Walters: ‘They’re very brave behind their keyboards’
HE stopped short of blaming the Maroons' Game II loss on it, but Kevin Walters has sensationally blasted social media trolls for the "horrible" comments they've been posting about his players throughout the series.
"The social spotlight on our players is horrible, I think it's ridiculous some of the comments that have been bandied around about some of our players," Walters said at the team announcement.
"Given the effort and what they've put into the series, I think all of those idiots out there on social media are very brave behind the phone or the keyboard but I know the effort our guys have gone to this year through the series."
The emotional defence of his players left no doubt that the online bashing of certain individuals had reverberated through camp.
Jarrod Wallace and Ben Hunt in particular have been popular punching bags, as the new-look Maroons lost only their second series in 13 years.
"Sure we haven't won a game as yet but I can tell you the effort is there, and it's there for everyone to see on the closeness of both games.
"It really doesn't gel with me on the criticism that the team has received certainly some individuals."
What makes the criticism all the more unfair according to Walters, is that the Maroons have been on the pace, falling short in Game II by a bee's appendage.
"I mean at the end of the day people have been very critical of our side and our performance but we got beaten by two goal kicks," he said.
"We had a penalty try awarded against us, first time in 36 years of Origin, that's nearly 100 games, so that was a decision that we took on the chin.
"We had the Dane Gagai no try which… was awarded a try on-field and then after seven or eight takes they found it to be no try.
"And then on the Latrell Mitchell try, Maloney doesn't put his foot on the ball to play the ball, and we've seen that penalised. So we've had some things go against us."