Gus roasts Maroons champ with prediction
Billy Slater could only shake his head and laugh after Phil Gould executed a brutal drive by on Monday night's episode of 100% Footy on Channel 9.
Gould was holding court when the focus of the panel shifted to State of Origin Game 3 on Wednesday night when his prediction for how the series will be decided turned a torch on the contentious decision to award Slater the Wally Lewis Medal as the player of the series in 2018.
Slater famously received Origin's top individual award despite only featuring in two matches in a series where the Blues wrapped up victory in the first two matches.
Gould couldn't help himself on Monday night as he outlined by prediction that NSW will win the series decider at ANZ Stadium by just one point, thanks to a James Maloney field goal.
When asked by host James Bracey about who will receive the medal in 2019, Gould responded: "Billy Slater".
As the former Panthers supremo tossed his prediction card away, fellow panellists Paul Gallen and Slater erupted with laughter.
"You're not safe on this table," Slater said as he shook his head.
It comes as a fresh report on Tuesday outlined the changes the NRL has made to the voting on the prestigious award following the farce of 2018.
The Daily Telegraph reports that judges for the award - Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley and Darren Lockyer - will now only vote for players who turned out in all three Origin matches.
The voting panel will also convene at the end of Game 3 to vote separately on a player of the series - rather than rely on the votes of the individual three matches.
After Wednesday night's game three, the trio will vote for the man of the match.
They will then be presented with a shortlist of eligible players for the man of the series.
Those players will have to have played every game with Cameron Munster and Dane Gagai expected to lead Queensland's candidates, while NSW's contenders are shaping as James Tedesco and Jake Trbojevic, Tom Trbojevic and Damien Cook.
It was revealed last month Blues coach Brad Fittler was still angry about the decision to hand the 2018 gong to Slater.
The Sydney Morning Herald's Andrew Webster told Macquarie Sports Radio, Fittler was seething at the decision to award Slater the top individual honour.
"I just know after seeing Freddy in the rooms after last year, he was filthy," Webster said.
"He was absolutely filthy that Billy Slater got it."
Damien Cook, Boyd Cordner and James Tedesco were all thought to have been the clear favourites for the award, but the voting anomaly allowed Slater to sneak past the Blues stars.