State of Origin: NSW slammed for 'disrespectful' act towards Maroons captain Cameron Smith

By Tyson Otto

Cameron Smith has delivered an ice cold rebuke to NSW over a 'disrespectful snub' that did not go unnoticed in the Queensland camp.

Several NSW players turned their back on the Queensland captain as he was addressing the crowd during the official post-match Origin Shield-presentation ceremony at ANZ Stadium.

Players, including Blues captain Paul Gallen, had already walked away from the centre of the field towards the fans and family members sitting in the front row when Smith was in the middle of his speech congratulating the Blues for their victory in the series finale.
The snub was captured by the Channel 9 cameras and broadcast live.

Smith and Maroons coach Kevin Walters admitted the snub was not something they would be proud of.

Origin spectators were a lot more angry at the treatment the Kangaroos skipper suffered.

Gallen blew off the questions over his team's action after the match, but Smith was not prepared to just forgive and forget.

"It's something our team wouldn't do," Smith said.

He did not elaborate on that stinging one line.

Walters also slammed the Blues involved in the walk out.

"That's extremely disrespectful," he said.

Maroons star Johnathan Thurston initially tried to deflect questions about the Blues' snub, but then declared it was a "disrespectful".

"I don't want to get into a slinging match here, but it was pretty disrespectful I thought," he said.

"I think that just typifies what this (NSW) team is about.

"Like I said, I don't want to get into a slinging match here, but I thought it was very disrespectful. Smithy is sitting at the top of the tree for the amount of games he has played. (Considering) the respect he deserves, I thought it was very disrespectful what they did.

"They got the result in the end and probably didn't deem it disrespectful to walk off like they did."

He said the act has put fire in his team's belly for 2017.

Thurston then had a crack at Blues star Andrew Fifita for his moment of madness when he was sent to the sin bin for an off-the-ball grab on Gavin Cooper's melon.

"That's just another sign of what that team is about," he said.

"Officials dealt with it and sin-binned him, but it just typified what that team is about.
"They got the result tonight, but the shield is still in Queensland for another 12 months."

Walters said after the game the series finale the Origin concept remains as heated as ever.
"You expect that with Origin," he said.

"I read some articles in the paper today about how Origin has lost its flavour.

"It's a physical game. There is going to be some spite. Everyone gives as good as they get, pretty much."

Gallen brushed off the incident.

"I didn't even notice," Gallen said when asked if he had planned to snub Smith during his opposite's trophy acceptance speech.

"We did what we had to do and then we thanked the fans."

It was the second time Smith had spoken to the ANZ Stadium crowd after he was minutes earlier awarded the Wally Lewis medal as player of the 2016 series.

- news.com.au

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