Party's over for Emerging Maroons

Super Freak

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THE party is over for Queensland’s Origin hopefuls and coach Kevin Walters will impose a strict regimen following last season’s alcohol-fuelled scandal.

Walters will unveil his Emerging Origin squad on Friday and has warned Queensland’s younger generation to behave in camp or face being black-listed by Maroons selectors.

Maroons leaders Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston have backed Walters’ plan to bring a tougher edge to Queensland’s finishing school.

The new disciplinary measures include scrapping the traditional visit to the Story Bridge Hotel; removing a midnight curfew, challenging players to take ownership for their actions; and closer monitoring of alcohol consumption at private team dinners.

Queensland’s prestigious Emerging Origin program was hit by the biggest drama in its 15-year history in January when almost half the 20-man squad broke a team curfew.

Winger Valentine Holmes was arrested for clashing with police while several other aspiring Maroons partied in Brisbane’s CBD.

Eight players were slapped with one-year suspensions, including Holmes, Cameron Munster, Chris Grevsmuhl, Ben Hunt, Edrick Lee, Anthony Milford, Dylan Napa and Jarrod Wallace.

The entire group, barring Grevsmuhl, are expected to be named again on Friday. Walters is keen to encourage bonding and a team-first mentality but concedes the Maroons can ill-afford a repeat of last season’s chaotic camp.

“There won’t be a booze ban, but we’ll be doing things a bit differently this year,” Walters said.

“We won’t be going back to that establishment (Story Bridge Hotel), that would be a bit silly.

“We will change our routine but I’m not about stopping blokes having a drink. That’s not how I am.

“If the guys can’t make smart decisions about what’s meant to happen around the team, then I don’t want them to be a part of the Queensland set-up.”

Walters said this year’s intake must be aware of the rewards of following team rules. Two squad members who avoided trouble last season, Corey Oates and Justin O’Neill, graduated to make their Origin debuts.

“Every year just about one or two guys end up playing Origin. The opportunity is there for players,” Walters said.

“I don’t think there will be too many more curfews, they don’t really work do they? We’ll have a quiet dinner with drinks.

“We all learned lessons from last year, certainly the coaching staff have and I hope the players have too.

“The idea of the camp is to get them together to prepare them for State of Origin.”

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/sport/nrl/kevin-walters-will-impose-a-strict-regimen-on-emerging-maroons/news-story/715217dd1b5421934bc7c4b64bd53beb
 
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Tom

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Thank god for that. Having a curfew for adults is ridiculous.
 

Super Freak

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Yeah, the curfew was a bit ridiculous.

But I understand why they had it and why they banned the players.

We didn't want a repeat of what happened in 2009.

Hopefully they have learned their lesson and will be smarter next time. It could have fucked up our series.
 
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Morkel

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Thank god for that. Having a curfew for adults is ridiculous.
Adults breaking a curfew is ridiculous. Walters might give them more rope this year, they can still hang themselves with it. After last year you'll think they'd have learned...
 

Tom

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Adults breaking a curfew is ridiculous. Walters might give them more rope this year, they can still hang themselves with it. After last year you'll think they'd have learned...
I agree a rule was broken and that punishments were necessary. I just have a problem with the rule that was broken.
 

CaptainHook

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I agree a rule was broken and that punishments were necessary. I just have a problem with the rule that was broken.
Interesting comment, Tom. Food for thought. Could you explain more? The story fascinated me when it emerged as well as the players involved. Would love to get your thoughts on it.
 

Tom

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Interesting comment, Tom. Food for thought. Could you explain more? The story fascinated me when it emerged as well as the players involved. Would love to get your thoughts on it.
My thoughts on it are fairly simple. I don't believe grown men should have a curfew that they should have to adhere to. I know I wouldn't appreciate somebody trying to give me one. If the players have a game in the short term then I would hope that they act professionally and not drink and go to bed early anyway, if they can't do that (James Roberts I'm looking at you) then maybe they don't belong in the team. Anyway I'm glad that silly rule has been scrapped.If they **** up they **** up, but they should be treated as adults and given the same responsibilities every other adult enjoys.
 

Big Pete

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Similar principal to homework-gate then.

If you asked Kevie his honest thoughts on the situation, he'd probably tell you it was all bullshit. Unfortunately as it happened, Holmes was arrested for obstructing police and then proceeded to dob Munster into officials. Munster then had a heart-to-heart with the CEO, and "somehow" the information was leaked to the journalists. The journalists had a field day, first they had the Mitchell Pearce story, now they had this juicy Queensland story that just kept delivering over and over again.

In the end, Kev and the QRL had their hands tied.
 

Mr Fourex

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The offenders from last year's drunken rampage should go through a "hazing" period in this years' camp by the senior players.

I would flog the **** out of them and see who responds appropriately to that. I would bring in the socialising afterwards.....

They should be made painfully aware of just what they gave up and who they let down because of one night's stupidity.
 

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