Taylor fuels feud with cheap shot barb - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Taylor fuels feud with cheap shot barb

By Steve Jancetic 14/03/2008 10:59:55 PM Comments (0)

One hundred years of hatred looks like heading well into the next century after South Sydney coach Jason Taylor slammed the "cheap shot" which wiped out prodigal son Craig Wing in the 34-20 opening round win to arch-rivals the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium.

Wing's comeback to the red and green lasted all of eight minutes before he fell victim to a shoulder charge from Roosters hooker Riley Brown, who ironically replaced Wing in the Roosters No.9 jumper this season.

What was to have been a glorious homecoming ended in tears for Wing, a dislocated shoulder likely to sideline him for 6-8 weeks and leaving Taylor scathing in his criticism of what he perceived was a pre-meditated attack.

"They deliberately held him up so the other player could come in and hit him with his shoulder in his back," Taylor said.

"If you look at it closely you can actually see his eyes light up saying to the other bloke 'I've got him, I'm holding him up, get him'.

"There's a lot been talked about cleaning up the game ... he got held up so someone else could smash him."

"It was a cheap shot.

"I'd imagine that would be something that they train for and they did it well."

Roosters coach Brad Fittler rejected the claim saying "that's his opinion and he's entitled to it, but I didn't think it was a cheap shot".

Skipper Craig Fitzgibbon said Brown was well within his rights to attack Wing, even though it had appeared his momentum had already been stopped by Braith Anasta and Anthony Tupou.

"It was a good hard hit and there was intention in it, he saw Wingy's back open so he probably tried to put a shot on him and he did and it worked," Fitzgibbon said.

"Fortunately for us it took Craig out of the game because he's one of their better players and he would have been a handful tonight."

The incident took away from what was a slick Roosters performance, which looked like being a runaway win at 34-4 before the Rabbitohs scored three late tries to add some respectability to the scoreboard.

"Given the start we had last year and the way we finished, we built momentum, so just actually getting out and winning was really sweet," Fittler said.

"It was bit of a blessing in disguise, the last 20 minutes, keeps us from inflating and keeps us on the job."

Tupou was outstanding with two tries and one try assist, the Roosters ball play belonging more to round 21 than the opening night.

Fears the game could explode in the opening exchanges were subdued by Fittler's decision to hold back star signing Willie Mason on the interchange bench, and it looked like he could have been left ruing the call when Souths opened with impressive back to back sets of six.

It was almost a surprise when winger Amos Roberts leapt from nowhere and shuffled the ball out for Setaimata Sa to score his first after nine minutes, but it proved only a tasty entree for what was to follow with Tupou scoring twice in the space of six minutes off beautifully worked set plays.

It didn't get much better after the break either, South Sydney's night summed up when fullback Fetuli Talanoa and winger Nathan Merritt were left staring at each other as Sa swooped on a Mitchell Pearce bomb for his second and a 30-point lead.

"At no stage did we lose that game because Craig Wing wasn't there, let's be clear about that," Taylor said.

"The Roosters were too good for us tonight."

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