Brad Fittler is under pressure.
Brad Fittler is under pressure.

Are Origin coaches trying to ‘out-weird’ each other?

If you thought State of Origin was getting strange when Freddy Fittler brought in yoga and salsa, it seems the Blues coach is now headed off the planet, writes MIKE COLMAN

Speaking to his co-commentator Mark Bosnich after Origin I he asked, "do you think the two coaches are trying to out-weird each other?"

At the time I thought he was joking. After the announcement of the NSW team on Sunday night, I'm not so sure.

If that wasn't weird I don't know what was.

Still, what can we expect? The whole thing has been getting curiouser and curiouser since Freddy Fittler took over the reins of the Blues last year and immediately got them out of the bar and into yoga, salsa and barefoot earthing.

The Blues through themselves into a joga session last year before heading on to a tough barefoot earthing session.
The Blues through themselves into a joga session last year before heading on to a tough barefoot earthing session.

Apparently Freddy has been keen on yoga for years and the sight of Reagan Campbell-Gillard doing the Handstand Scorpion was something those who witnessed will never forget.

As for barefoot earthing, I believe it means walking around without your shoes on. According to a website I looked up this is in order to "take up free electrons which help neutralise damaging excess radicals".

Salsa is either a Mexican sauce or a Cuban dance. I'm not sure which one Freddy employed but given that the Blues won the series 2-1 he obviously thought he was on to something - and so did Kevvie Walters.

Not wanted to be left at the post Kevvie brought in the now famous "coach whisperer" who advised him to guarantee that the Maroons were going to win Game One and ban his players from using the world "blue" - then handed him a bill for who-knows-what an hour.

Meanwhile Freddy, having run out of salsa dances to teach the boys (or maybe barbecue recipes), raised the bar and called in a breathing enhancement expert.

The aim of this was to teach the NSW players how to keep calm in the high pressure environment of arguably the most physically intense team contest on earth.

During their training camp the Blues were taught improved sleep techniques and were even given a relaxation tape to listen to on the bus as they travelled to Suncorp Stadium for the game.

Well you may scoff, but it obviously worked. Half of them were still sleepwalking 30 minutes into the game and there were suggestions Latrell Mitchell didn't wake up until Friday morning.

 

 

 

Latrell Micthell took his releaxation exercsies so seriously that he struggled to stay awaked during Origin 1. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Latrell Micthell took his releaxation exercsies so seriously that he struggled to stay awaked during Origin 1. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

 

Which made what happened afterwards even more confusing.

A couple of months ago Latrell was being touted as the best player in the game. Then he has a quiet match in Origin I and he's suddenly not even among the best 17 in NSW.

Not that Freddy seemed too concerned about Mitchell's on-field form - especially after Latrell scored two tries against the Bulldogs on the weekend.

No, according to him, it wasn't Latrell's, pace, anticipation and power that he wanted to see back.

It's his "smile and swagger".

 

Latrell Mitchell was back in form against the Bulldogs but Freddy Fittler wants to see more smiling. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Latrell Mitchell was back in form against the Bulldogs but Freddy Fittler wants to see more smiling. Picture. Phil Hillyard

You've got to think Latrell wasn't doing too much smiling on Sunday night when he found out he'd been dropped from the side during a radio interview.

Maybe Freddy had been too busy practising his breathing to pick up the phone and ring him. Or do they text these days?

Either way Freddy said dropping Mitchell was the hardest things he'd ever had to do.

Personally I find that very hard to believe.

Have you ever seen anyone try to do the Tripod Headstand with Lotus Legs?

News Corp Australia


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