There are some sports codes where it is frowned upon to be less than forthcoming about a player’s actual physical status.
It works both directions.
An injury may be hidden in order not to give the opposition the freedom to plan a strategy that varies greatly due to the secret that the player is going to be out of the lineup.
An injury may be exaggerated to lull an opponent into a false sense of security.
The tactic seems to be accepted by the NRL, both at the club level and at the State of Origin level, which leaves us to ponder why Daly Cherry-Evans would admit in a presser that he had been deceiving the media about his true physical condition.
With the decider in Sydney soon to bounce, Cherry-Evans, speaking about ankle and shoulder issues, told reporters, “It is the best that I have felt. I have probably thrown a few little white lies out there around my fitness over the last couple of months. But that is a part of footy.”
So, which direction does NSW take based on Cherry-Evans revelation?
He could be hampered and trying to hide it or he could be healthy and attempting to have the Blues prepare for his best, even if he cannot produce his best.
His fitness may have prevented the Maroons from winning Origin I by a larger margin, but it is doubtful a lack of said fitness could have made much impact on the 38 – 6 outcome of Origin II in Perth.
That outcome would seem to indicate that the entire Queensland side was dinged to some degree.
Cherry-Evans cannot win Origin III singlehandedly and NSW coach Brad Fittler is accustomed to gamesmanship in all its forms, so the only ones truly fooled would seem to be media members such as ourselves and those who had a little something on the outcome, or had invested in one of the exotic markets on the game.