If Queensland’s State of Origin stars think NRL firebrand Liam Martin is too rough for them they should probably steer clear of his irate mother Maxine.
The Penrith forward has been labelled public enemy No.1 by the Sunshine State after a Brisbane newspaper ran a feature identifying all of his alleged dirty play in State of Origin I and labelling him a grub.
That went down like a lead balloon with Maxine, who called 2Day FM’s Hughesy, Ed and Erin to stick up for her son.
‘When it’s happened it’s like the mumma bear has come out in me,’ Maxine said.
‘I said, when you watch a game there’s more face massages out there than a beauty salon. They’re roughing each other up all the time.’
Martin and his mum Maxine are close-knit and she was quick to defend him when Queensland media labelled him a grub
Kavalee took the opportunity to wind Maxine up and said: ‘I’m happy to do this as a Queensland supporter. Maxine, your son is a grub. Your son is a massive grub.
‘But he is exactly what the Blues need because the rest of them were too nice.
‘Let his elbows lead the way. “Follow me behind my knees and elbows, guys, straight into the faces and throats of the Queenslanders”.’
While it was obvious that Kavalee was being tongue-in-cheek and having a joke at Maxine’s expense, he did qualify that it was a joke, saying: ‘Maxine, he’s a beauty, it’s all just Origin nonsense, they do it every year.
‘Queensland just pick someone and go, “Right, this is the bloke we’re after”.’
Comedians Dave Hughes and Ed Kavalee took the opportunity to have a joke at the expense of Liam Martin’s mum, but added the NSW firebrand was exactly what the Blues need to win
Now Maxine’s own children have imposed an internet ban to ensure she doesn’t get too worked up over the negative attention her son is copping from the banana benders.
‘I rang my children straight away when I read it, and they banned me. I’m banned from reading the internet, banned from social media. I’m banned! Can you ban parents?’ she asked
‘It’s so out of left field.
‘It’s not a pretty label — public enemy No. 1 … or the grub — it’s not a pretty label and I’m thinking, “Whoa, what’s going on here?”
‘When it first came out I had a sleepless night over it.’
Martin plays the game hard and will be tricky to handle in Origin II in Perth on Sunday
When Martin heard about the sledges, he was more worried about his mother’s reaction than anything else.
‘It sort of came out of the blue,’ the Panthers star told nswrl.com.au.
‘I didn’t mind. I think Mum was more rattled than me. She was like, ‘You’re not a grub’ and I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’
‘Even [coach] Freddy [Fittler] said he loved it and just to bring it again,’ Martin said.
‘He said, ‘Why did it take 65 minutes to start doing it? We might have to start doing it from the first minute.’
‘I find both teams play with that passion and I grew up watching Paul Gallen and Nate Myles go at it so I tried to emulate that and I’ll probably bring it again.
‘It’s footy, after all, it’s played with aggression and things are going to happen. If you’re not doing that stuff, you’re probably not giving it your all.’