State of Origin mind games are back with Queensland veteran Corey Parker calling for “consistency” from the NRL match review panel over NSW players Wade Graham and James Tamou.
Graham is at risk of missing out on an Origin debut in game two in Brisbane next week after he hit Johnathan Thurston high in Cronulla’s NRL win over North Queensland on Monday night.
Given Graham has a 50 per cent loading from a similar hit last year, as well as carryover points, even an early guilty plea to a grade-one careless high tackle charge would rule him out of Origin II through suspension.
Meanwhile Blues teammate Tamou will also have to head to the judiciary to be cleared to play the match if he is charged for a shoulder charge on NSW teammate Andrew Fifita from the same match.
Parker on Tuesday risked the Blues’ ire by indicating that he believed both players should be sanctioned.
“We’re all in the same business, so whether they hold true to the consistency, we don’t know,” Parker told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“We’ll wait and see.”
The subject of the judiciary in the lead-in to Origin matches has long angered Queensland players and officials.
Star Maroons half Johnathan Thurston was forced to clear his name at a hearing in 2011 for a grade-two contrary conduct charge after he made contact with a referee that would have ruled him out of an Origin clash.
The charge was among issues which prompted then Queensland coach Mal Meninga’s infamous newspaper column which labelled NSW powerbrokers as “the filth and rats that continue to linger in the sewers and dark corners”.
There was also anger when NSW star Jarryd Hayne escaped suspension at a hearing and played an Origin match in 2010 when he beat a striking charge after an apparent headbutt on Melbourne’s Queensland fullback Billy Slater.