Poll calling Mason overrated is 'weak' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Poll calling Mason overrated is 'weak'

By Wayne Heming and Steve Jancetic 16/07/2008 07:34:59 PM Comments (0)

Australian coach Ricky Stuart has branded as "weak" players using the anonymity of a poll to label Willie Mason the NRL's most overrated player.

Mason topped the list in the most controversial question posed in Rugby League Week's annual poll of 100 of NRL players.

Melbourne superstar Greg Inglis emerged as the best player in the game while Stuart's own Cronulla captain Paul Gallen pulled 79 votes as the game's dirtiest player.

"I think it's very unfair, I don't like the poll," Stuart said.

"I don't believe in the poll in regard to the ridiculous and unnecessary questions.

"Players that actually take part in it are weak if they can't put their name to it and put their hand up."

Bulldogs backrower Sonny Bill Williams joined Stuart in voicing his disapproval.

He even went as far as to defend Mason, just months after admitting he'd lost all respect for his former Bulldogs teammate following Mason's defection to the Sydney Roosters before the start of the season.

"It's probably a bit of rubbish, you've just got to be happy with yourself," Williams said of the poll's overrated question.

"I didn't answer it ... I'm not here to bag anyone out, I'm here to play footy.

"I think any other player that reads too much into that, they're not doing themselves justice."

But despite his disregard for the poll, Williams expected the slur to have an impact on Mason's performances over the coming weeks.

"No one wants that tag and Mase is a very good player," Williams said.

"Mase is the kind bloke that will laugh it off, but in the back of his mind it will be there and he'll be coming out in the next couple of weeks showing that he's not overrated.

"I don't think he's overrated at all."

Stuart said players insulted by the poll had a habit of hitting back at their critics.

"They usually bounce back pretty quickly from that negative talk," he said.

"We've seen it happen to a couple of players, Craig Wing, Braith Anasta, those boys bounce back quickly."

Asked his opinion of Gallen's rating as the dirtiest player in the game Stuart said: "he's probably also one of the best."

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