Why Jake Trbojevic is poised for Origin II recall for NSW

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Why Jake Trbojevic is poised for Origin II recall for NSW

The greatest post-match interview in the history of post-match interviews came last Sunday afternoon after Manly flogged the Wests Tigers.

Sea Eagles captain Jake Trbojevic had been dropped from the NSW side for Origin I, then dropped on his head by Brent Naden, but spoke to Fox Sports with the same uncontrollable enthusiasm Bindi Irwin displays when she spots a baby echidna.

You suspect Trbojevic feels a similar passion for footy and his club and when he’s talking about both his brain moves quicker than his mouth. He talks so fast you can’t fit a comma between his words.

“Yeah thanks boys yeah it’s been a great couple of weeks obviously we had a tough month before and to come out here and put in a really positive performance you know we were in a dogfight there for a bit and um to run away with it at the end was really really nice. Really really happy for the boys,” he said.

Host Braith Anasta then asked if he’d heard from NSW coach Brad Fittler after being overlooked for the opening match of the series, won by Queensland 16-10.

“Oh nah I haven’t I spoken to anyone Braith but um you know I just haven’t thought about it you know everyone they picked was in good form and you know I reckon they deserve to get another chance they were sort of unlucky the other night you know you back them to do the job again so hopefully for them they get another chance but if I’m called upon I’d love to be there I’m just enjoying doing it for Manly enjoying being captain and yeah hopefully we can get a few wins,” he said.

Jake Trbojevic is poised to be recalled to the NSW team for Origin II.

Jake Trbojevic is poised to be recalled to the NSW team for Origin II.Credit:NRL Photos

Jake Trbojevic is rugby league’s reason for hope.

He isn’t about the next pay cheque. He doesn’t come off the field and check how many fantasy football points he’s accrued. While some players are happy to publicly admit they “don’t watch much rugby league”, he’s a rugby league nuffie.


He’s also Fittler’s reason for hope if the NSW coach can swallow some pride, admit he made a mistake and pick him for Origin II in Perth on June 26.

When Fittler took over in 2018, he picked players based on character as much as ability. Subsequently, Trbojevic was the first picked.

That philosophy is all well and good until you lose strike players like Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell and Ryan Papenhuyzen to injury.

Heading into game one, Fittler was concerned about where the points would come from, so he put “character” on the shelf. He figured the best way to score tries was to run Queensland off their feet with quick play-the-balls and even quicker runs out of dummy half. Off that, big mobile back-rowers could keep bashing down the door, getting the ball over the advantage line.

That was the thinking behind the selection of Parramatta’s Ryan Matterson.

Alas, the Blues rarely found themselves in the same suburb as the advantage line.

“Really really happy for the boys”

Please don’t change, Jake Trbojevic

Fittler has taken aim at referee Ashley Klein for allowing the Maroons to slow down the ruck, but the truth is NSW looked one-paced and prepared to go through the motions.

They needed someone like Trbojevic to get them going again, as Fittler’s critics pointed out before, and most certainly after, the loss.

Internally, the Blues know they made a mistake. When they name their side for game two on Sunday night, expect Trbojevic to be in it.

Queen Elizabeth meets racing royalty

NSW Racing chief executive Peter V’landys had lunch with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys at Royal Ascot.

Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys at Royal Ascot.Credit:Getty

No, we’re not making that up. In fact, he was seated between the Queen and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

V’landys, who is also chairman of the ARL Commission, and his wife Philippa were invited to lunch by John Warren, who is the Queen’s racing manager and one of the world’s leading bloodstock agents.

Warren organised the lunch with HRM as thanks to V’landys for his contribution to racing. Charles, the Prince of Wales, was also in attendance.

James McDonald punches the air as Nature Strip wins The King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

James McDonald punches the air as Nature Strip wins The King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.Credit:Getty

“She’s an amazing lady,” V’landys said of the Queen.

Afterwards, he and his wife jumped in one of the carriages that formed the royal procession to Royal Ascot for day two of the Royal Racing Carnival.

V’landys was there on Wednesday morning when the Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip won the King’s Stand Stakes (1000m), confirming The Everest winner’s status as the world’s best sprinter.

Queen Elizabeth, a passionate racing enthusiast, couldn’t attend the meeting but passed on her congratulations to Waller via Warren.

“It shows the rest of the world is no match for us in the sprinting races,” V’landys said. “That was a trial run for Nature Strip.”

Before attending lunch with the Queen, V’landys received a text message of advice from his great mate, the actor Bryan Brown: “Make sure you tuck your bloody shirt in!”

Arnold’s achievement belies internal ructions

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold is the patron saint of Australian football this week after his side’s World Cup qualification — but only months ago he went perilously close to getting sacked.

You’ll recall that Arnold caught COVID-19 — for the second time — in March just days before the match against Japan in Sydney. He was in isolation as per NSW Health orders but breached them when he went out for a swim near his home at Narrabeen.

Graham Arnold has led Australia to the FIFA World Cup finals.

Graham Arnold has led Australia to the FIFA World Cup finals.Credit:Getty Images

More than a few people at Football Australia wanted him sacked over the indiscretion. He kept his job but was fined $25,000 — a ridiculously heavy sanction from a weak head office.

Remember, Arnold lived out of a suitcase for the best part of two years as his side played a series of qualifiers for the World Cup finals in Qatar.

It’s fair to say the relationship between Arnold and FA has been strained ever since.


“Was it worth it to lose 10K on tickets and be banned for life? Absolutely. I was an NBA player for 10 minutes bro.” — A tweet from Dawson Gurley, otherwise known as Fake Klay Thompson, who snuck past five layers of security to get on the court before game five of the NBA Finals series between Golden State and Boston. San Francisco’s Chase Center has banned him for life.

People keep comparing goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s style to a Wiggles dance, but I reckon it’s more spider monkey. Whatever it is, it worked after he stopped Peru in the penalty shootout in Qatar, sending the Socceroos to their fifth consecutive World Cup in a row. His reaction was priceless.

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge - and others - say the AFL’s three-strikes policy isn’t working after superstar Bailey Smith admitted to taking cocaine. If not for the AFL’s illicit drugs policy, and the NRL’s for that matter, how many footballers would’ve kept hoovering up the stuff instead of getting treatment? How many would’ve been busted by ASADA testers on game-day?

It’s a big weekend for … Sydney trainer Chris Waller, who will saddle up Home Affairs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on Sunday morning AEST. The Anthony Freedman-trained Artorius is also in the race. No word at the time of writing if Nature Strip, who won the King’s Stand Stakes earlier in the week, is backing up. Some race if he does.

It’s an even bigger weekend for … Cameron Smith and Adam Scott as they head the Australian contingent at the US Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. After engaging in some entertaining trash talk with Saudi rebel league kingpin Greg Norman, expect tournament favourite Rory McIlroy to let his clubs do the talking. And whacking.

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