UNUSED NSW reserve Josh Reynolds says critics of last Wednesday’s Origin biffo are missing a big point – there are still plenty of punches in NRL games that go unpunished.
After sitting on the bench for the entire opening interstate encounter, the 24-year-old five-eighth returned to Canterbury on Saturday night and played a key role in the 36-26 win over North Queensland.
But he was a spectator like the rest of us when Paul Gallen took to Nate Myles and says the reaction across such a wide cross-section of the community has been an eye-opener.
“I don’t want to say too much on it but for me, what happens on the field stays on the field,” Reynolds tells RLW.
“There’ve been stinks every game, there’s a stink nearly every game in the NRL and people don’t talk about that.
“But obviously, just because it’s on the big stage, both sides have their opinions and everyone wants to get involved.”
Having been assured at fulltime by coach Laurie Daley that he would hold his spot for the return encounter on June 26, Reynolds says he would be happy to give hooker Robbie Farah – who suffered an eye injury during Origin I – a spell
“A hundred per cent – I think that’s why Laurie put me on the bench there, in case Robbie needed a breather,” he said.
“If Robbie’s not well or if he needs a bit of a rest during the game, I’ll be happy to go there and hopefully I can fill that role for the boys.”
Discussing the previous week, in which he beat South Sydney’s John Sutton the coveted NSW bench role, Reynold said: “It started off nerve-racking, obviously, going into camp not knowing if me or Sutto were going to get the gig.
“Then, it was awesome. The boys were really accepting of both of us. They welcomed us into the side and it felt like we had been there for a while.
“Then it turned into … I got the role and I was obviously over the moon and proud for me and my family and the obviously leading into the game, it was a great week, a week I’ll never forget. It was a great bunch of guys, Laurie was awesome.
“I’ve said it before, I didn’t get on the field but as long as we got the win, I was happy.”
Asked when it dawned on him he might not get on, Reynolds said: “Probably when they brought out the 10th (interchange) card and it wasn’t (me).
“I think if we had scored another try, he might have put me on. It was obviously a bit close and Queensland were on a bit of a roll and he wanted to keep the big guys in the middle to stop that.
“Laurie came up to me straight after the game and said to me I’ll be there, hopefully, game two. That was some reassurance.”
NB: Since this story appeared, the NRL has announced all punches will result in a sin bin dismissal.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK