Game on: sideline outrage is chaotically comical

Paul Gallen fired up Queenslanders with his jestful 'two-headed' jibe. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Paul Gallen fired up Queenslanders with his jestful 'two-headed' jibe. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

From the raw to the ridiculous, there's been no shortage of outrage this week.

It has fluctuated wildly on the filthy-o-meter from the laughable backlash from English Premier League football superstar Yaya Toure's lack of birthday love from paymasters Manchester City, to the 'uni student at a federal budget rally' end of the spectrum.

Of course, it is State of Origin time, so the largely confected kind of outrage emerged from both the NSW and Queensland camps.

Blues skipper Paul Gallen fired up those two-headed, eight-time victors north of the border with a reasonably tongue-in-cheek jibe, then toned down the simmering tensions with his contrition for putting one on Nate Myles's jaw last year.

Not to be outdone, Queensland coach Mal Meninga took a thinly-veiled shot at NSW culture after Mitchell Pearce's boozy Kings Cross antics and subsequent dumping from the squad, all the while conveniently forgetting his own beer-pulling indiscretions of recent times.

But with Laurie Daley turning Coffs Harbour into Fort Knox, punters had to look elsewhere for a decent dose of vitriol.

Instead, the NSW coach has focused on sleep patterns and life coaches to gain any kind of edge on a Maroons juggernaut threatening to deny a generation of NSW-bred fans any joy.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart duly obliged with a stinging blow-up directed at referees after the loss to Penrith, declaring their performance not up to NRL standard.

Predictably, it resulted in a $10,000 fine, despite him cutting his post-match press conference short, specifically stating he was trying to avoid such a penalty.

But Stuart - after three consecutive losses, two of them where the Raiders conceded more than 50 points - is hardly the only coach under pressure.

Anthony Griffin continues to be stalked by speculation of an out-of-pocket Wayne Bennett returning to Brisbane after a difficult tenure at the Nathan Tinkler-controlled Newcastle.

As the Knights negotiate their way out of the Boganaire's pocket, the team languishes at the foot of the ladder, ahead of only the Sharks by virtue of for and against.

Just above Newcastle and the Raiders, St George Illawarra's season is also quickly slipping away.

It seems throwing Benji Marshall in at the deep end couldn't spark the Dragons, so the faithful are angry.

First there was the 'protest' of several hardcore members of the fan club outside St George Leagues, signalling the return of the famous 'Oust Doust' banner, which inevitably appears whenever the Dragons have been behind for more than 20 minutes.

Since then, the St George Illawarra Twitter account has gone into meltdown over the future of coach Steve Price, amid calls for his sacking.

On social media, fans even had a crack at assistant coach Paul McGregor's conduct when delivering messages while miked up on Foxtel show Sterlo this week. McGregor was hardly out of order in directing the team, especially in a 36-0 loss - in fact, credit to him for providing the on-field insight - but at the moment, everyone is a target.

Of course, this situation is of the Dragons's own making, due to some truly bizarre recruitment decisions and the uncertainty over Price's future ever since Bennett left for Tinklertown.

In the meantime, the Dragons can only keep the pitchforks and flaming torches from their door and hope a NSW victory in Wednesday's Origin series opener will temporarily ease some of the tension.


Discuss "Game on: sideline outrage is chaotically comical"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.