BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 11: Billy Slater of Queensland waves to the crowd as he is chaired from the field by Cameron Munster and Will Chambers of Queensland after his final game for Queensland during game three of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 11, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler has a launched an attack at Wally Lewis Medal judge Darren Lockyer for the controversial decision to award Queensland fullback Billy Slater the player of the Origin series.

Slater’s Wally Lewis Medal crowning has been met with backlash from the NRL community, predominately amongst Blues fans, given Queensland lost the series and the Storm star played in two games.

Lockyer has since revealed that the gap between Slater and the next best Origin player was “significant”, as he voted with a 4,3,2,1 system on each game along with fellow judges Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley.

Previously playing down the decision, Fittler got on the front foot on Chanel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show, expressing his confusion to Lockyer as to how Slater could have gotten so many votes given the climate of the series.

“I couldn’t understand why Billy was so far ahead (in the votes),” Fittler said on the Sunday Footy Show.

“Considering Billy is an attacking player and what he does to a team is create numbers … in the second game they had the opportunity with 12 (NSW) players in the last 10 minutes to win the game. That’s what Billy does, Billy should have taken control then.

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“To be the best player, to be that far ahead on points, that’s why I couldn’t understand why (James) Tedesco, (Damien) Cook, maybe Tom Trbojevic, James Maloney … Billy had that opportunity in game two and didn’t take it, that’s why I couldn’t understand how he had so many points.

“Outside that it’s all opinion, it’s good debate.

“I think he had a great game, and his start to the game was excellent and really got them on the front foot and gave them the zip they needed.

“But to not nail the end, I couldn’t understand how he got so many points in game two that had him so far in front of everyone else.”

Footy show host Peter Sterling came to the defense of the voters’ judgement, but Fittler came straight back at him.

“That’s why we put them in that difficult situation because they are the people we want to pick the award,” Fittler said.

Lockyer simply rebutted by saying “we’ve got to own the decision,” conceding that the voting system may need to be revamped as part of the Origin series review.

“Obviously the system can be better and it’s being reviewed, there will be changes made that will get a better outcome,” Lockyer said on the Sunday Footy Show. 

“I think the points system works for a (man of the match) … then you have to step aside from game three and then look at the series overall, and between the three of us decide who we think has been the most influential and best player across the series.

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“It’s been very controversial and I’m sure there will be tweaks made.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. Filter needs to back off and remain professional. Decision has been made, the judges have made comments that the system could be improved however given the circumstances the result is what it is.
    Off topic – what’s with Brad and his live in-game interview – is he a coach or a celebrity – stick to coaching and then provide your feedback after the match.

    • He works for channel 9 so obviously they are going to make him do stuff like that. His loyalty is to his pay check, not his state.

      • You and condor must be kidding right???
        You’s are getting upset because Freddy gave a little 30sec interview during the game?
        Stop acting like a bunch of stupid sooks!!
        I thought it was refreshing and something different to see and interview given while the game was played and it was good viewing.
        Yes he has obligations to channel 9 because of his contract and GOOD ON HIM!!!! He won the series while still handling his tv commitments. So both of you just pipe down and relax would ya!!

  2. It’s a joke that slater got MOTM.
    Even if he got 2 x ten out of tens, that’s 20 points.

    If Cordner, Cook or Teddy didn’t get at least 7 out of 10 for each game, then i was watching soccer.
    The nrl, the bunker and the lodge thing it’s a blight on the game.

    • Although I agree that slater did not deserve the award, the system was the reason it happened not the judges. They have revealed that it was a 4-3-3-1 voting and who the winners were.
      this is what I predict happened.
      (g1) 4/Tedesco, 3/Maloney, 2/Trbojevic 1/Cook
      (g2) 4/Cordner, 3/Slater, 2/Cook, 1/Holmes
      (g3) 4/Slater, 3/DCE, 2/Trbojevic 1/Tedesco
      Therefore NSW players were collectively spread out but Slater got Man of The Series.

  3. Having watched all 3 games, I can’t understand how Cook could get 3 points for 3 games and Slater 7. Tedesco got no points in Game 2?

    • That was just my reasoning for the award to go to Slater. I too watched all 3 games (i didn’t do a Ruan Sims) but my personal opinion and the judge’s decision and comments that “Slater won by a gap” was why Teddy and Damien didn’t get more votes.

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