'Massive breakdown': Paul Green blasts NRL over Origin fiasco

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·Sports Reporter
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Paul Green is furious at the NRL after the Ronaldo Mulitalo eligibility fiasco.
Paul Green has laid blame for Ronaldo Mulitalo's last minute selection confusion squarely at the feet of the NRL. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Queensland coach Paul Green has pointed the finger at the NRL over Ronaldo Mulitalo's last minute withdrawal from State of Origin II.

Mulitalo was pulled from the team late on Sunday after his eligibility to play was questioned by NSWRL earlier in the weekend.

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The Maroons were unable to prove he had arrived in Australia from New Zealand before his 13th birthday and, despite Mulitalo playing under-18s and under-20s for Queensland, were forced to withdraw him or face the possibility of forfeiting.

The Cronulla winger had been called up after Reece Walsh suffered an injury in the lead-up to the game, but his withdrawal led to the axed Xavier Coates being drafted back into camp just eight hours before the game.

Green was filthy about the confusion following Queensland's 26-0 defeat at the hands of the Blues, saying it was the NRL's responsibility to ensure these matters were sorted well ahead of time.

"It's obviously a massive breakdown in the process and I don't think that's finished yet," he said.

"All the information that was available to us, (indicated) he was able to play.

"He signed his last two contracts and in that he signed his eligibility to say he was.

"We don't register the contracts, we aren't part of that process.

"We just get a list off a database (from the NRL) that says they're eligible based on that."

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Queensland assistant coach Johnathan Thurston said on the Nine Network's Sunday Footy Show that the Maroons were confident they could produce documents that proved Mulitalo had arrived in Australia before his 13th birthday.

"His dream of playing in the Maroons jersey has been ripped from under him," Thurston said.

"It's been a hectic 24 hours for the young kid and we have still haven't given up hope of him playing in the series, given the fact we couldn't get the right documentation to prove he was here before he was 13."

Green with massive task after State of Origin drubbing

Green has plenty on his plate after the loss followed a record 50-6 hiding in Townsville and Sunday marked the first time Queensland had been kept scoreless in Brisbane.

It also left the Blues on track to record the most dominant series win in history, beating the 62-point differential NSW managed in 2000.

"We probably have to adjust a few things in camp (in game three), we've got nothing to lose," skipper Daly Cherry-Evans said.

"Again we're looking for the answers, but (in terms of) the motivation factor, you'd have to say their's is a lot higher than ours at the moment."

Queensland players were devastated after being held scoreless by NSW in State of Origin II. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Queensland players were devastated after being held scoreless by NSW in State of Origin II. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

It's left Green, who's on a one-year deal, under the microscope.

"The QRL obviously thought there was a chance he would move on and become a club coach if an opportunity came up," former Maroons half Cooper Cronk told Fox Sports.

"So the QRL have a big decision to make, whether they sign Paul Green for an extended period, or they usher in a new era of coaches.

"I don't know who is out there or who's interested... Wayne Bennett is off-contract."

Slater is another, while Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith have both been in camp with the side this series.

Green was a dejected figure post-match.

"We're just not icing our opportunities; we're creating them but not taking them," he said.

"A little bit of that comes from the pressure we're placing on ourselves and we need to be better there."

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