Paul Gallen has refused to revisit his war of words with Queensland forward Josh Papalii, despite being hit late off the ball in State of Origin I.
NSW captain Paul Gallen has played down talk his feud with Queensland enforcer Josh Papalii has been reignited, despite Wednesday night’s fireworks at Suncorp Stadium.
Gallen said he and Papalii sorted out their differences during Australia’s World Cup campaign in the UK at the end of last year, describing the Maroons forward as a “good kid.”
The inspirational Blues leader is set for two weeks on the sidelines with a neck injury after Papalii hit him with a late shot early in the second half, which left him writhing in pain on the ground.
It was reminiscent of a flash point in the 2012 finals series, when Cronulla skipper Gallen accused Canberra’s Papalii of a “dog shot” when he was cleaned up without the ball.
In Wednesday night’s 12-8 win to the Blues in the Origin opener, Gallen appeared to lash out angrily at Papalii with his arm after he was hit.
Post-match he joked at the press conference that it was the second time the young buck Papalii had blindsided him in a match.
However, when Gallen returned to Sydney airport on Thursday, he suggested there was nothing in the tackle, pointing to a similar incident on the other side of the ledger when Blues second rower Beau Scott cleaned up Queensland fullback Billy Slater off the ball – resulting in a shoulder problem for the fullback.
“I was never really filthy about it. I think Beau Scott got Slater about two minutes later so it’s just part of the game,” Gallen said.
“Unfortunately my neck (is sore)… I’ve been getting these burners a fair bit recently so bit of a worry.
“He’s a good kid Josh. I got on really well with him on the Aussie tour so nothing in it.”
Gallen will receive scans on Friday and expects to miss two weeks, confident he’ll be right for Origin II.
The Sharks have an NRL bye this week.