The first episode of Wide World of Sports’ Story of Origin podcast will be released on Friday, May 13th. The story is taken from the second episode, The Champions, which will be released on Monday 16 May. Subscribe to Stories of Origin Spotify, Apples, Google.
Phil Gold and Andrew Johns cover a notorious photo taken during the 2003 State of Origin camp.
Newspapers at the time ran the picture on the front page, claiming that there was a rift between Superstar Halfback and the New South Wales coach at the time.
The photo shows Coach Gould extending his right hand to Johns, who is not impressed to stand with his arms crossed.
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Gold pulled Johns out of the team’s luncheon and into the nearby training ground to talk to each other.
“I wasn’t playing well at the time. I had a lot of discussions away from Footy, maybe Footy wasn’t my number one focus … other things were getting in the way,” Johns recalled for Wide World Off. Sports The story of origin Podcast
“He put me on the show, and I didn’t take it very well. It blew up – there are photos everywhere. It was all paper, I was never going to play.”
“I went home and I took that extra training, fit myself tightly, and then we entered Origin and I was ready to go.”
Johns admits he was dirty with Gold when the photo was taken, but later learned that he needed it.
“There’s no better way to handle people and big arrogance. And when I needed to cut my wings, I needed a kick in the back and I wouldn’t get it anywhere else,” he said.
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“You’ve reached a certain level. People don’t tell you the truth. They’re bulls – not you. They’re bulls – not me, they hit me right in the middle of the eye.”
“I didn’t like it at the time, but I look back now and realize it needed to be done. There are only a few people who can do it, and Gus was one of them.”
Media reports claim that an angry Gold in the photo wrote the law to his outgoing Origin Halfback.
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But the man himself explained what was really going on.
“The reporting of that day was embarrassing, and pointed to me more than anything, and it made it very difficult for her,” Gold told Wide World of Sports. Six tackles with gas Podcast
“I remember the original picture – in that picture I was actually explaining to him how I wanted to protect him.
“I defended him behind the line, in an old-fashioned role, and he would just enter the line to push (Darren) Lockyer, no matter which side of the field he was on. So instead of defending a position, he would defend one.
“I was actually standing there talking to him (saying) ‘You’ll stand behind the line’, and the picture where I’m going (holding my hand up). (Media) It’s arranged something that wasn’t.”
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Following that incident, the report claims that Johns threatened to withdraw from the Blues squad and withdraw from the 2003 Origin series.
He said it would never happen. Gold sure doesn’t.
“Joey called me a few weeks later … and said, ‘Do you want me on the team?'” Gold said.
“And I said, ‘Andrew, they’ve sold 52,000 tickets to this game. They’re not coming to see me. Coach, mate, they’re coming to see your game.’
“And that’s it. He was outstanding. We won the first two games.”
The Blues won the 2003 Origin Series, led by Gold and Johns.
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