Queensland might have to pick on someone else for the State of Origin decider after their latest mindgame tactic failed miserably.
NSW Blues star Liam Martin was labeled a grub in the lead up to State of Origin game II but the Panthers forward has had the last laugh.
As is Origin tradition, Queensland found motivation from the alleged slight, targeting Martin for his rough contact in Origin I, carrying on from Jarome Luai’s picture in 2021.
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Queensland media named Martin as NSW’s “villain”, pointing to four moments in game I which were labeled “feral plays”.
Those incidents were a swinging arm to the back of Cameron Munster’s head (64th minute), a forearm to Dane Gagai’s throat (65th minute), rubbing his head in Kurt Capewell’s face (67th minute) and digging his elbow into Munster’s ribs (68th minute ).
But after a week of laughing it off, Martin has had the final word on the drama after the Blues’ 44-12 thrashing of the Maroons.
Speaking with roving Channel 9 reporter and NSW legend Paul Gallen after the match, the former Blues skipper asked Martin how he dealt with the “c**p talk” during the week.
His response showed that if the Maroons wanted to get under Martin’s skin, it didn’t work.
“I couldn’t really care less,” Martin said. “It was someone talking s**t pretty much. I didn’t mind – I got sprayed by the boys back home, sending through, ‘They finally know what you are like’. I didn’t really care.”
In fact the most worked up anyone got was Martin’s mum Maxine.
Speaking on 2DayFM’s Hughesy, Ed and ErinMaxine said she’d been banned from reading more about what everyone was saying about her son.
“When it’s happened it’s like the mumma bear has come out in me,” Maxine said.
“I said, when you watch a game there’s more face massages out there than a beauty salon. They’re roughing each other up all the time.
“I rang my children straight away when I read it, and they banned me. I’m banned from reading the internet, banned from social media. I’m banned! Can you ban parents?
“It’s so out of left-field.
“It’s not a pretty label — public enemy No. 1 … or the grub — it’s not a pretty label and I’m thinking, ‘Woah, what’s going on here?’
“When it first came out I had a sleepless night over it.”
Ed Kavalee, a co-host of the radio program alongside Erin Molan and Dave Hughes, then took great delight as a Queensland supporter taking the mickey out of the situation, agreeing Maxine should wear a T-shirt with “grub raiser” written on it .
“I’m happy to do this as a Queensland supporter. Maxine, your son is a grub,” Kavalee said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “Your son is a massive grub.
“But he is exactly what the Blues need because the rest of them were too nice.
“Let his elbows lead the way. ‘Follow me behind my knees and elbows, guys, straight into the faces and throats of the Queenslanders’.”
Kavalee later made sure everyone knew he was obviously kidding, adding: “Maxine, he’s a beauty, it’s all just Origin nonsense, they do it every year.
“Queensland just pick someone and go, ‘Right, this is the bloke we’re after’.”
Sounds like the Maroons will need to pick someone else — Liam Martin doesn’t seem to care.
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