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2 days ago
The steps Ricky Stuart has taken to develop a strong support network around the NSW Blues is to be applauded - even Tommy's "bash them" call was not a problem.
I could not understand the media hype about Andrew Johns returning to work with the Blues - he has been back commenting on NRL matches, and assisting with a club or two for a long time. No one can have an issue with his return to the Blues coaching support line up.
But, on both sides of the border, there is always a clown lurking in the dark.
Benny Elias stepped right out of line when he told a Blues Origin function that the Blues were going to make the floods in Queensland look like an "absolute mimic" because we (the Blues) are going to create an absolute storm.
How tacky can he possibly get?
Fortunately, the Blues hooker, Michael Ennis, jumped on him from a great height and did so with authority.
Michael Ennis, and his Bulldogs team mates, raised tens of thousands for South Queensland flood victims - as did players from other clubs such as the Roosters, Eels, and the Storm.
Elias has made a half hearted "if I offended anyone" apology.
Hopefully, the comprehensive way Michael Ennis has put him down will put the story to rest...though the Queensland media will highlight it tonight.
But you have to ask the question - will some people ever learn?
Let me make it clear - the response to the rugby league family, including NSW and Victorian based players, to the floods and cyclones in Queensland was magnificent.
The support that was given to senior and junior clubs in Brisbane and regional Queensland, and to the wider community, exceeded anything else any other code contributed.
We should be proud of that.
The poorly timed comments by Benny Elias will not, and must not, diminish the goodwill dozens of players engendered right across Queensland.
The Suncorp Stadium majority might "boo the Blues" on Wednesday - but the goodwill Michael Ennis and a large number of NSW based NRL players engendered won't disappear.