Many already know that Paul Gallen likes to play his NRL tough. A robust, passionate player that will do almost anything for the victory. He’s spent time on the sidelines for foul play, most recently for giving Anthony Laffranchi a face massage and forcing the form Titans man from the field after the heated Gold Coast vs Sharks clash.
Gallen has also been in trouble for diving and faking injury at times, the man is not scared to push the boundaries for the victory. But has his latest Origin comments made him a potential NSW target when Queensland run out next Wednesday night?
Gallen came out confidently to the media this week and declared that Queensland are boring and probably lack the passion that many feel they have when it comes to Origin time. Gallen saying that the Queensland desire is really a myth, simply beat up by the media.
He may be considered a tough guy, but these are brave words less than a week before Origin Game 1 kicks off.
The rules in State of Origin are always different. There is barely a penalty given, the pace is so frantic that the referee rarely enforces the 10m rule – it’s brutal, in your face action that is boldy different from week to week NRL play.
Queensland would have no hesitation in making Gallen a marked man and his latest outburst come be just the invitation they needed to single out the Cronulla back rower.
You only have to cast your mind back to the first tackle of last years State of Origin series. Queensland hammered NSW Prop Brett White and forced the big Storm forward to be a passenger for the rest of the game, White actually having to work very hard to claw his way back into the NSW side.
You see, the heavy hitting action gets a little more leniency from referees and officials during State of Origin and it is more realistic to physical target a player and get away with it. In today’s weekly NRL action, it’s getting very difficult to single out a player physically and Queensland know this and carry it out very well.
While the Maroons might not have the likes of Tony Carroll at their disposal, just look at their forward pack. Carl Webb, Michael Crocker and Sam Thaiday are all big boppers who can handle themselves extremely well if the rough stuff is needed.
So the confident Paul Gallen probably should be a little more cautious as he talks things up in the NSW media, the Queenslanders don’t need much incentive to fire up and their could be a lot of heavy traffic not just heading Gallen’s way, but a big welcoming committee everytime he touches the ball and in State of Origin the chances of taking a dive and getting a penalty are slim to none.