Freddy's fairytale as good as Gould's - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Freddy's fairytale as good as Gould's

By Brent Read 07/07/2004 10:43:25 PM Comments (0)

As far as farewells go, this was as good as it gets.

NSW coach Phil Gould and five-eighth Brad Fittler waved goodbye to State of Origin rugby league in fairytale style as the Blues secured the Origin series with an emphatic 36-14 victory over Queensland at Telstra Stadium.

Fittler famously quipped "fairytale" wasn't part of his vocabulary when Queensland ruined his first shot at Origin fulfillment three weeks ago.

But there was no denying the 32-year-old in his 31st Origin appearance, satisfying a three-year itch for NSW's most-capped player and ensuring Gould - his mentor - went out in style.

The victory, before 82,487 spectators, was also history-making for NSW, with the Blues taking the overall lead in series' wins for the first time, 11-10.

"I have been part of a fairytale my whole life," Fittler said.

"I really appreciate all the support I have had during the week. The last couple of weeks have been fantastic."

Fittler - who came out of representative retirement to answer an SOS from Gould to play in Origin II - was instrumental as the Blues took an 18-8 lead into halftime, aided and abetted by two players involved in their first game of this year's series - Trent Barrett and Mark Gasnier.

Gasnier, dropped from the NSW squad for the opening game of the series following the phone sex scandal, and playing amid speculation he is headed to English club Wigan next season, finished the half with two tries, the first in the 12th minute and the second four minutes before halftime.

Both times he showed brilliant footwork and strength.

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