 12:55am | ! Report

            I love beer, beer is great. All should have access to beer.
            Unless you are about to be paid $30,000 to play 1 game of league on a wednesday night.
            Their body is there tool of the trade and needs to be it perfect condition for the rigours of origin.
            Anyone who says alcohol doesn’t effect the body in any way 5 days out from a game is kidding themselves.
            Not to much to ask for 30 grand. Blues fans deserve better.

        • Roar Guru

          July 18th 2017 @ 10:19am
          The Barry said | July 18th 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          I agree eJ but I also think it depends on what the players had agreed to.

          If they said we’ll have two nights on the cans early in camp then we’re off the sauce until after the game then it is a bit more serious.

        • Roar Guru

          July 18th 2017 @ 10:58am
          Emcie said | July 18th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          This seems to be a blow up (read easy headline) over location rather then behaviour. As long as there wasn’t a booze ban in place I’m sure that there were other guys doing the same thing at home with their families. This is just people looking for an easy to believe reason for losing.

          If the Fifita story is true though it damages the credibility of Fifita, the coach and the selectors. But with the Tele who knows…

          • July 18th 2017 @ 8:19pm
            tigranes said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

            Emcie…I think Fifita’s credibilty left town a long time ago…

            • Roar Guru

              July 18th 2017 @ 10:48pm
              Emcie said | July 18th 2017 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

              but… redemption… and stuff…also he won some games I think so thats important …

        • July 18th 2017 @ 11:28am
          northerner said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

          If it was lunch with a few beers, I wouldn’t see the issue. I wonder though, if that were all it was, why Dugan felt it necessary to say they were back at a “respectable hour.” That suggests maybe more than a few beers were downed.

      • July 18th 2017 @ 11:18am
        Bert said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

        There is nothing grubbier than a grubby grub.

        NSW players are grubs!

        Here is the example.

        Ferguson and Dugan didn’t just have a few beers; they were smashed even the next day.

      • July 18th 2017 @ 11:19am
        no one in particular said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        Despite you referring to the wrong Johns, Andrew Johns achieved everything in the game. He is the one person that can speak up

        • July 20th 2017 @ 2:02pm
          Cee said | July 20th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

          Not particularly considering he got caught with drugs on him. So his credibility is shot.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 8:25am
      Raider 89 said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      I once went drinking 5 days before starting my new job.
      You media over analyze EVERYTHING.

      • July 18th 2017 @ 12:42pm
        Haradasun said | July 18th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

        Yeah but they are in camp using limited time to train and get combinations right for the game. Looks like dugan and fergo werent focused when they were discussing defence the morning after. Reports are they were hammered and still pissed the next day.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 8:47am
      Oingo Boingo said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      This most heinous of crimes cannot go unpunished.
      Hang them in Martin place , burn them and cast their ashes over Lang park.

      • Roar Guru

        July 18th 2017 @ 9:16am
        Nat said | July 18th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        The Daily Tele have been commissioned as the executioner. Buzz Rothfield published ’10 reasons why 6 beers cost NSW Origin’

        That’s a cracking pub in a beautiful spot. You’d think they would enjoy the fact a couple of stars frequented the place. I hope the cockatoo enjoys their 15mins, probably not so much if their name gets out.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 8:50am
      Crosscoder said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Same dopes Dugan and Ferguson.Nuff said.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 8:56am
      Andrew said | July 18th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      Ferguson was probably just having a few drinks with some mates to acknowledge what would be his last Origin game.

      Matty Johns could be correct, though, if I were a NSW player, I would think it unfair to be tarred with the same brush as Fifita. Just because he sooked, doesn’t mean Graham, Jackson, Frizzell etc. would have sooked if the change involved them. It is all really an indictment on Daley who surely will step down now that this has come out and interesting that Sterlo was honest and has kind of left Daley out to dry.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 9:21am
      Fish said | July 18th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

      Kent is a grub, always looking to sensationalise everything. Load of crap story. Bad journo.

      As for Fifita. The try he and Woods let in should signal the end of his origin career. DCE missed one tackle and he has never been looked at again, that is why the Queenslanders own NSW in the Origin arena. They have and demand a higher standard. Until NSW deliver the same criteria they will forever be playing catch up.

      Laurie Daley, as much as I like him, can not coach. He would be great as a Vautin type figure around camp, but coaching is beyond him. You only need one example and that came in origin two, when he should of demanded that Thurston get more treatment. The excuse that he defends on the wing is a pile of rubbish to cover up an inept coaching display. Sorry Lozza you just don’t have it mate.

      • July 18th 2017 @ 10:36am
        Jimmmy said | July 18th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        Fish, have a look at the Wallace try again , yeah Fifita was a bit slow getting back but the gap is on his inside. The guys at fault for mine are Peats and Bird who deadset stopped on the play. When Munster threw it back past Fifita there was a huge hole Bird and Peats should have closed. They let NSW down.

        • July 18th 2017 @ 11:10am
          Fish said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

          Jimmy it was not about the hole Wallace ran through. It was about the effort that those two props put in to cover it. Had they made any sort of effort at all, then there would be little argument, but they didn’t even bother breaking their walk.

          By the way Jimmy the gap was on the outside, and Woods was one marker following the play, and Fifita was having a picnic near the posts. The ball went wide with Munster who turned it back inside with a hail Mary pass to whoever wanted it, unfortunately only Wallace did. All she wrote.

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