Home Blues Phil Gould reveals ‘strange’ Blues locker room scene before surrender

Phil Gould reveals ‘strange’ Blues locker room scene before surrender

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Even before Wednesday’s kick-off, Phil Gould knew something was wrong in the New South Wales dressing room.

Queensland reclaimed the coveted Home State Shield after beating the Blues 22-12 in Game 3 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

NSW were overwhelming favorites to retain the Origin title, but Billy Slater’s men pulled off a shock in the highly anticipated series finale.

Gould, the most successful NSW manager in Origin history, visited the Blues hangars before Game 3 and immediately noticed the “eerily quiet” atmosphere.

“When I walked into the locker room it was strangely quiet, it was really quiet,” he told Wide World of Sports. Six tackles with Gus podcast.

“I even mentioned it, I said, ‘It’s very quiet in here’ and he (Fittler) said, ‘Yeah’. Brad was silent.

“Obviously there’s a lot of pressure building up and grabbing you by the throat and it’s a tough environment. You just have to be prepared for whatever comes your way.

“It’s high-pressure work. It really is.

“He’s beaten the best of them over the years. I mean, they’ll all tell you what it does to you emotionally.

“The emotional drain it takes on you, they say players are hungover after Origin, coaches too.

“It’s totally absorbing. All the preparation, the pressure, the selections, the training, the strategy, the matches themselves. It really wears you out.

“For Billy and Brad (Wednesday night) and even watching them during the game a few times, we ran into them (during the broadcast) and you could see the intensity of it and you kind of relived those feelings that you had, but it was visible to them.

“That’s the environment they wanted to put themselves in. There can only be one winner.

“Billy will be on cloud nine today and Brad will feel like the world is coming to an end and he has to bounce back and start again.

“He’s done a great job for New South Wales. He brought in a lot of good young players and it’s still a young New South Wales team.

Blues coach Brad Fittler. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images” src=”https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/f6d38254e8ff9d4cf7267edf053f0297″ width=”1280″ height=”720″ srcset=”https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/f6d38254e8ff9d4cf7267edf053f0297?width=320 320w, https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/f6d38254e8ff9d4cf7267edf053f0297?width=640 640w, https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/f6d38254e8ff9d4cf7267edf053f0297?width=768 768w” layout=”responsive” attribution=”test” class=”i-amphtml-layout-responsive i-amphtml-layout-size-defined” i-amphtml-layout=”responsive”>
Blues coach Brad Fittler. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Meanwhile, NSW assistant coach Greg Alexander has hit out at suggestions the Blues have lost the home state decider because they weren’t as desperate as their opponents.

The myth that Queensland players are more passionate about playing for their state was brought to life after the Maroons’ upset victory, but Alexander defiantly dismissed the fallacy about SEN breakfast.

“Anyone who says Queensland cares more about the shirt is talking absolute rubbish,” he said on Friday morning.

“It’s disrespectful even to say it. The comment makes me so angry because they have no idea what’s going on inside the camp.

Alexander confessed the NSW sheds were completely quiet after a full time.

“It was tough,” he admitted.

“The origin is like nothing else. It’s almost a different game from club football. The disappointment is greater when you lose. It was a very flat dressing room. Nothing was said. was dead silence in there for at least half an hour. There’s nothing to say.