“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 @ 10:39am
      Worlds Biggest said | July 18th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      The game was five days out, there on there day off and having lunch and a few cold ones, they must be hung, drawn and quartered for this surely ! What a load of nonsense. Both these guys have been clowns in the past but seemed to of reformed now, give them a break. Jog on I say.

    • Roar Guru

      July 18th 2017 @ 11:09am
      Edward Kelly said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

      Before we judge we should perhaps find out what the Queensland players were doing 5 days out from the decider?

      • July 18th 2017 @ 11:50am
        Agent11 said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        chanting while sacrificing animals to the rugby league gods in some remote part of qld.

      • Roar Guru

        July 18th 2017 @ 10:11pm
        Michael Keeffe said | July 18th 2017 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

        They won the game and the 11th out of 12 series so no one cares. Perform and you can get away with more, keep losing and everything you do will come under scrutiny.

    • Roar Guru

      July 18th 2017 @ 11:31am
      Hoy said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

      Whatever happened, it must be said that perception is everything, and when you are losing, or have something on the line, you have to LOOK like you are doing the right thing, everything, to win.

      Remember when the Lions were touring here in 2013, and JOC and Beale were out at 3am at HJs on the Wednesday night? What were they thinking? It was the deciding game in three days, and they were out at that hour… and the Wallabies got pumped in that game. Now it might not have mattered at all, but jeez, it’s a poor bloody look isn’t it?

      So to go and have a few beers, or 100 beers, whatever… it just has to LOOK bad, and then your team loses, and it looks a lot worse. They must all realise that they must be perceived to be doing everything possible to win.

      • July 18th 2017 @ 11:40am
        Gray-Hand said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

        3am isn’t actually a very late night if your work doesn’t start until 7pm.

        A lot of people forget that professional footballers have primed their bodies to be in peak condition at 6-9pm. It’s not like playing football when you were a kid when you had to get up bright and early for an 8am kick off.

        • Roar Guru

          July 18th 2017 @ 12:39pm
          Hoy said | July 18th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

          Are you saying they are all insomniacs? I find that a bit hard to believe, as they all start training at about 7-8am don’t they?

          Of course it isn’t like playing football when I was a kid. Or even playing football when I was an adult… which is why they have to appear to do everything correctly. Having beers, for hours in the day, days before the deciding game is just a silly looking thing to do. Have a bloody soft drink. Might be just as bad for you, but it’s a better perception isn’t it?

          • July 18th 2017 @ 2:55pm
            Gray-Hand said | July 18th 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

            They don’t start training at 7am during the season. Think about it.

            Players have to have their bodies fresh for kick off time, which is usually at night. They aren’t going to be at their peak capability if they woke up at 6:00am. So they get out of bed a lot later than the rest of us on game day. And they try to keep their sleep cycles regular throughout the rest of the week.

            The practical effect of a player’s conduct is far more important than the ‘perception’ of their behaviour. Especially when the perception is distorted by ignorance.

    • Roar Guru

      July 18th 2017 @ 11:47am
      jeznez said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

      Seriously not fussed by these blokes having a couple of beers over lunch that far out from the game. They should be dropped based on performance on the pitch – nothing to do with this distraction of a story about a nothing event.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 18th 2017 @ 11:51am
      At work said | July 18th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

      What a beat up!
      Who cares what they did 5 days out from the game, it made no difference to their performance.

      Daley’s inaction to drop Fafita showed he isn’t up to coaching. Matty Johns said how it is, classless, how did Billy Slater take his non-selection… With class.

      We’re going to lose the next 4 out of 5 series the way things are going.

    • July 18th 2017 @ 12:07pm
      FairDinkumMate said | July 18th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

      The NSWRL need to get over themselves.

      EVERY single photo of these guys in Origin camp highlights the VB logo on the front of their jerseys.

      Surely Ferguson and Dugan should be rewarded for spending their day off supporting the teams major sponsor?

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