Paul Gallen has fired a parting shot at Queensland, accusing them of being bad winners ahead of his final State of Origin match.
Gallen has been on the wrong end of 10 series wins for the Queenslanders in the last 11 years.
Flames of interstate hatred were stoked for Wednesday’s Origin III at ANZ Stadium by Queensland players sledging Blues counterparts following the Maroons’ series-clinching win in game two in Brisbane.
And an arrogant tweet about losers having meetings while winners have parties sent by Maroons prop Josh McGuire provided the Blues with even more motivation.
In his final pre-match press conference on Monday, Gallen returned fire, accusing Maroons players and their fans of lacking humility.
“I’ll say one thing about Queenslanders, I think they’re bad winners to be honest with you,” Gallen said.
“When you win 10 of 11 series or whatever it is you probably can afford to be.
“That’s not so much the players, I’m talking about the people up there in general to be honest with you but as I said they’ve got the runs on the scoreboard so we can’t change it.”
Gallen, who will retire from representative football after Wednesday’s match, has served as public enemy No.1 for Queenslanders for several seasons, but said he took that as a sign of respect.
“There’s that many times I go to Queensland with the Australian side and everyone says ‘we’d love to have you as a Queenslander any day of the week’ and I find that an insult,” Gallen joked.
“I remember I’ve had a couple of drinks with Justin Hodges on Australian tours and he’s said the same thing to me. It’s like, ‘oh mate leave me alone’.
“I think there’s a respectful hatred there, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s finishing on Wednesday.”