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Featured Image Credit: Channel Nine. Supplied/NRL.
New South Wales star Jarome Luai has been labelled a ‘grub’ after standing over an unconscious Selwyn Cobbo in the third State of Origin clash of the 2022 series.
However, the Penrith Panthers player has claimed he has nothing ‘to apologise for’.
It was tumultuous start to the decider at Suncorp Stadium, where we witnessed three players getting knocked out inside the first four minutes.
This incident, in particular though, was pretty scary.
After Blues forward Cameron Murray had been ruled out after a failed HIA from the first hit-up, Queensland winger Selwyn Cobbo copped a flailing hip to the head during a collision down the other end of the field.
Going low with his tackling technique, Cobbo's head accidentally struck multiple thighs as he was knocked unconscious on his way to hitting the deck.
It was a sickening scene as tensions flared around him while Cobbo laid still and stiff on the turf.
Despite Cobbo clearly looking out of it and laying motionless, Luai took the opportunity to stand over his fallen opponent and yell some choice words.
Unsurprisingly, the Queensland players did not like the five-eighth's actions and an on-field brawl sparked, all while Cobbo's Maroons teammate Dane Gagai stood over him to protect him from any further injury.
Upon seeing replays of the incident, as well as Luai’s actions after it, fans on online went into meltdown.
ABC News reporter Jacob Shields tweeted: “Unfortunate start to Origin, but that was disgusting from Jarome Luai to stand over Cobbo flexing after he’s out cold on the ground clearly knocked out… could have been seriously injured and he’s flexing over him being all tough? Very grubby, gross stuff.”
One fan said: “Jarome Luai showing why he becoming the most despised player in the game. Standing over a prone Cobbo and lipping him up. Full grub.”
Whilst another tweeted: “I don’t like criticising players - but seriously Jarome Luai is an absolutely s**t human on the footy field. That was appalling behaviour. I love the NSW Blues but find it really hard to support players like that.”
Following the game, the Panthers player pleaded ignorance to the situation when speaking to Fox Sports.
“I actually didn’t know he was knocked out,” Luai said.
“But that’s Origin, heat of the moment stuff. I play with a lot of passion. I spoke to him (Cobbo) after the game and he was all good, so good to see that.”
However, he later claimed he didn’t have any reason to be sorry.
“I don’t think I have anything to apologise for. There wasn’t any harm. I didn’t touch him,” Luai said.
As for those giving him stick and calling him a ‘grub’ on social media, he had words for them as well.
He said: “They’ve always called me that (grub).
“So that’s the fans of the sport and you need to take into consideration they’re not out there on the field.”