Mason stays positive for sake of harmony - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason stays positive for sake of harmony

By Daniel Pace 27/05/2004 05:53:08 AM Comments (0)

Controversial forward Willie Mason shut out the jeers of his home crowd and a week of negative publicity to help lift NSW to an extra-time victory over Queensland in the State of Origin match at Telstra Stadium.

NSW prevailed 9-8 in extra-time and Mason played a key role, injecting his brand of enthusiasm and go-forward off the bench.

He knew the crowd would boo him after he was one of five players fined a total of $20,000 for breaching the NSW team's code of conduct but he took it all in his big stride.

"I knew the only way to shut them up was to play good and win," said Mason, who came on in the 26th minute to booing from the 68,000-plus crowd.

"I knew it was coming. I braced myself for that and I wasn't going to let it faze my football."

Mason said he was never going to get depressed about the publicity surrounding the phone sex scandal which resulted in two players being sacked from the Blues squad.

It was later revealed that Mason had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and his face was plastered all over the newspapers.

"I don't think anyone really let it get to them," said Mason of the imbroglio.

"All the pressure was on me and I wasn't going to be down on myself because it's infectious.

"If I'm down then everyone else will be down. I wasn't going to let it get to me, no way."

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