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Meninga flips on 'whingeing' Blues

By Steve Jancetic 26/06/2008 07:42:49 PM Comments (0)

Queensland coach Mal Meninga has called on NSW to stop "whingeing" about Origin III referee Tony Archer, despite admitting his own whining paid handsome dividends in the Maroons' game two romp.

Meninga went on the front foot as the Maroons touched down in Sydney, claiming the blowtorch being applied to the whistleblower was "ridiculous".

"There's been heaps been made about the referee and I think that's ridiculous to be honest," Meninga said.

"They called us whingers before game two and they're whingeing before game three trying to put enormous pressure on the referee.

"All I keep on saying is we want him to referee like he normally referees, that's all we ask of him."

Archer came under heavy criticism from the Blues camp for a turnaround in interpretation from game one to two, NSW coach Craig Bellamy admitting he had no idea what to expect from the man in the middle in Wednesday night's series decider.

The Blues believe Queensland got to Archer in Origin II, with Meninga waging a week-long campaign for a fair go in the lead-up to the match.

Even Meninga admitted his badgering had an effect on Archer's performance.

"He just policed the areas that we asked him to," Meninga said.

"That's important, he does that week in week out, there's no reason why he shouldn't do that in game three."

The penalty count in Brisbane (16) almost tripled what was blown in the series opener (six), the Blues suffocating defence from Sydney deemed illegal at Suncorp Stadium.

It was enough to prompt NSW selector Bob Fulton to call for Archer to make it known how he would referee the decider, for the sake of not only the team but also the fans.

Blues lock Paul Gallen denied NSW were trying to pressure Archer into changing his approach for game three.

"We haven't said anything about it," he said before training.

"It was different game one to game two, it all depends how the game is going and if things aren't going our way we have to be smart enough to adjust on the field and realise that we can't hold them down for so long and things like that.

"But if we're getting away with it, so be it."

Despite the apparent success of his own whingeing ahead of game two, Meninga said he didn't think whatever was said by either camp would have an effect on Archer.

"I think he's the best referee in the competition and I'm pretty sure that Craig (Bellamy) agrees with me, so let him be.

"They can do as much as they like on the referee, it doesn't particularly worry us.

"We learnt from game one, we've got to adapt to whatever conditions that are imposed."

Queensland spent little time in Sydney as they headed north to set up camp in Terrigal on the NSW central coast.

It follows the successful formula the team used ahead of game two in Sydney last season.

That series-clinching 10-6 win remains their only victory from 13 trips to ANZ Stadium.

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