Same Cane won’t let All Blacks bite on Argentina’s niggle


“It’s a funny one, hey. You penalise the retaliation but what was the reason for retaliation?” Cane queried. “I’m not going to chat about what they’re going to do but I will say that we have absolute buy in that we’re not buying into any of that.

“It doesn’t matter what the Argies do, unless it’s completely below the line. We’ll just be getting on with our jobs and focusing on the next task.”

Sam Cane won't cop any All Blacks ill-discipline on Saturday.

Sam Cane won’t cop any All Blacks ill-discipline on Saturday.Credit:PA

Cane copped his fair share of criticism after the last start loss to Argentina and was also blasted for an interview in which he claimed fans “might like to think they know a lot about the game of rugby but really, they don’t.”

He doubled down on those comments before the All Blacks boarded a bus bound for Newcastle on Friday afternoon.

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“I was pretty happy with the whole interview as itself. If the whole interview is viewed, it puts everything into context,” Cane said. “I’ve always spoken my mind and been reasonably honest and I hope most people will appreciate that.

“It would be easy to always do these interviews and give generic answers but I suppose every now and then, being honest may create some headlines.”

Negative headlines will increase exponentially if Cane’s side fail to fire against Mario Ledesma’s men at McDonald Jones Stadium.

But a “grumpiness” among All Blacks camp through the last fortnight does not bode well for Argentina.

“I suppose the easiest way to explain it would be a bit of an edge. There’s been a bit of grumpiness throughout the week,” Cane said. “Sometimes it’s good to have a wee bit of fun but we’re so focused and we just want to get the most out of every training session this week to give us the best chance of playing well. I hope that explains it.”

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Queensland ready for Brown’s Origin niggle


Queensland’s Cameron Munster is warning his teammates to avoid getting caught up Nathan Brown’s niggle tactics in Game II of the State of Origin series.

The Parramatta lock has been named to make his debut off the bench for NSW as a replacement for injured Cameron Murray and is already promising to bring his trademark aggression into the game.

Munster says there’ll be no surprises when Brown gets on the field and the challenge for the Maroons will be standing their ground while not losing their focus.

“He’s an aggressive player and I really admire that about him and he’s really good with his feet and really good with his ball skills,” Munster said.

“He’s obviously going to bring a lot of leg speed and a lot of aggression, especially in attack.

“We’ve just got to weather that storm and make sure we’re ready for it. We know it’s coming.

“He’s one of those blokes that will get under your skin and he thrives off that.

“When he does that to you he knows he’s got you in his pocket and he can really pull your pants down.

“We need to be making sure that we don’t let him get under our skin and just play our game plan.”

Munster will also be facing a new direct opponent with Luke Keary axed by Blues’ coach Brad Fittler and Cody Walker to start in the No.6 jersey.

Munster knows Walker well having played alongside him in the Queensland Cup at Easts Tigers.

He says the South Sydney five-eighth will have to be watched like a hawk throughout the game by the Maroons’ defensive line.

“Things that he can do, that you think he can’t do, that’s when you’ve got to worry about him,” the Melbourne Storm star said.

“He’s just got that little weave on him that most people don’t have. He’s just a real instinctive player and he plays what he what he sees in front of him.

“I know on Wednesday night that we need to make sure that everyone’s alert when he’s around the ball.”





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How yoga, mindfulness is helping Panthers ignore niggle


Penrith will welcome any physicality Brown brings – most likely when shooting out of the line at some stage early in the first half at Panthers Stadium – but say it will not get personal as they chase a 13th straight win.

Blake Ferguson is caught in a crusher tackle against the Panthers in round five.Credit:Fox Sports

“Teams have tried to put us off our game, every team has one or two individuals who try to get under your skin,” Penrith flyer Josh Mansour told the Herald. “But we don’t buy into it, and we don’t play with that emotion.

“I’m sure ‘Browny’ will try and shoot out of the line. I’m also sure our middles will be licking their lips the next time he carries that next ball.

“He plays hard and that’s Browny’s style. We’ll match it with our intensity but be smart about it. We won’t make it personal.

“We’ve been doing yoga and mindful breathing once a week. It helps you focus on what you need to get done during the week, and it helps you stay calm in games whenever there are high-pressure situations.

“The whole point of breathing is to keep you calm. We started it last year, but we’ve got a lot more serious about it this season. When you loose your cool you lose your energy that could be used elsewhere.

Let’s dance … Moses Mbye scuffles with Nathan Cleary last Saturday week.Credit:Getty

“The Tigers tried to put us off our game a couple of weeks ago. There were a few times they were trying to put off Nathan [Cleary]. They were wrestling the crap out of us, but we didn’t buy into their bulls*** and we did what we needed to do for the win.”

Cleary is one of the coolest customers in the game, as is skipper James Tamou. The only player with a short fuse is Jack Hetherington, the prop suspended while on loan to the Warriors.

Lucky 13? Table-toppers Penrith chase a 13th straight win.

Lucky 13? Table-toppers Penrith chase a 13th straight win.Credit:Getty Images

Brent Naden reacted to some of the niggle from the Tigers, while Cleary recently quipped to the Herald the only person he would back himself in a fight against was his halves partner, Jarome Luai. Even coach Ivan Cleary is reserved.

Penrith’s only loss this season came against Parramatta when a 10-0 lead turned into a 16-10 deficit in the space of six minutes.

Eels flyer Blake Ferguson clutched at the back of his neck after a tackle, Parramatta received a penalty, marched downfield and went on to score three quick tries.

Mansour welcomed the match-up against Ferguson and his former Panthers’ centre partner Waqa Blake.

General admission tickets for the competition leader’s final home game sold out in less than four minutes.

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“Waqa and Fergo are two great athletes, they’re two big bodies so we need to aim up in defence,” Mansour said.

“You don’t want to give them too much space, and Waqa is lethal when he gets into the open because of his amazing speed.”

The Panthers trained down the house down on Monday and have three extra days than the Eels for their latest first-versus-third ding-dong battle.

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