Robert Dillon: Seven Days in League

THURSDAY

AHHH, Queensland ... beautiful one day, soiled the next.

For more than a decade, residents of the Banana Republic have been of the opinion their XXXX doesn’t stink after embarrassing NSW time and again in the State of Origin arena.

Now we get a long-overdue chance to rub their noses in it.     

Not only are heads bowed north of the border after a 22-12 loss in the series opener, but the collective embarrassment is magnified by a bizarre story that goes viral on the internet, featuring a Brisbane corporate executive dubbed the “Poo Jogger”.

Apparently this weird individual had made a habit of using a pathway outside an apartment block as his own personal toilet, leaving a unique calling card on about 30 occasions.

It was all fun and games until he was photographed in the act (toilet paper in hand), charged with public nuisance and fined $378 (no conviction), all of which prompted the 64-year-old to resign from his job.

Now it may seem like drawing a long bow to compare this grub with  Queensland rugby league’s pride and joy.  But just consider what Nate Myles left in the hotel corridor, and what Julian O'Neill left in Schlossy's shoe. What do they all have in common? They’re all born and bred north of the Tweed. 

Coincidence? I think not. 

All of which suggests that any Blues fans planning to head to Suncorp Stadium for the Origin series decider should watch their step, literally.

TO DYE FOR: Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona underwent a Dennis Rodman-style makeover before last week's clash with Brisbane. Picture: AAP

TO DYE FOR: Melbourne prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona underwent a Dennis Rodman-style makeover before last week's clash with Brisbane. Picture: AAP

FRIDAY

I AM intrigued to read in Tony Butterfield’s weekly Newcastle Herald column that Channel Nine’s Phil Gould has apparently “relaxed into the vernacular” and dropped an expletive during last week’s Manly v Cowboys clash.

I google it, and sure enough there is an online video of “Gus” unleashing three-quarters of a C-bomb on national TV.

It’s probably the greatest commentary faux pas since the great Ray “Rabbits” Warren stumbled over Karmichael Hunt a few years back.

Butts suggests, tongue-in-cheek, that it might be time the broadcasters considered a “director’s cut” version,“for the lads down the pub”.

He’s an ideas man, Butts, and this one strikes me as a masterstroke. Surely Foxtel can set up one of those red-button options for the X-rated coverage, during which commentators tell us what they really think about the action unfolding on our screens, using adjectives that resonate with real fans.

 Meanwhile, young Gold Coast forward Keegan Hipgrave firms to favouritism for the Dally M Loose Cannon of the Year award with an inspired display in the loss to South Sydney.

Hipgrave, who has been suspended twice in his 11 NRL games, becomes the first player to cop two stints in the sin-bin in the same game since Parramatta’s Michael Buettner in 2002.

Even a head wound doesn’t stop Hipgrave ripping into the giant Souths forwards, in a performance that evokes images of another Gold Coast kamikaze, Ronny “Rambo” Gibbs.

SATURDAY 

BLAKE Ferguson issues NSW Origin selectors with a reminder of his enigmatic talents as the Chooks outlast the Knights 18-16 at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Fergo scores two tries and produces one of the biggest hits of the match. Only trouble is it’s on his own teammate, fullback James Tedesco.

SUNDAY

WALLY Lewis reckons the Maroons should rush Newcastle dynamo Kalyn Ponga into their team for Origin II. “This kid has something special about him,” the King says. “As Arthur Beetson would say: ‘If you're good enough, then you are old enough’.”

Queensland selector Darren Lockyer is not so sure. “We all know he [Ponga] is going to play at some point, maybe this series,” Lockyer says. “It's difficult. If Billy [Slater] plays you expect him to play 80 minutes. Where do you put him ... if he comes off the bench?”

How good is it to see the Cane Toads at loggerheads, turning on each other? They’re deadset imploding. 

In Melbourne, big Nelson Asofa-Solomona runs out against the Broncos with a haircut straight from the Dennis Rodman school of fashion.

I wonder if anyone has told him how silly it looks? Probably not …

MONDAY

THE Dragons regain top spot on the ladder with an 18-16 win against the struggling Doggies.

It’s far from a convincing performance, which prompts Wendell Sailor on Triple M to observe that it’s time for the Red V boys to “shape out or ship up”.

TUESDAY

IT’S a big day for retirements.

Darius Boyd announces he’s pulled the pin on rep footy, while Knights prop Jacob Lillyman confirms he’s hanging up the boots at season’s end.

Penrith veteran Peter Wallace makes it a hat-trick by blowing full-time, effective immediately.

“It can now be revealed that Peter has played the last two years with no ACL in his knee after his last knee reconstruction actually failed,” Panthers boss Gus Gould says in a statement. 

Big deal. Herald court reporter Sam Rigney completely tore his ACL recently and hasn’t missed a trial since. Mind you, I’m not sure how Riggers would have coped with the ruptured testicle Wallace suffered playing Origin in 2008.

WEDNESDAY

THE countdown to the soccer World Cup kick-off is under way, but Seven Days can’t get excited. 

I mean, how is it possible to take a World Cup seriously that doesn’t involve Papua New Guinea? Fortunately it will be completely overshadowed by Origin.

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