Kiwi-born league star stirs up online Aussie haters after posting kiss photo. By Ian Anderson.
THE NRL has hit back at critics of a photo of two rugby league players from rival teams kissing after the end of the women’s inaugural State of Origin match on Friday night.
The photo captured an embrace between NZ-born NSW player Vanessa Foliaki and Queenslander Karina Brown in the middle of the pitch following the end of the game.
The couple, who have been together since 2014, are usually teammates for the national league squad, the Jillaroos, but faced off against each other for a competitive match on rival teams in the Origin match.
The photo was shared by NRL and Women’s Rugby League on Facebook with the caption ‘‘#OurWay’’, but generated a mixed response.
Replying to one critic who had said on Facebook that the photo was a ‘‘bad idea’’, the NRL wrote: ‘‘Welcome to 2018... can’t wait for you to join us!’’
The NRL also hit back against comments suggesting the NRL was ‘‘sexualising’’ the game by sharing the photo.
‘‘If we can post ... Cooper Cronk and his wife Tara kissing, then we can share a photo of Karina Brown and Ness Foliaki sharing a moment too,’’ the NRL wrote.
Meanwhile, others expressed the usual New South Wales v Queensland rivalry at the crossborder relationship, commenting on the photo: ‘‘How can someone kiss a Queenslander?’’