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King and Gordie criticise Premier Newman
Wayne Heming
17:01 AEST Tue Nov 20 2012

Premier Campbell Newman and Sports Minister Steve Dickson have been cleaned up in a gang tackle by rugby league big hitters Wally Lewis and Gorden Tallis after Queensland lost one of its two State of Origin games at Suncorp Stadium next year.

The pair savaged the Newman government on Tuesday for devaluing a concept they said Queensland had given birth to at Lang Park in 1980.

Tallis, who pulled on the maroon jumper 17 times, suggested if an election were called tomorrow, angry Queenslanders would kick the two politicians out of office.

"I tell you what, if there was an election right now, I know what would be happening," he fumed.

Brisbane had been slated to host two matches in 2013, but the ARL Commission, which took control of the game in April, changed that in its new five-year schedule, with the NSW government outbidding Queensland to secure games one and three.

Minister Dickson said at the end of the day the government had to watch its spending.

"We just can't afford to go blowing big bundles of money at this point in time, on Origin or anything else," he said.

Lewis, the undisputed king of State of Origin, was critical of the government's attitude in handing over an Origin game to the Blues next year without a decent fight.

"Anybody that doesn't fight hard hard to maintain a bit of loyalty and support for Queensland, I don't believe they're real Queenslanders," Lewis told the ABC.

"People that don't believe these games aren't the number one earner for Queensland need to go back to primary school."

Maroons stalwart Chris "Choppy" Close, who spilled blood with Lewis in the first State of Origin game in 1980, said it didn't matter where Origin games were played.

"I've always said we'd play them in a car park if they wanted," Close told AAP after the news broke.

"We'll turn up with the same attitude, the same team and no doubt there'll be the same result."

NSW coach Laurie Daley suggested his counterpart and former Canberra premiership-winning teammate Mal Meninga would be "filthy" with the news the Blues had secured two games at ANZ Stadium, where they have a great winning record.

But Meninga, plotting an eighth straight series win since 2006, said his players would embrace the challenge of playing two games in Sydney next year.

"We were hoping for two games (in Queensland), but it's not going to be, so we'll just get on with it," Meninga said in a statement.


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