State of origin 2020: Brad Fittler vs Jai Arrow, Wayne Bennett, QLD vs NSW, Game III, Maroons vs Blues
Blues coach Brad Fittler has slammed Maroons forward Jai Arrow for his ugly treatment of an unconscious NSW skipper James Tedesco in Origin III.
Fittler also took issue with the NRL’s punishment of Arrow, which consisted of a $550 fine, which the NSW coach deemed unsatisfactory.
“It looked ugly,” Fittler told The Sydney Morning Herald.
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“It was the first thing my wife said to me this morning. It wasn’t cool. It was over the top. “And I don’t think the league handled it that well. A $550 fine was not appropriate. I don’t know what the appropriate thing is. I just think something more could have been done.
“Jai has to live with it.”
Maroons coach Wayne Bennett said “Brad’s kidding himself” when informed of Fittler’s disapproval of Arrow’s actions in grabbing Tedesco and roughing him up while he was defenceless and struggling with concussion.
“Seriously?” Fittler hit back.
“I don’t want to pick a fight with the supercoach … I think Damien Cook said after the game Wayne wouldn’t be happy with it.
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“It’s my opinion. Wayne has his opinion. I have no idea [what the right penalty is]. It’s someone else’s job.
“But it was the first thing two people said to me this morning, so it obviously had an impact on the viewers.”
Arrow maintained he didn’t know Tedesco was concussed until after he had lifted him up and flung him down again.
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“I was fired up and obviously I’ve been told some comments were made about Tedesco and I just want to come out and say at first I was fired up and I, honestly, personally, am not a grub like that,” Arrow said.
“I actually didn’t know he was knocked out. If you actually watch the full footage you watch me go back and put my hand up.
“I was checking his welfare because I actually realised he was knocked out when I sort of slammed him back on the ground, which I’m very apologetic about.”
The Queensland forward revealed he sought out Tedesco post match to apologise and clear the air.
“When I was speaking to him after the game I said, ‘Look mate, I’m sorry I didn’t realise you were knocked out until probably a couple of seconds after I threw him back on the ground’,” Arrow said.
“People are always going to have comments about it, but I know myself, I know what I do as a player, I’m not out there to try and hurt someone intentionally.”