PANTHER PRIDE | A big win for the mountain men tonight has them firmly entrenched in the top eight, ...
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An amazing thing happened at Aussie Stadium here today - NSW fans cheered Gorden Tallis.
It was only a handful of them and they warned it would only be temporary, but Gordy doesn't get too many cheers from fans south of the Tweed.
Maybe it was the glad-to-be-alive, carefree atmosphere of rugby league's World Sevens tournament getting to them, but three 16-year olds from the Blue Mountains in Sydney's far west were among a group so passionate in their support of the Queensland captain that he acknowledged them with a wave - which resulted in more cheering.
The group's leader, Jesse, wore his Cronulla jersey with pride but said the group liked Tallis because he was colourful, something rugby league was needing.
"He's just a bit of character," Jesse said. "He's a high profile player you can always have a bit of a laugh with."
During Brisbane's 40-8 drubbing of a New Zealand Residents side, Tallis made a 60m burst down the middle, brushing defenders away like flies, causing the Tallis fan club in Bay 13 to rise to their feet and scream themselves hoarse.
Unfortunately for them, their hero didn't make it all the way and was pulled down before he scored a four-pointer.
Jesse said the group was happy to give Tallis their adulation at something fun like the sevens, but it would be different story at State of Origin time.
"It's just fun to hate him and love him at the same time, (it's) a love-hate relationship," Jesse said.
"He'll get a bit of a sledge at State of Origin (time)."