Andrew Johns caught in savage State of Origin hot mic sledge

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Andrew Johns' mic was accidentally left on when he made a remark about Nine colleague Darren Lockyer. Pic: Ch9/Getty
Andrew Johns' mic was accidentally left on when he made a remark about Nine colleague Darren Lockyer. Pic: Ch9/Getty

Rugby League Immortal Andrew Johns has been caught out in an awkward on-air gaffe after Queensland's morale-boosting victory in State of Origin Game III.

The Maroons stopped New South Wales completing a rare clean sweep after a gutsy 20-18 win on the Gold Coast.

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For the second match in a row though, a Channel Nine commentator found himself at the centre of an accidental hot mic issue during the broadcast.

Maroons great Paul 'Fatty' Vautin was heard exclaiming: "They may as well call off the third (game)," after the Blues destroyed Queensland 26-0 in Game II to wrap up the series.

Following Game III, it was Johns' turn to find himself at the centre of another on-air gaffe for Channel Nine.

Johns was watching Maroons great Darren Lockyer interviewing Latrell Mitchell after the match, with the former Maroons captain's black gloves obviously capturing his attention.

“Look at him, the Boston Strangler," Johns remarked about Lockyer in reference to the notorious mass murderer Albert DeSalvo, who killed 13 women in Boston in the 1960s.

The controversial post-match moment followed a number of contentious incidents during the game that left NSW coach Brad Fittler fuming.

Fittler's side was on the receiving end of a lop-sided number of six-again calls for ruck infringements in the first half and the Blues mentor criticised the referees for missing what he described as a Kalyn Ponga knock-on in the lead-up to one of Ben Hunt's two second half tries.

“There was a few decisions I thought were pretty dodgy, I wasn’t happy with,” Fittler said.

“I thought the Ponga one on the right-hand side before the try, I thought that was a knock-on. I thought before the goal kick Latrell got pushed in the back.

“I haven’t seen the replay but when I first saw the knock-on I thought that was an obvious call.”

For Fittler's opposite Paul Green, the soul-saving win for the Maroons in Game III was a big relief for the under-pressure coach, whose side went into the final on the back of a combined 76-6 scoreline.

"The series didn't pan out like we'd hoped but tonight, as I said through the week, the future for Queensland's bright," he said.

"Our culture was questioned but you don't win Origin games like that if you don't have character and you don't stick together.

"You can talk about it all you like, but it's what you do out on the field that counts and I thought we showed that tonight."

Seen here, Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans and coach Paul Green hug after Origin Game III.
Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans and coach Paul Green embrace after Queensland's win in Origin Game III. Pic: Getty

QLD coach refuses to speculate on future

Captain Cherry-Evans defended his coach throughout the campaign but understood why there had been such noise around their tenures.

"These things only happen when you open yourself to it by losing footy games," he said.

"The best thing we could've done tonight is win. Now that we've done that hopefully we can show that's off the back of a lot of hard work and some pretty good culture."

Green, also a coaching option for a new Queensland-based NRL club if expansion is approved, wouldn't be drawn on his intentions post-game.

"I love Queensland, loved playing when I got the chance and enjoyed this series as tough as it has been," he said.

"But now's not the time to be making any decisions about that.

"Tonight's not about me; it was a great win for Queensland and this team.

"We've been under unbelievable pressure and left ourselves open to that (by losing the first two games) but showed some character to get the result tonight."

with agencies

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