NSW left 'filthy' over Billy Slater and Queensland move at State of Origin press conference

Michael Maguire wasn't please after being made to wait by the Maroons in Melbourne.

Michael Maguire and NSW officials were reportedly left 'filthy' after being made to wait by Billy Slater and Queensland at an Origin eve press conference on Tuesday in Melbourne. Maguire ignited a feud with Slater following Game 1 when he took a dig at the Maroons for their criticism of Jospeh Suaalii and his high-shot on Reece Walsh.

Walsh missed the remainder of the match due to concussion with Suaalii called out for the ugly incident in the aftermath of the loss. Plenty of Maroons and NRL greats condemned the Blues for targeting Walsh. Queensland coach Slater remained coy on the incident after the backlash and condemned the incident, rather than Suaalii.

Billy Slater and Michael Maguire before State of Origin 2.
Michael Maguire wasn't happy that the Maroons showed up late to the press conference. Image: Jelisa Apps/Getty

Maguire hit back at the Queensland criticism with his 'glass houses' comment, which people have suggested was about Slater. "I'll let you decide who it was about," Maguire said when quizzed on the comments. "I guess one thing I do is I look after my players, that's where it was focused."

While Slater has continually played down the comments ahead of Game 2, Maguire couldn't help but take another swipe at his rivals at the press conference in Melbourne on Tuesday. Slater, Daly Cherry-Evans and Harry Grant were 10 to 15 minutes late to the media conference, which left the Blues representatives waiting.

And Maguire again took the opportunity to take a dig at his rivals ahead of a must-win game for the Blues. "Well I always like to turn up on time," Maguire said to the The Daily Telegraph after the conference.

Leading journalist Dean Ritchie elaborated on Wednesday morning, revealing the Blues were privately 'filthy'. “The Blues were privately a little bit miffed though, it was for 12.30pm, they were ready to go at twenty past 12 and Queensland lobbed in at twenty to one,” he said on the Sky Sports radio.

“And then even when Billy got there, Madge was waiting at the gate to go onto the stage and Billy decided to do some autographs and selfies. That’s fine to promote the game down here, I get it. But at the same time it took them another few minutes and they were close to 15 minutes late onto the stage. I don’t know how you can be late when you work to a stringent itinerary.”

While Maguire continues to hype up the Origin, Slater has played down the feud having claimed the pair are on good terms. "We're good," Slater said about their relationship. "We did (shake hands) ... we're not actually playing, I don't know if you know that. To be honest I didn't feel it (the glass houses sledge) was directed at me. It's been a real focus on us and for me to play my part in that it's about keeping my head out of that noise and doing my part for the team."

To make matters more interesting, Blues captain Jake Trbojevic was booed when entering the stage. The Maroons will most likely have the support at the MCG with the Blues needing a victory to stop Slater and Queensland winning their third straight series.

While Maguire is building up the battle between the two states, Slater has been praising his superstar fullback for his resilience after being ruled out in the seventh minute of Game 1 after a sickening head knock from Suaalii's tackle. And Slater was talking up Walsh's professionalism after his setback in Game 2.

"That's the first time I have thought about demons and Reece Walsh. He has been incredible all week, he was incredible in his preparation for Game 1 and he started well in Game 1 and I expect no different," Slater said at the pre-game press conference on Tuesday.


"I love the way that he plays, I love the attributes he has in his game and I love the way he works hard to go after it. It's been a pleasure to help him do that this week and get his game on."

Suaalii's hit on Walsh has been a major talking point leading into Game 2, with NSW vowing not to stop going after the young fullback at the MCG. There has been plenty of hype around the return of Latrell Mitchell to the Blues line-up with NSW holding a 4-1 record in Melbourne in State of Origin.

Reece Walsh during training.
Billy Slater has praised Reece Walsh (pictured) for his attitude.