Nine switched off as Ma­roon anger grows

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - CHRIS GARRY

THE Ma­roons have united be­hind Cameron Smith to deny Chan­nel 9 ac­cess to the team as the Queens­land cap­tain’s dis­pute with Aussie rugby league’s free- to- air broad­caster deep­ens.

Smith even de­clined to be in­ter­viewed by Queens­land as­sis­tant Kevin Wal­ters for the Ma­roon Zone pro­gram on Nine to­mor­row af­ter­noon.

Smith also brushed off his for­mer cap­tain Dar­ren Lock­yer, who re­quested a half­time in­ter­view dur­ing the Ori­gin de­cider on Wed­nes­day night.

De­spite Smith’s in­creas­ing frus­tra­tion with Nine, 60 Min­utes has made a sec­ond ap­proach to the hooker to do an in­ter­view.

The ap­proach was quickly re­jected and Smith would pre­fer to never talk to the Nine Net­work again af­ter it failed to con­tact him for his re­ac­tion to Alex McKin­non’s com­ments on Sun­day night’s 60 Min­utes.

It is be­lieved the Ma­roons made a pact on the bus on the way to Sun­corp Sta­dium for Game Three to refuse all Nine in­ter­views at half­time, with five- eighth Johnathan Thurston lead­ing the boy­cott move­ment.

The game’s broad­cast deal stip­u­lates at least one player from each team must be in­ter­viewed at half­time.

There was a push from play­ers to also deny Nine postgame ac­cess, but Queens­land Rugby League of­fi­cials quickly in­ter­vened to en­sure there was con­tent for the broad­caster.

Fox Sports is try­ing to se­cure a Smith in­ter­view and it is ex­pected he will speak to Matthew Johns or Peter Ster­ling for an ex­clu­sive with the pay tele­vi­sion net­work next week.

Nine yesterday de­clined to com­ment on the saga.

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