State of Origin not over 'til the fat man sprints

ADRIAN PROSZENKO
Last updated 03:15 18/07/2013
Origin streaker
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WE'RE STREAKING: A streaker runs onto the field late in the match, which ruled out a try for Queensland's Matt Scott.

Queensland
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Queensland celebrate with the State of Origin trophy.

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The streak continues.

Matt Scott crashed over for what should have been the deciding play with two minutes and 10 seconds left on the clock, and it was almost time for the fat lady to sing. Instead, it was a fat streaker who almost decided proceedings.

After hurdling the fence, the advertising hoardings and evading numerous security guards and the players, he ran 95 metres upfield. He fell flat on his face, a result of exhaustion and, presumably alcohol.

He landed splat in the middle of play and, NSW defenders claimed, prevented him from stopping a rampaging Scott. Seven years of Origin football could have come to this.

The decision was referred upstairs. The video referees decided that, with a fat, naked man on the field and numerous security guards in tow, it was an obstruction call no one could complain about.

Mercifully, it didn't decide the game. Should the Blues have scored in those final, frenetic minutes, some nude fool may have done what countless Blues players couldn't - stop the, ahem, Bananabenders.

NSW coach Laurie Daley labelled the incident as "silly behaviour".

"What more do you say?" Daley said. "I didn't know what the rule was. I knew a try wouldn't be allowed."

"Obviously disappointed we didn't get the six set of six."

While it appeared the streaker stopped what appeared a certain Maroons try, Blues captain Robbie Farah said the incident hindered his own team.

"It was tough for us because of the ruling at the time. It was the fifth tackle and they got a scrum feed with a full set of six," Farah said.

"There were only two or three minutes left in the game, it wasn't ideal for us...

"I didn't notice him until right at the end there when he was on the ground. I was too occupied to notice him."

Queensland coach Mal Meninga said the "big, fat fella" cost Matt Scott a certain try.

"I thought he did very well," Meninga said of the way the streaker evaded his pursuers.

"It was disruptive. It cost us a try. We handled it ... Silly, ridiculous it does happen in Origin, in sport, but it does happen."

Not since Peter Hore, the serial pest who interrupted World Cup qualifiers and Melbourne Cups, has anyone had the audacity to ruin one of Australia's most treasured sporting events.

As for the streaker, he faces a lifetime ban from all rugby league games at ANZ Stadium.

"There's a possibility he could be charged by police with a number of offences including resisting arrest, invading the field of play and [potentially indecent exposure]. That will be determined by police," said Arthur Stanley, ANZ Stadium spokesman.

Stanley conceded the antics of the pitch invader, who entered the field from the south-east corner, could overshadow a classic Origin encounter.

"He came at a very unusual part of the field, I understand, the quarter line, and it took a little while to [respond]," he said.

The streaker, who NRL officials believe is a repeat offender, also faces a fine of $5500 for invading the field.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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