RUMOUR Farah to miss Origin III

Super Freak

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NSW officials are investigating a loophole in the Origin eligibility rules that would enable Michael Ennis to play next Wednesday night's series decider even if he fails to beat a one match suspension for a high tackle.

Ennis is on standby to replace injured Blues hooker Robbie Farah, who is facing an uphill battle to be fit for the July 8 Origin decider with a broken hand, and it is understood the Cronulla veteran spoke to NSW coach Laurie Daley about joining the team's camp in Coffs Harbour.

Fairfax Media was told that officials had made enquries about the possibility of Ennis being available for the Blues if he was not named on Tuesday and served his suspension for the Sharks on the weekend.

If Farah and Ennis were both unavailable, Daley would be forced to make two changes to the side which beat Queensland 26-18 in Origin II at the MCG as the next two players under consideration, St George Illawarra's Mitch Rein and Melbourne's Ryan Hinchcliffe, do not play 80 minutes for their club teams.

Canterbury five-eighth Josh Reynolds would be in line for a recall on the bench as back up to either Rein or Hinchcliffe, placing doubt on the bench spot of Boyd Cordner, Josh Jackson or Trent Merrin.

However, Fairfax Media can reveal that any NRL suspension expires after fulltime in the last game of the Telstra Premiership's round, meaning Ennis could serve his ban in Cronulla's match against Manly on Sunday and be drafted into the NSW team at the conclusion of Monday night's clash between Parramatta and the Tigers.

The loophole is the same one Queensland exploited in 2002 by infamously naming TBA (to be announced) on the wing and later calling in Lote Tuqiri after the then Brisbane winger had served a suspension with the Broncos.

Despite former NSWRL general manager Geoff Carr and late QRL managing director Ross Livermore later agreeing that the ploy was not in the best interests of the game and they would not use it again, no rule was ever formalised to prevent either state doing so.

An NRL spokesman confirmed on Monday that Ennis could play for the Blues but said there would be a review of previous agreements about Origin eligibility.

"No comment would be made about Michael Ennis while his case is before the match review committee," the spokesman said. "However the rules state that any player's suspension ends following the final game of the premiership round which coincides with the final match of their ban."

If Cronulla were among the eight teams who had the bye next weekend, Ennis would be ineligible.

Ennis was hit with a grade one careless high tackle with a base penalty of 67 points for a tackle on Matt Scott in the Sharks come from behind win against the Cowboys. He will miss one game because of 38 carry over points.

The Sharks hooker has indicated that he will contest the charge at Wednesday night's judiciary in the hope of being cleared for Origin if Farah is ruled out.

However, few players have beaten a grade one careless tackle charge and Ennis is given little chance of doing so.

NSW chief executive Dave Trodden and his Queensland counterpart Rob Moore insisted they were unaware of the loophole when contacted by Fairfax Media.

"There has yet to be any determination on whether or not Robbie Farah would be fit to play," Trodden said. "Until that determination is made I don't want to get into any speculation about who his replacement might be if he doesn't play."

Moore said he was unconcerned if NSW took advantage of the loophole.

"I have never thought about it. I don't know what their side is or anything they are proposing to do," Moore said.

"I wasn't around when there was a previous testing of that ruling but with the new [ARLC] structure in the game some of those things slip through and you don't know the history of them."

Meanwhile, NSW back-rower Beau Scott was cleared of any shoulder injury despite coming from the field for the Knights on Friday night and will be fit to play in the Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium.

State of Origin: Loophole enables Michael Ennis to replace Robbie Farah for NSW Blues
 

jarro65

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Who cares.... Ennis us a nuffy in Origin anyway.

He gets smashed early and is rarely seen again for the rest of the match.
 

Morkel

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Wasn't this exact same argument brought up like two or three years ago when a NSW player was facing suspension? Anyone remember who it was and the scenario? I am positive that the "loophole" was never used, so maybe the player got off, or they weren't required in the end anyway.
 

Bull Shark

NRL Captain
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Haha what a bunch of fuckheads. I hope they do it, origin is dying so they might as well piss all over it.
origin is dying ? Curious as to why you think this (srs question) and anyone else for that matter ... have heard the odd person in RL media make similar sentiments in recent times .... Might make for an interesting thread in this general RL forum actually (ie 'Is Origin dying / in need of a revamp?)...
 
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broncos4life

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origin is dying ? Curious as to why you think this (srs question) and anyone else for that matter ... have heard the odd person in RL media make similar sentiments in recent times .... Might make for an interesting thread in this general RL forum actually (ie 'Is Origin dying / in need of a revamp?)...
For mine, and this is just my personal opinion, it has lost its soul and what it is all about.

Origin used to be about passion and raw emotion and now it has just been sanitised to the shit house and commercialised. It has lost its heart. Now it's all about $250 tickets and the passion is gone and been replaced by manufactured aggression and faked hatred like you see in the WWE.
 

Big Pete

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origin is dying ? Curious as to why you think this (srs question) and anyone else for that matter ... have heard the odd person in RL media make similar sentiments in recent times .... Might make for an interesting thread in this general RL forum actually (ie 'Is Origin dying / in need of a revamp?)...
I considered making a similar thread heading into Game I and even into Game II but I couldn't find the words for it. I settled for the media thread which highlighted my biggest problem with this series, that they're stealing the spotlight because the series is giving them nothing else to talk about.

I think the series is in need of fresh blood. As great as this dynasty has been, the players aren't as entertaining to watch and even NSW have a boring team. With guys like Hopoate, Hodkinson, Woods, Jackson etc. I don't really dislike them as much as I feel indifferent toward them.

I'm ready for the next generation to come through and watching new stars reach another level. Not for the sake of it, but because I think it's in the best interest for both teams.

This series will be the end of an era. Next year you'll see both teams make a host of changes.
 

Socnorb

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For mine, and this is just my personal opinion, it has lost its soul and what it is all about.

Origin used to be about passion and raw emotion and now it has just been sanitised to the shit house and commercialised. It has lost its heart. Now it's all about $250 tickets and the passion is gone and been replaced by manufactured aggression and faked hatred like you see in the WWE.
I agree totally. Origin used to be the pinnacle for me. But now is high on the "Meh"scale. I hate what it does to the regular competition. The NRL has kicked it to death and sucked the juice out of its lifeless corpse.
 

QUEENSLANDER

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I considered making a similar thread heading into Game I and even into Game II but I couldn't find the words for it. I settled for the media thread which highlighted my biggest problem with this series, that they're stealing the spotlight because the series is giving them nothing else to talk about.

I think the series is in need of fresh blood. As great as this dynasty has been, the players aren't as entertaining to watch and even NSW have a boring team. With guys like Hopoate, Hodkinson, Woods, Jackson etc. I don't really dislike them as much as I feel indifferent toward them.

I'm ready for the next generation to come through and watching new stars reach another level. Not for the sake of it, but because I think it's in the best interest for both teams.

This series will be the end of an era. Next year you'll see both teams make a host of changes.
I cannot stand Woods, Klemmer, Gallen, Scott, Hodkinson and think Hopoate is a massively overrated turd. I hate them all with passion!
 

Nashy

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Rules is rules. If they didn't want it used again, they should have made an actual rule to stop it. I hope Ennis plays.
 

Foordy

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could you imagine the uproar from NSW if Smith was facing a 1 match ban and QLD used the loop hole ... it would be deafening
 

Dexter

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I cannot stand Woods, Klemmer, Gallen, Scott, Hodkinson and think Hopoate is a massively overrated turd. I hate them all with passion!

Personally I hate Woods even more than Gallen, he is a massive soft ****. He is good at running the ball but just a a flopper in D. He doesn't do the one percenters well and it mystifies me why we don't switch play back to him more often as he drops off and leaves big holes around the ruck.
 

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