Wally Lewis.
Wally Lewis.

Wally Lewis: Ackerman story discussed in Maroons camp

A CHEEKY grin crosses the face of Maroons legend Wally Lewis when he's asked about Wednesday night's demolition of NSW.

The Lewis swagger is back as he recalls doing a jig in the back of the commentary box during Game Three, while a speechless Phil Gould struggled to watch the remainder of an Origin shellacking.

"It's wonderful," Lewis said.

"I think everybody was sort of suspicious that perhaps New South Wales were going to win the game and brag about their dominance after winning last year.

"But when you consider that mob (current Queensland team) have had nine out of 10, it's not too bad."

The King was on the Coast yesterday to speak at a luncheon at Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club alongside former Wallaby Andrew Slack.

While the weather was far from bright, you could tell the legend was enjoying the Origin shine.

"The one thing that we've always said and Mal's (Meninga) sort of brought back into play in his time in coaching, he reminds them that you're not just representing the clubs that are taking part in the NRL, you're representing the whole state of Queensland," Lewis said.

He also spoke of his pride at the way the rugby league community had banded together following the tragic death of Sunshine Coast Falcons prop James Ackerman after injuries suffered in a tackle during a match on June 20.

He revealed Ackerman's death had been discussed in the Queensland camp in the lead-up to the decider, as the players looked to put on the best spectacle they could, to further honour the young player's legacy.

"It was particularly good to see that there was a number of people that were paying tribute and it was brought up, it's been brought up inside the Queensland camp as well," Lewis said.

"We mentioned that it's a massive hurdle but in the Origin games, people realise, the players realise... they're not just representing Queensland Rugby League, it's the people and there's some very sad stories along the way."


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