Queensland great Nate Myles and former NSW playmaker Greg Alexander have had conflicting views over the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ proposed by Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans over recent laying down tactics in the NRL to milk penalties.
“S**t no there is no gentlemen’s agreement in Origin,” Myles said.
“You play for keeps.”
“If there is a penalty to be given in the 78th minute and they need one point and they can kick a goal, they are laying.”
On the other hand, NSW advisor Greg Alexander said that laying down tactics are a bad look for the game.
“You’ve got to get up,” Alexander said.
“What has happened in club football over the last couple of rounds is a stain on the game.”
“If someone does it tomorrow night from either side it is certainly not Origin. It is not rugby league.”
"They're a stain on the game." Brandy slams players for taking dives in the NRL recently ❌
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) June 8, 2021
Former Parramatta Eels halfback and NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent also agreed with Alexander’s stance, stating that penalties should apply for players choosing to overreact to a high hit trying to draw a penalty.
“For years rugby league people have laughed at soccer for the theatrical diving and we always said how ridiculous it looked in soccer,” Kent said..
“I think across the game there needs to be a movement here to say, ‘you know what? We are getting rid of it guys’. Or if a guy does lay down then they need to go off for 10 minutes for a HIA.”
Breaking: NRL issues warning to NSW and Queensland players saying there will be zero tolerance on high shots in Origin I.
Referee Gerard Sutton instructed to sin bin players for acts of foul play.
There will be no leniency. @travismeyn
— Pete Badel (@badel_cmail) June 7, 2021
Cherry-Evans is confident that the players will play hard, but doesn’t want laying down tactics happening as it heaps unwanted pressure on the umpires, and takes away from the excitement of Origin.
“I don’t think that’s fair to them; they’ve been under a lot of scrutiny this year, hopefully we can let the footy do the talking as players.”
“If there’s foul play any player will agree they’re going to have to act on it, but as for those little accidental shots and the ones that brush past it’d be great to see it refereed as a penalty.”
The Origin opener kicks off tonight at 8:10pm AEST at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.