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Sport State of Origin: Freddy Fittler thought Tom Trbojevic deserved to win man of the series instead of Billy Slater

07:20  12 july  2018
07:20  12 july  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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MORE: State of Origin : Laurie Daley explains how Billy Slater won Wally Lewis Medal. Blues coach Brad Fittler paid respect to Billy Slater in his final "I think Teddy was very good. I thought Tommy Trbojevic was outstanding. There's a whole heap of guys that put in massive performances for us

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As you have probably heard, Billy Slater became the first footballer to win the Wally Lewis Medal for the best player in an Origin series while being on the losing side.

As you have also probably heard, fans are outraged. Most of them are south of the border.

While we now know how the award was given out, with a 4-3-2-1 voting system taking place between three judges - Mal Meninga, Darren Lockyer and Laurie Daley - we can't help but ponder whether a New South Welshman who played in all three games and actually won the series was more deserving of the award.

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NSW coach Brad Fittler named Tom Trbojevic his Man of the Series when asked about Billy Slater winning the award.

The 2018 State of Origin series was the 37th annual best-of-three series between the Queensland and New South Wales rugby league teams. Before this series , Queensland had won 21 times, NSW 13 times, with two series drawn.

No one is taking anything away from Billy Slater, however, with the legend taking out the award while captaining his side in front of home fans in his 31st and final Origin match. Considering the shield had already been lost, Slater's last hurrah in a Queensland jersey was epic to say the least.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited Blues coach Brad Fittler paid respect to Billy Slater in his final outing in a Maroons jersey but ultimately thought one of his series-winning players was hard done by.

"I can live with the fact Billy takes the medal away. He's been one of our great State of Origin players," Fittler said post-match.

"There were a few players in our team that I would've chosen ahead of Billy in this series, but the fact (is) he's been a brilliant player for the sport, State of Origin.

Billy Slater man of the series despite missing a game, Maroons losing

  Billy Slater man of the series despite missing a game, Maroons losing The legendary fullback looked as shocked as anyone when he was announced as the winner of the Wally Lewis Medal.Even Billy Slater looked stunned when he heard the news. Man of the match? That was at least feasable, although Queensland had some good ones at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

"I can live with him taking away a medal, but it was more than for this series.

"Tom Trbojevic was pretty outstanding I thought across the three games. He was my pick."

Blues playmaker James Maloney was also surprised that Slater won the award, despite the effect that Slater had on his Maroons teammates.

"I think Teddy was very good. I thought Tommy Trbojevic was outstanding. There's a whole heap of guys that put in massive performances for us," Maloney said.

"There's no doubt Bill was a real key player in Queensland's performance.

"But at the end of the day, we won the series. You'd think they probably could've found a deserving recipient in our team. But oh well, it is what it is."

Former NSW captain Paul Gallen was among the outraged after the game.

“He (Slater) was almost the difference in Game 2 and he was the difference tonight but I can’t help but feel sorry for a NSW player not to win the Wally Lewis Medal,” Gallen said on Channel Nine post-match.

“It’s a big deal to win the Wally Lewis Medal, they won the series, I thought someone like Boyd Cordner thoroughly deserved it … so I’m a little bit disappointed for a NSW player not to win it but Billy Slater is one of the greats.”

Freddy: Why Billy shouldn't have won .
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler has explained why he thought Billy Slater should not have won the Wally Lewis Medal in the 2018 State of Origin series.  The decision to award the retiring Slater the prestigious award came under fire following the completion of Game 3, after Slater played in just two of the three games in the series. Speaking on the NRL Sunday Footy Show, Fittler pointed to Slater's inability to close out a tense Game 2 at ANZ Stadium as his reason for why award should have gone to another player.

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