NRL: 'Dirty' Kiwis forward gets unlikely ally

Adam Blair (right) tackles Jonathan Thurston. Photo / Getty
Adam Blair (right) tackles Jonathan Thurston. Photo / Getty

An unlikely ally has emerged for Adam Blair in the wake of Gorden Tallis' scathing attack on the New Zealand forward - Kangaroos hardman Paul Gallen.

Tallis claimed Blair was "one of the dirtiest players" after being charged for his chicken wing tackle on Kangaroo Sam Thaiday, the Kiwi enforcer's teammate at NRL club Brisbane.

Blair took an early plea on the grade one dangerous contact charge and will miss Saturday's Suncorp Stadium clash with Manly for the ugly tackle in last week's New Zealand's 16-0 Test loss to Australia.

Blair's manager Isaac Moses did not wish to comment on Tallis' criticism, claiming he was unaware of the former Brisbane captain's withering spray.

But Gallen stood up for Blair, saying the fact his Kiwi rival's Brisbane teammates later dismissed Tallis' comments indicated he "can't be all bad".

"I think Andrew McCullough summed it up best - he would have him in every team he plays in," Gallen told Sky Sports Radio.

"I don't know Adam. But if guys like McCullough are going in to bat for him he must be doing something right."

And he is playing for his country and won grand finals - he can't be all bad."

Tallis also claimed Blair used tactics in the NRL not becoming of a Bronco.

"I am disappointed he wears the Broncos jersey and plays like that," Tallis said.

Gallen tried to put Tallis' comments in perspective.

"Gordie has given him a fair spray," he said.

"But Gordie is paid to give an opinion and he generally has one on most things and they can be controversial."

Brisbane forward Jarrod Wallace laughed off the incident, saying Thaiday would not hold a grudge.

"I am sure they would have had a laugh after the game - they will be right," he smiled.

Hooker McCullough believed the incident had been blown out of proportion."He could have done a lot worse than he did - that's Test football," he said.

"Sam is a big boy. He will be fine."

It gets blown out of proportion a little bit."

Meanwhile, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy bristled at a media report that suggested the seed for Blair's tactics was sown during his time at the Storm.

The News Corp report cited Blair's questionable tackle on then Storm teammate Cameron Smith in a 2010 trans-Tasman Test match that sidelined the Kangaroos hooker for several weeks.

In all Blair has been charged 12 times since his 2006 NRL debut at Melbourne.

"Everyone's got an opinion. (But) Adam Blair was a wonderful player for this club," Bellamy said of Blair who spent 2006-11 at Melbourne.

"What he's doing now at the Broncos is none of our business.

"He's been away from here for a long time so if you try and put that on us, I think you need to have a look somewhere else."

- AAP

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