State of Origin coaches Brad Fittler and Wayne Bennett have clashed over Queensland forward Jai Arrow’s actions during the Wednesday’s series decider, per Fox Sports.
Arrow coped a lot of criticism on social media and from NRL legends for pushing NSW fullback James Tedesco into the turf after he had lost the ball in a tackle.
Tedesco had been knocked out by the knee of Josh Papalii, with Arrow failing to realise until after his actions.
The footage angered many people, adding fuel to the fire when Tedesco had to be helped off the field and did not return.
Blues coach Fittler lashed out at Arrow following the defeat.
“(Arrow showed) a lot of lack of respect, but he will learn from that,” Fittler said.
NSW hooker Damien Cook didn’t see the incident but suspects Bennett may give Arrow a word after the match.
“I know for a fact if it’s what they are saying, Wayne won’t be happy because it’s a duty of care, and Wayne is big on that,” Cook said.
Bennett on the other hand was not concerned by Arrow’s conduct, saying post-match the incident “was an instinct.”
“It happened so close and (Arrow) didn’t realise (Tedesco was knocked out). As soon as he realised what he had done he stayed there (with Tedesco), he didn’t run away.” Bennett told media.
“It happens that quickly out there and he just didn’t know what happened.”
Arrows showed genuine concern in his reaction and quickly called for assistance and continued to check on the Roosters fullback.
Bennett was made aware of Fittler’s comments and didn’t agree with the slander of Arrow.
“Brad is kidding himself, there was no lack of respect. Watch it again,” Bennett said.
In fairness to Jai Arrow, once he realised Teddy was out cold he called for help, still picking him up and slamming him down, there’s no need to that in our game
— Keith Galloway (@kgalloway85) November 18, 2020
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) November 18, 2020