Kicking on … NSW five-eighth Todd Carney holds no grudges towards the Roosters despite their controversial parting of the ways last year.ORIGIN III is shaping as a career-defining game for Todd Carney and he has chosen this moment to open up about his departure from the Roosters. ”A lot has been said and speculated about me and the Roosters – and I don’t really want to spend ages talking about this but I want to set it straight – there’s no bad blood between me and the Roosters,” he said. Carney was thought to be angry about his exit – it was reported as a mutual decision – and his manager, David Riolo, was cranky with this column when the word ”sacked” was used. ”I did the wrong thing and they had a decision to make,” Carney explained. The decision was a tough one for Roosters boss Nick Politis, who had taken Carney under his wing. He stuck solid with Carney when other officials had wanted to spear him. There have been reports Carney fell out with the Roosters players and management. On the playing front that seems hard to believe – he is best mates with Mitchell Pearce, his NSW halves partner. On the management front, Carney said if it was not for the Roosters, he’d be playing league or union overseas. ”I’m the sort of person who will reflect on things and how they are going and I think about my career a lot,” he said. ”I want to thank Nick Politis for everything that he did for me at the Roosters and that goes from the start to the end. Nick stood by me when others didn’t. He gave me the chance at the Roosters. If it wasn’t for his support I wouldn’t be lining up for NSW – I’d go further than that and say I don’t know if I’d be in the NRL, so I am very grateful to the Roosters. They backed me when I was without a club, they were prepared to wait and they took a risk when plenty of others didn’t want a bar of me.” Between Origin games Carney spent time with his mum and sisters in Goulburn. ”It’s nice to just relax – I got to talk to them about my season. It’s nice to be able to go home and have some good things to talk about over a barbie.” Missing from that family gathering was Carney’s dad, who died in 2008. He can relate to the pain Robbie Farah is experiencing since the recent death of his mother, Sonia. ”I didn’t have football at the time when my dad died, but I think that playing will help Robbie get through this very difficult and very emotional time,” Carney said. ”I know as a team we can’t be his family, but there is a lot of love for Robbie in the playing group and I hope we can help him in some small way.” Meanwhile, Carney is obsessive in his match preparation and leaves little to chance. And while those adidas boots might not look like much, they are an indication of how pedantic he is. The boots are not available in Australia yet and were flown in from England and delivered to his hotel room on Thursday. Carney is looking for some inspiration when it comes to his goal-kicking at Origin and the boots may prove the difference. ”Yeah, I’ve been copping it about my kicking wherever I go,” he said. ”Believe me, I’ve been working at it.”Inglis feels loss
GREG INGLIS will play Origin III with a heavy heart after the death of outstanding sprinter Daniel Batman. Inglis is close to Nova Peris, who had two children with Batman. Peris stood by Inglis when he was at the centre of racial comments by Andrew Johns. Peris gave Inglis guidance and support, and publicly condemned Johns for his behaviour. Spending time with the pair made it clear they are great buddies. Inglis admires Peris for her achievements and her work with Aboriginal kids. Peris had separated from Batman but their children are an everlasting tie. She put the following post on Facebook. ”Thankyou to everyone on their condolence and love! This has been a very sad time for my children. The hardest thing a mother can do is tell their child that their father will never return. They are doing OK, as well as could be expected. They are strong children and know that time will never heal the wounds but to hold on to the memories and never forget the love he had for them. God bless my kids, R.I.P. Daniel. I’ll take care of them … Bye.” Peris’s eldest daughter, Jessica, took to Facebook to pay tribute to her mum. ”Sometimes I don’t appreciate you being here and the things you do for me. But you are the rock and soul of our family. I know Destiny and Jack have lost a very important person in their life but they have us and all their family. Surrounded by so much love. We 3 kids are your life as you are ours. Cant wait to be home so I can hug you like I was 10 again. Love you mum.”Phillip’s filthy
THE excuse that Phillip Hughes left the Blues because he got a Big Bash offer from South Australia is hard to understand. We have two teams; why couldn’t Cricket NSW explain the situation it was in and maybe get some interest in Hughes from one of those sides? I’m hearing the real reason Hughes is not there is because he was filthy he was punted from the NSW one-day team on match morning when they played in Hobart. His technique is back and the Blues management have questions to answer.Hop to it
WE TOLD you recently about South Sydney stalwart Craig Coleman’s son Liam, a rising star at the Rabbitohs. His ironwoman sister Tara is also a tremendous athlete – it’s clear which team she supports.Hackett causes stir
THE Grant Hackett interview on 60 Minutes certainly attracted some attention – and an audience. People have been critical of Tara Brown’s chat. Respected columnist Mia Freedman moaned about being sick of seeing sportsmen baring their souls and tweeted me saying it was ”not a fair fight when one party is employed by a major television network”. For the record, 60 Minutes did offer Hackett’s wife, Candice Alley, the chance to speak. A number of Alley’s ”friends” have revealed damaging pieces of information to women’s mags. There have been people blowing up because Hackett didn’t say ”sorry” in the interview. Australians (fans of Hackett’s) deserved an explanation for his actions on that infamous night following Derby Day rather than an apology. An apology was a private matter with his family which clearly he had provided and was accepted as he stayed in the family home for some months after this incident last October. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who was more contrite and ashamed of their actions than Grant Hackett was. It was evident through his answers, even without hearing the word ”sorry”, that he was clearly remorseful for what unfolded. There’s been comment the story was pulled from the website, suggesting Channel Nine must have been ashamed of it. Contrary to some reports, the story was never pulled from the website – it was never on it. The story was never to be placed online so as not to jeopardise ongoing legal proceedings. And, predictably, there were accusations Hackett’s appearance was a Nine PR campaign to rehabilitate the former swimmer, but there’s not a producer or reporter at 60 Minutes who would engage in an unseemly PR campaign on anyone’s behalf. Simply watching the interview would smash this argument – there were some withering questions to Hackett from Brown concerning violence, his rage and alcohol abuse.Farah thinks big
Even in his toughest moment, Robbie Farah is thinking of others. His charity group, Mates on a Mission, is holding a black-tie charity ball on Saturday, August 11, at Le Montage in Lilyfield. The MC for the night is Phil Gould and entertainment includes Stan Walker and Paulini. Proceeds will go towards a surgical machine for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The machine, the first of its type in Australia, will allow surgeons to perform heart surgery without having to open the chest.Wanted man
ALL BLACKS chief executive Steve Tew says he knows what Sonny Bill Williams is planning to do next year, but that doesn’t make the next few weeks any easier. SBW is the biggest star in New Zealand and arguably world rugby but if Tew knows he is going to the Sydney Roosters next year, does he allow him to play for the All Blacks? Knowing SBW – he is not a publicity hound or a glory hunter – he’d like a peaceful exit from New Zealand rugby. There is no way he wants a repeat of the Bulldogs situation. He is big enough to stand down from the All Blacks so he doesn’t prevent another player from getting a go. The All Blacks are leaving the door open for Williams to return. He has leading boxing promoters from America – read Don King – and Europe wanting him to become a full-time fighter, he has every team in New Zealand wanting him, the Stormers are chasing his signature and he’s got a million-dollar offer from Japanese rugby. Toulon want him back and the Waratahs and the Force both chased him. The Roosters – and no doubt league bosses – will be hoping his return to the NRL isn’t just a cameo. The Roosters want him at the club for the long haul.Blocker’s twitchy
STEVE ROACH took exception to my item about the The Game Plan. I mentioned that the show, which had a good guest line-up, failed to attract an audience. It only beat SBS. I also said the network must have a long-term plan for the program. Hardly offensive stuff. Perhaps ”Blocker” took it as a shot at the hosts? As the best-known panellist, maybe he is nervous. The show again fell to every other station except SBS this week.
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