All hon­ours to the team, says Qld star

JT DE­FLECTS GLORY

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

record of high­est in­di­vid­ual points scored by a Queens­lan­der, but equalled it in­stead af­ter hand­ing one of his con­ver­sions to good mate and re­tir­ing Ma­roons cen­tre Justin Hodges.

It was a typ­i­cally self­less act by Thurston, who im­pressed on­look­ers so much that one sport­ing agency yesterday paid out all bets on him win­ning the Dally M with nine rounds re­main­ing.

“Af­ter we lost the se­ries last year there was a lot of talk about us be­ing too old, too slow, and they ( NSW) were dom­i­nat­ing our for­ward pack,” Thurston said.

“I though our mid­dle third were out­stand­ing and they re­ally laid a plat­form for us, so I’m very proud to be part of a record game for the Ma­roons.

“I was only sit­ting back and think­ing about it last night, and it’s right up there with the ’ 06 se­ries – the first one that we won – and the white­wash in 2010.

“To put 50 points on the Blues had never been done be­fore, so it’s a great ef­fort from the boys.”

Thurston de­flected

any talk of his in­di­vid­ual hero­ics and records, in­stead prais­ing the ef­fort of his team fol­low­ing a week of dis­trac­tions that in­cluded skip­per Cameron Smith be­ing put in the spotlight by a Min­utes re­port on Alex McKin­non.

The Ma­roons also copped flak from south­ern media, who called Ori­gin’s most suc­cess­ful team Dad’s Army.

“You don’t play the game for the records, you play the game for the mo­ments of be­ing around your best mates,” Thurston said.

“It’s an hon­our and priv­i­lege to wear that Ma­roons jersey, rep­re­sent the state and get the re­sult that we wanted for the peo­ple of Queens­land.”

Thurston said the re­tire- ment of Hodges from Ori­gin would leave a big hole at the Ma­roons, with the cen­tre an in­flu­en­tial fig­ure for younger play­ers such as Cowboys team­mate Michael Mor­gan and Raider Josh Pa­palii.

“He’s go­ing to be missed – he’s al­ways boss­ing the young fel­las around at the front of the bus,” Thurston said, tongue- in- cheek.

“He al­ways plays ag­gres­sively out on the field and he’s been a big part of the team, so it was great that we could send him out the way that he de­served.”

Thurston and his North Queens­land team­mates will have the week­end off thanks to the club’s bye, be­fore a re­turn to train­ing next week.

Pic­tures: GETTY IM­AGES, ZAK SIM­MONDS

FIRED UP: Johnathan Thurston pumps up the crowd af­ter yet another Ma­roons try on Wed­nes­day night; ( inset) Thurston back in Townsville yesterday.

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