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The Sydney Morning Herald

Embarrassed, dizzy Tallis says every player should be given a medal

Author: STEVE MASCORD
Date: 28/09/1998
Words: 642
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: Sport
Page: 22
Brisbane Test star Gorden Tallis said yesterday he was embarrassed to have received the Clive Churchill Medal as grand final man of the match, because he did not believe the award should exist.

Tallis joined a distinguished honour roll after the Broncos grand final victory, admitting he had little recollection of the match after an early head knock.

"I don't believe that there should be an award," Tallis said. "There are 17 players out there.

"It's not just the players, it begins back in November with the trainers.

"There should be 50 awards to everyone in our club.

"I'm a bit embarrassed - especially in a team like this, full of great players."

Asked whether he felt his own performance was worthy of the award, Tallis said he couldn't remember.

"I was a bit dizzy, a little bit out of place," he said. "To tell you the truth, I'm going to have to watch it on video because I don't really remember what happened.

"The week dragged on for what seemed like a fortnight but the game went in 10 minutes."

Yesterday's match was a form of deliverance for Tallis, who sat out the 1995 season after signing with Super League and failing to get a release from his team, St George.

When he returned to Kogarah with the Broncos this year, some fans pelted him with projectiles but he later said "they still wish I was playing for St George".

His patience was rewarded when he toured Britain with the Super League Australian side last year but he was maligned by crowds there as well, telling reporters he was "not a thug".

Tallis is expected to be called up today for the reunited Australian side to take on New Zealand in the second Test against at Suncorp Stadium on Friday week.

He said he avoided putting pressure on himself yesterday by avoiding media coverage of the game. "We didn't get any papers and we didn't watch any television," Tallis said.

"Every time it came on, I changed the channel so I didn't have to watch it.

"That's what you've got to do. The more you hear things, the more you believe it so you've just got to wipe it all out."

An early missed tackle on selection rival Steve Price didn't help his confidence. Tallis had tipped Price for Test selection in the lead-up to the game. "I went up too quickly on Price, he stepped me and scored and that makes me feel really bad," Tallis said.

"They're a good side, they're very powerful, but I think they just ran out of gas. Those two 100-minute games made them run out of petrol."

Tallis has been struggling with a groin injury for much of the season but is confident of being fit for the second and third trans-Tasman Tests, if selected.

"It's up to the selectors," he said. "I haven't really been thinking about it. I thought about the one earlier in the year and it hurt me.

"If they pick me, I'll play."

The team medical is set down for Brisbane next Sunday.

* Hulking Brisbane forward Petero Civoniceva dedicated his part in the victory to his homeland Fiji, AAP reports.

The strapping 192cm 22-year-old joked his popularity in the land of his birth may now equal that of recent US PGA golf winner Vijay Singh and former Canberra Raider Noa Nadruku who carry superstar status in Fiji.

Civoniceva revealed he had revved up for the biggest game of his life by watching Fiji win a rugby World Cup qualifying game on television as his Bronco teammates warmed up in the dressing-room before the kick-off.

"Even though I've grown up here [Australia], I still identify with Fiji culture," Civoniceva said. "Hopefully this will mean something to them because rugby league in Fiji is getting bigger all the time."

 
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