Bella looks back fondly
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
FORMER hard-as-nails Australian prop forward Martin Bella was not a player who unified fans ? they either loved him or hated him.
However, there should be no shortage of supporters behind him at Marley Brown Oval tomorrow night.
Queensland fans who remember his whole-hearted perfomances for the state will be out in force to watch the Anzac Legends Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Never one to mince words, Bella was always good for a colourful quote during a much-decorated career which earned him nine Test jerseys and 21 State of Origin appearances, and nothing's changed although team-mate Willie Carne is the latest victim of his wit.
Upon hearing that Carne is hoping to entertain the Gladstone crowd with a perfected flick pass, Bella yesterday roared with laughter.
"Willie Carne's next pass will be his first,'' Bella joked. "Although he would say the same about me. Make sure you tell him I said that.''
Although realising entertainment was the name of the game tomorrow night, Bella was certain the match would be physical and competitive, basing his belief on the spirited manner in which a past Origin Legends clash was contested in Mackay.
"I really enjoyed that game in Mackay,'' he said.
"I hope we play it the same way ... it was full contact without being too violent and an opportunity for the blokes to show some skills.
"Everyone played as the game should be played and it was quite a good spectacle and good to play in.''
The Anzac Legends clash kicks off at 7.30pm and is preceded by a full program of matches beginning at 2pm. Gates open at 1.30pm.