Revealed: What DCE said to Tino after Origin brawl


Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans has revealed what he said to Maroons hothead Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the dressing room footage captured after his State of Origin punch-up with Blues rival Payne Haas.

Fa'asuamaleaui and Haas were sin-binned during last week's ANZ Stadium showdown after coming to blows during a second half melee.

The emerging stars of the NRL have a long-running rivalry dating back to a Broncos snubbing and under-18s Origin clash in 2017, where Fa'asuamaleaui went on a mission to dominate Haas.

They were sent to the bin for 10 minutes after last Wednesday's scuffle, with Haas gesturing to Fa'asuamaleaui to have another crack as he walked off the field.

Both players were charged with contrary conduct, but escaped suspension after paying $750 fines for the incident which included a few attempted punches.

After the game, Cherry-Evans was captured having what looked to be a stern conversation with Fa'asuamaleaui in the Queensland dressing room.

Maroons players have urged Fa'asuamaleaui to maintain the rage in Wednesday's series deciding third game at Suncorp Stadium and Cherry-Evans said he supported the Queensland lock's aggressive nature.

"I've got his back," Cherry-Evans said.

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"Maybe not physically out there in the fight (laughs).

"I had a couple of words of support. I'm sure he would have copped a lot of criticism publicly. From my corner it was a bit of support.

"We need people to play their own game. It's not for me to decide what someone's best game looks like.

"I do want to make sure I encourage players to play their best game. We need to play our best games on Wednesday night and Tino will be a big part of that.

"If we can keep him out there for a bit longer that would be ideal.

"At the end of the day, what he did wasn't the wrong thing. It was what he thought was best at the time.

"There's not too much to it. I was backing him."

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans talks to young gun Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the Queensland dressing room.
Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans talks to young gun Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the Queensland dressing room.

Fa'asuamaleaui was one of Queensland's best players in the 34-10 loss, charging for 106m and making 21 tackles as the Maroons were comprehensively outplayed.

The fact both he and Haas were sent from the field for 10 minutes meant the Maroons weren't overly impacted by Fa'asuamaleaui's actions, but Cherry-Evans said Queensland needed the hard-running Storm star on the park.

"They both went off so it wasn't really detrimental," he said.

"It would have been nice if it was just one of them and none of us.

"It levelled out fine. That wasn't a problem."

The Maroons will finalise their preparations for the decider with a captain's run at the Gold Coast on Tuesday morning.

Winger Xavier Coates is in danger of missing the match with a leg injury while Brenko Lee could be called up for his Origin debut at centre.

"(Coates) missed a bit of the session (on Sunday), he's carrying a lower leg injury, I'm not exactly sure," Cherry-Evans said.

"I daresay he would have to train tomorrow to play. I don't know any other information that would suggest he's not going to play but he's definitely got to train tomorrow.

"Brenko joined the squad yesterday and got out pretty much all the session which was really good for him.

"It's been nice to have him back in the side. He prepared for us the whole of week one (before suffering a calf injury). We picked straight back up there with Brenko. He is looking sharp."

Originally published as Revealed: What DCE said to Tino after Origin brawl