AAP Rugby

Cowboys coach unimpressed by Fittler

By AAP Newswire

North Queensland coach Paul Green believes NSW coach Brad Fittler unfairly singled out back-rower Josh McGuire following Sunday's State of Origin.

The fiery Queensland No.13 will miss Friday's NRL clash between the Cowboys and St George Illawarra after taking an early guilty plea on a grade one dangerous contact head/neck charge.

McGuire was charged for an 80th-minute challenge on NSW five-eighth James Maloney, which left the Blues player requiring attention from a trainer after the fulltime siren.

Fittler was unimpressed by the attention on Maloney and said after the Blues' 38-6 win he expected officials to review the tackle.

Green said McGuire's hit was no better or worse than several other incidents and believed it is the 29-year-old's reputation which is putting him in the spotlight unfairly.

"There was probably a dozen other tackles that were very similar and it's State of Origin we're playing here too - I'm not saying the rules are any different but the games are certainly tougher," Green said.

"If you wanted to go through a game with a fine tooth comb I think there's probably plenty of those sort of tackles that happen that didn't come under as much scrutiny.

"His name's been in the headlines for the wrong reasons in that respect recently so I think he's probably - I won't say unlucky - but certainly a bit disappointed he (Fittler) brought it up, yeah."

McGuire has twice been fined this year, including a record $4500 sanction, in eye-gouging incidents and was unable to escape suspension this time on the grade one charge due to loading imposed from four non-similar offences in the past two years.

Green however disputed any suggestion McGuire needed to change his style of play to change the perception he is a dirty player.

"That's the way he plays. He's an aggressive type of player," Green said.

"He's come under some scrutiny recently and I think that's probably cost him in this situation."