A parliamentary State of Origin touch footy game ended in scandal after Anthony Albanese scored a ‘dodgy’ try to seal victory for New South Wales.
The Prime Minister and other MPs held the grudge match outside Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday morning, with diehard South Sydney Rabbitohs fan Mr Albanese scoring a dubious four-pointer just before half-time to put NSW up 3-1.
Sports Minister Anika Wells, a Queenslander, claimed to have touched the PM prior to him grounding the ball – with footage of the incident confirming she had completed the tag.
‘It was a good first half. Well, I scored the try to put it 3-1 ahead and at that point, I think the game should have been stopped at half time,’ Mr Albanese said after the match.
‘Apparently these other referees, this fellow called Andrew Abdo from the NRL, he is sort of trying to run the show.’
A parliamentary State of Origin touch footy game ended in scandal after Anthony Albanese scored a ‘dodgy’ try to seal victory for New South Wales
Sports Minister Anika Wells, a Queensland, claimed to have touched the PM prior to him grounding the ball – with footage of the contest confirming she had completed the tag
The PM, who was going up against Wallabies legend David Pocock and political adversary Barnaby Joyce, who performed a Greg Inglis-like backflip to play for Queensland over the state of his birth.
‘Barnaby has very short stints on the field. Even though he represents the NSW seat, he has a Maroons jersey on as well,’ Mr Albanese told Today.
‘Look, there should be an inquiry into some of these players and where they are playing for, I tell you.
‘I can report the greatest scandal since GI (Greg Inglis) playing for Queensland, David Pocock from the ACT pulling on a Queensland jumper. They will stop at nothing.’
Mr Albanese showed a real turn of pace to burst through the Queensland defence prior to the dubious four-pointer
The PM, who was going up against Wallabies legend David Pocock and political adversary Barnaby Joyce, who performed a Greg Inglis-like backflip to play for Queensland over the state of his birth
After a late offload, Mr Albanese was fed the ball and showed the toe of his Rabbitohs heroes, slicing through the defence and planting the ball down spectacularly with his outstretched hand.
Ms Wells immediately contested the try after Mr Albanese reeled off celebrating, but the referee pointed to the spot.
She said there was ‘clear photographic evidence’ that showed he touched the Labor leader before he grounded the ball, with video confirming her claim.
The Prime Minister can clearly be seen being tagged before grounding the ball, which should have seen the Blues only lead by one going into the break.
After the game, the Sport Minister heaped blame on the referees.
‘I think we can all agree that referee is going to be the next Governor-general based on that decision,’ she said after the game.
‘And I think we can say ultimately, glory to Queensland.’
Ms Wells joked she may have had her final day as Sport Minister after contesting the PM’s try
She admitted on her way back to Parliament House that her time in politics may be numbered as a result of her protest.
‘Before I walk back into the Prime Minister’s Office, I’ve really loved being the Minister for Sport, it’s been an honour,’ she said.
‘I think we can all agree that referee is probably going to be the next governor-general based on that decision.’