THE furore over Billy Slater receiving the Wally Lewis Medal for participant of the collection after Origin this yr received’t die down as Darren Lockyer admitted the voting course of “can be done better”.
Lockyer — alongside fellow Australian selectors Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley — voted to offer Slater the person of the match award after Queensland’s 18-12 win over NSW in sport three, and in addition anointed him participant of the collection.
The resolution sparked a fierce backlash among the many rugby league neighborhood as some labelled it a “farce” given Slater had solely performed two of the three video games in a collection received by the Blues. Slater’s finest efficiency got here in sport two, however NSW nonetheless emerged victorious in Sydney on that event.
Many recommended Slater solely obtained the Wally Lewis Medal as a sentimental parting present as a result of Wednesday night time’s match was his final ever Origin look, having earlier introduced his resolution to retire from consultant footy after the collection.
Read: Slater caught in ‘dead set farce’
Yesterday, Daley and Meninga hit out at critics questioning their integrity as they defended their name to reward the fullback,
Each of the three selectors provides out votes to gamers on a Four-Three-2-1 foundation after each Origin match. But opposite to what has been reported, when these votes are tallied on the finish of the collection, the ultimate numbers act solely as a information as to who ought to be topped participant of the collection.
Speaking on the Footy Show, Lockyer stated NSW fullback James Tedesco was man of the match in sport one and Blues captain Boyd Cordner was man of the match in sport two, however Slater nonetheless completed properly forward of each different participant within the voting — a exceptional conclusion contemplating his facet solely received one of many two matches he performed.
Lockyer stated though the Australian selectors took that into consideration, they nonetheless believed Slater was deserving of the honour.
“We’re not going to disclose everyone’s points but the gap between Billy and the next person was quite significant, and we had to make a call that if we were going to give it to Bill,” Lockyer stated.
“He was in a staff that misplaced the collection and solely performed two video games however we thought the hole was vital sufficient to then award the medal to Billy.
“We had been certain that that wasn’t at all times going to be in style, notably under the border however we’ve bought to stay by that call and we’ll stand by it.”
Lockyer backed a assessment of the method, which was flagged on Thursday by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, saying the shortage of time the judges have to think about the collection as a complete when making their resolution is a matter that ought to be addressed.
“We want to get to a point where the system is fair and honest, which I think it is now, but can it be done a little bit better? Possibly. I think a review by the NRL will be a good thing,” Lockyer stated.
“There’s not numerous time between after the sport and the ceremony so that you’ve bought to assume fairly shortly.
“What we’ll be taught out of that is it may be carried out higher.
“It’s a disgrace it’s taken the gloss off the sport and Billy and I believe it may be carried out higher however on the identical time the three of us stand by our resolution.”
Following the outcry, Greenberg stated he was “surprised” Slater obtained the gong and recommended the league would look to enhance the system, however defended Lockyer, Meninga and Daley.
“If there’s a better system we can look at, we’re always open to it. We review everything at the end of an Origin series, so I’m sure that will be part of it,” Greenberg stated.
“But what you can’t question is the integrity of the three people making the decision, and you can’t question the capacity they have to judge that themselves as three people who played the game at the highest level.”
Former Blues skipper Paul Gallen was crucial of the choice throughout Channel 9’s telecast on Wednesday night time and on Thursday Cordner expressed his shock his victorious teammates had been ignored.
“I was a bit surprised to be honest, given he (Slater) played two out of the three games and lost the second game,” Cordner advised the Triple M Grill Team. “He did play improbable, don’t get me unsuitable, however I really imagine that it ought to have gone to one in all our gamers.
“There may have been a handful of fellows out of our staff.
“Probably the 2 that come off the highest of my head are Tommy Trbojevic — I believed he had a extremely good collection on the wing, he was one in all our greatest gamers each sport and in addition James Tedesco.
“They’re two gamers that come to the highest of my head and there’s one other few gamers that, had it gone to them, I’d have been completely satisfied.”
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