Queensland coach Billy Slater’s awkward response to Michael Maguire’s ‘glass houses’ State of Origin sledge

Maroons coach Billy Slater has responded to controversial comments made by Blues counterpart Michael Maguire, who described Queenslanders questioning his Game 1 tactics as living in “glass houses”.

When Blues debutant Joseph Suaalii was sent off early in Game 1 for a high shot on Reece Walsh, many believed it was a ploy by NSW to target the electric fullback.

Maroons greats Johnathan Thurston and Nate Myles weren’t shy about sharing their disgust afterward, but Slater remained somewhat tight-lipped when asked about the hit in interviews following Game 1.

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In an exclusive interview with James Hooper that aired on NRL360, Maguire fueled the fire further.

“I think you have to make sure you don’t live in glass houses. Suallii’s sending off was one of those unfortunate things that happen in games, but when you go after a player it’s not acceptable in this space… Glass houses, that’s an interesting one,” Maguire told Hooper.

Maguire reiterated those comments in a press conference Monday morning, the night after the Blues Game 2 squad was announced.

It is believed that Maguire was referring to Slater and his lengthy criminal record throughout his playing career.

“We don’t need to be Einstein to understand who he was referring to there. He fired a shot, an early shot and I don’t mind,” NRL360 co-host Braith Anasta said after Maguire’s comments aired.

“I don’t think Billy will agree though.”

In an interview with NRL360, Slater was asked about Maguire’s comments by journalist Brent Read, which made for embarrassing television.

Light: “Hey Billy, Madge lit the fuse today. He was asked about the comments about Reece Walsh and the response since then to Joe (Suaalii) and Joe taking out Reece Walsh and basically accusing Queenslanders of living in hothouses. Many people take this as an attempt on you. How do you respond to that?”

Slate: “Ah, what comments? Are they mine, are the comments mine?”

Light: “Your comments after the match. People took what Madge said about people living in glass houses and took it as an attempt against you and your comments after the match, which I think you tried to NSW to target Reece Walsh.

Slate: “No. I purposely didn’t comment on that incident if you listen to the press conference.

Light: “Sorry, I think you spoke later, right? I think you made a comment about the Footy Show or something.

Slate: “No, I think you might need to check my comments. “

Light: “OK, I’ll do it Billy.”

Madge's comment that lit the fuse for Origin

“You could hear crickets then,” Anasta joked after the interview was completed.

“Well, he made some comments. She talked about her being bad looking,” Read responded.

“I wasn’t hitting on Billy, I was giving him the opportunity to respond to Madge… I assumed he saw Madge’s comments, but obviously he didn’t see them. I’m sure if he had seen them we would have had a different reaction than him because Madge made the comments about the “glass houses” and everyone thought they were directed at Billy.

“That’s why Madge shouldn’t have been so general: if they were directed at Billy she should have made it very clear.”

Maroons great Gorden Tallis criticized Maguire for his comments.

“If Madge wants to try another manager, it should be about his coaching career, not his playing career, because when Billy talks about a guy being picked on, he would know because there’s no player who’s been picked on more than Billy Slater in his era,” Tallis said.

“I played against Madge and he was probably never targeted, no one even knew he was on the pitch.”

Originally published as Billy Slater’s clumsy response to Maguire’s ‘glass houses’ sleigh

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