Blues icon Mark ‘Spud’ Carroll says Origin players don’t show enough hurt in defeat and wants them hit in the hip pocket if they lose.
Origin match payments were halved during Covid but are expected return next season to a handsome $30,000 per player – win, lose or draw.
The Maroons pulled off an ambush in the series opener earlier this month, beating the Blues 16-10 in front of 80,000 fans in Sydney.
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New South Wales now face a must-win clash in Perth on Sunday to send the series to a decider in Brisbane.
Carroll – who played seven games for New South Wales between 1995 and 1999 – told the Fox League Podcast pay incentives make a difference to performance.
“My thing is, and good luck to the players making as much money as they can, but when I was coming through, it was $5000 a win and $3000 a loss, so you’ve got to have a loss factor,” Carroll said.
“These days they get $15,000 win, lose or draw and I don’t see enough hurt.
“It should be $10,000 for a loss, when you lose $5000… yeah some of these blokes are on $800,000 and wouldn’t care but when I was coming through $5000 would have hurt.
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“I just think you need that loss factor so they can feel the hurt.”
Queensland great Brent Tate – who played in almost all of the Maroons historic eight straight series between 2006 and 2013 – was a fan of the idea.
“I loved the $30,000 – I actually got a taste of that right at the back end of my career,” Tate said.
“But don’t worry I had my fair share of losses 2003, 04 and 05 were heavy defeats. I’ve certainly been on both ends of the spectrum.”
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The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) are pushing for Origin match payments to be significantly increased from the current $15,000 after the NRL posted a surprise $43 million surplus for 2021.
Revenue increased 37 per cent in 2021, increasing by $155.4 million to sit at $575.1 million.
That figure will likely be boosted again this year with fans returning to stadiums in droves, with the Origin crowds in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane expected to hit a combined 200,000 fans.
That’s double the 100,000 fans who watched Origin last year at smaller grounds in Townsville, Gold Coast and Brisbane due to Covid cancellations.
There were more than 80,000 fans at game one in Sydney, while Optus Stadium in Perth seats 60,000 people and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium holds 52,500.
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