Grub acts that sparked Origin brawl

 

Jake Friend had already been flattened once by Nathan Brown, so you can imagine how annoying it must have been when his NSW rival kicked a dead ball away as the Queensland hooker went to pick it up during the second half of Origin II.

Brown knew what he was doing - being a nuisance in an attempt to put another one over his opponent and perhaps prompt a reaction.

He got one.

As Brown continued on with his back turned, Friend couldn't resist giving him a slap on the back of the head - and that was enough to get the Parramatta lock's full attention.

He turned to engage and while there was no real animosity between the pair it was enough of a confrontation to draw their teammates' attention.

No doubt Payne Haas and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui had ample opportunity to walk away from the ensuing melee before punches were thrown and they were red-carded, but when this brawl is remembered let's not forget the pair who instigated it.

Nathan Brown kicks a dead ball away from Jake Friend.
Nathan Brown kicks a dead ball away from Jake Friend.

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans appeared more frustrated at Fa'asuamaleaui's actions, giving the youngster a stern talking to in the dressing room after full-time.

The 20-year-old giant is playing in his first Origin series and his emotions got the better of him as he lost his cool and forced his team to play with 12 men for 10 minutes.

Channel 9's cameras caught Cherry-Evans looking Fa'asuamaleaui in the eye in the Queensland inner sanctum as he laid down some home truths.

The Maroons halfback didn't look happy as he addressed his young teammate, pointing his finger with plenty of purpose.

"What about this from the Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans … the skipper not happy, giving his youngster a dressing down," Nine's James Bracey said in the post-match broadcast.

Daly Cherry-Evans delivers a clip of his own.
Daly Cherry-Evans delivers a clip of his own.

Phil Gould was scathing about the quality of the fight, saying "on the score of fights in Origin over history, that runs dead last".

"There's nothing in all of this. Why players had to go to the sin bin, I don't know," Gould said. "If we put that up against the best fights in Origin history, it runs a very poor last.

"I don't see why players had to be sent to the bin in this situation. Having said that, NSW got brought into that. Jake Friend, Brown, they got the brouhaha going."

Originally published as Grub acts that sparked Origin brawl

Friend responds by smacking Brown on the back of the head.
Friend responds by smacking Brown on the back of the head.


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