NRL: Brett Morris missed the opening 15 rounds of the season – but he’s already made up for lost time. The man known as B-Moz scored a hat-trick in Canterbury’s huge win against Brisbane.
QUEENSLAND legend Gorden Tallis can’t accept Broncos star Adam Blair’s claim his form this season was ruined by criticism from the former Broncos captain.
Tallis labelled Blair “one of the dirtiest players” in the NRL after the Kiwi carried-out a chicken-wing tackle on Broncos teammate Sam Thaiday during the Trans-Tasman Test in May.
Blair was suspended for one match.
Despite Tallis’ public criticism, Blair was then named Broncos captain by coach Wayne Bennett for Brisbane’s loss to Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium while the team’s State of Origin stars were unavailable.
Blair told The Courier-Mail his form has slumped since the Trans-Tasman Test as a result of Tallis’ criticism having an impact on his family.
“I have been up and down since that I guess,” Blair said.
“I would have said that maybe three weeks ago (it was affecting me) but now it’s in the past and I’ve moved on.
“My job is to go and do what I do really well. That’s what’s got me to where I am now.
“I can’t stop doing those things because it takes away what I do for the team.”
Tallis responded to Blair’s claims on Monday, saying he couldn’t believe his opinion would ever have that sort of impact on a player.
“Are you serious? Oh my god,” Tallis told Triple M Brisbane.
“Well I tell you what, who else do I need to talk about? I can talk about every New South Welshman ever if it’s going to put them off their form.”
Tallis claimed last month Bennett’s decision to give Blair the captaincy was a direct slap intended for him because of the long-running feud between the Gold Coast Titans ambassador and the veteran coach.
It re-ignited one of rugby league’s most public feuds.
Tallis claimed he was disappointed Blair plays for the Broncos because of his reputation for aggressive tackles and cheap hits.
“It’s not tough to hit a bloke like Johnathan Thurston or Cooper Cronk in the back after they have passed the football and have relaxed their bodies,” Tallis said.
“That’s rubbish and same goes for all that wrestling he likes to use on a ball carrier but only after he is on the ground and has a couple of other blokes pinning him.
“Blair is the worst for it. It’s grubby and it’s why he is considered the dirtiest player in the game.”
Despite the Broncos losing four of their past five matches, Tallis isn’t concerned about the team’s form.
“The Origin period has always been difficult. History shows that they have guys away for that six week period. They’re still in the top four and at the business end of the season I think they’ll be there.”
Meanwhile, Brisbane are expected to welcome back hooker Andrew McCullough for Friday’s NRL clash with Melbourne.
McCullough missed his team’s loss to Canterbury on Saturday due to a thumb injury. It is the second time the Broncos rake has spent an extended period on the sidelines this season due to injury.
Bogged down by State of Origin, the Broncos have struggled without McCullough in recent weeks.
“We have missed him,” Broncos prop Josh McGuire told Channel 9’s Sunday Footy Show.
Centre Tom Opacic, who made his NRL debut against the Bulldogs, is out for six weeks due to a foot ligament injury, further testing the depth of Brisbane’s outside backs.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said Jordan Kahu might be back to meet the Storm at Suncorp Stadium, but Jack Reed is at least another week away.
Matt Gillett left ANZ Stadium in the second half against the Dogs with an eye injury and didn’t return. However he is expected to be healthy for Friday’s game.
— with AAP.