Giselle lifted Ori­gin gloom for O’Neill

Townsville Bulletin - - RUGBY LEAGUE - JON TUXWORTH jonathon. tuxworth@ news. com. au

COW­BOYS cen­tre Justin O’Neill says fa­ther­hood helped ease the dis­ap­point­ment of be­ing dropped by Queens­land, cred­it­ing daugh­ter Giselle for “putting things in per­spec­tive”.

O’Neill was over­looked for the last two Ori­gins which the Ma­roons won to se­cure an 11th se­ries win in 12 years af­ter they were belted 28- 4 in Ori­gin I.

Dis­ap­pointed and sport­ing a black eye at Townsville Air­port af­ter that game, O’Neill was greeted by his wife Chantelle and his nine- month- old daugh­ter.

Hav­ing that sup­port has been cru­cial in help­ing him fo­cus on the Cow­boys premier­ship charge, which con­tin­ues with Satur­day night’s Women In League round clash against the War­riors in Townsville.

“It’s im­por­tant when things don’t go as planned. It al­ways helps hav­ing that sup­port and com­ing home to a lit­tle baby girl. It puts things in per­spec­tive,” O’Neill said.

“It’s not the end of the world and there’s al­ways bet­ter things in life, al­though some things don’t go ac­cord­ing to plan on the footy field.

“You hear the fel­las say all the time their other half is their rock and foun­da­tion. Rugby league is an up and down ca­reer and hav­ing some­one to sup­port you is big.”

O’Neill said watch­ing the Ma­roons turn around the se­ries was tough, but was pleased for Cow­boys team­mate Michael Mor­gan who played in in­flu­en­tial role in the cen­tres in Ori­gin III.

“It was hard, I def­i­nitely wanted to be a part of it but I sup­ported the boys,” O’Neill said.

“To see the boys get up af­ter all the in­juries and what they had to get through to get that win was awe­some.

“He ( Mor­gan) is great at run­ning the ball and you see when he gets the ball in his hands for us he’s dan­ger­ous.”

Play­ing guitar is an­other of O’Neill’s out­lets away from foot­ball, and al­ready enjoys some “jam ses­sions” with Giselle.

“I play a few reg­gae songs, I let her do most of it and try and teach her a few things,” O’Neill said. “The first cou­ple of hours ( on road trips) you think it’s go­ing to be a good chance to get some sleep, but as soon as we get into the ho­tel I’m straight onto Face Time and want to see her again.”

Chantelle said this week’s Women In League round was great recog­ni­tion for the con- tri­b­u­tion women make to the game across all lev­els.

“It’s nice ac­knowl­edg­ment for all the be­hind the scenes things we do,” she said. “Hav­ing Giselle and play­ing footy is a dif­fer­ent thing for him now, you’re play­ing for your fam­ily.”

PROUD DAD: Justin O'Neill with his ‘ jam ses­sion’ part­ner daugh­ter Giselle. Pic­ture: EVAN MOR­GAN

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