No hate for NSW from Corey Parker

They were heckled long and loud by a NSW supporter on Sunday but Maroons back-rower Corey Parker refuses to embrace the hate – on any level.

To the amusement of the Queensland team a lone Blues fan taunted them, offered salutes and chanted “New South Wales” while the Maroons were training at Punt Rd.

It was a case of been there, seen that for the veteran Parker, who brushed off the barbs along with the Blues’ claims that Queensland were owed some return niggle for their efforts in Origin I.

“I don’t like the word hate. I try to tell my kids not to use the word hate,” Parker said.

“(But) when we pull on that maroon jersey … you don’t want to let anyone down.

“There’s been a fantastic rivalry over a long period of time.

“I know guys in the NSW side that I am mates with but … the moment you cross the line the mateship is gone for 80 minutes.

“It will be no different on Wednesday night.”

The Brisbane veteran of 14 Origins since 2004 did however reckon some aspects of the bruising `state against state’ concept had changed over the years.

And not necessarily for the better.

Parker bemoaned the lack of “biff” in Origin, saying that the game had not changed for the better with punching now banned.

“As a spectacle, you talk about Origin and the melees and the biffs,” he said.

“It is not what you play the game for but it does come along with the passion of the game.

“With that being rubbed out some could say it has been sanitised.”

“But out in the middle it is as physical as ever.”

One thing hasn’t changed, it seems – and that’s the solidarity shown by a Queensland side who have been together for the better part of a decade.

“I have grown up playing footy with a lot of them, and when you do get back into camp there’s that brotherhood reuniting with your mates,” he said.

“It’s largely due to the fact this team has been together a long period of time.

“(And) in Melbourne not too many people follow rugby league down here.

“You are out of the bubble from up at home – it’s good.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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