Channel Nine roasted for 'disrespectful' Origin snub
NSW head into the 2020 State of Origin series as one of the shortest-priced favourites in recent memory, but the Maroons may still have an ace up their sleeve with wily coach Wayne Bennett.
The series opener at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday was rocked with some huge injury news for Queensland - forcing Maroons coach Wayne Bennett into a late team shake-up.
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There was even more drama before kick-off with Channel 9 being slammed by fans and footy commentators for cutting away from the Welcome to Country and speaking over the top of the traditional presentation.
Former AFL star Tony Armstrong led the outcry after local elder Karl Telfer, a Kaurna man from the Adelaide Plains region, welcomed the State of Origin to the local area.
However as he finished his welcome and a traditional dance began to be performed while Telfer played a didgeridoo, Channel 9 host James Bracey began speaking over the top of the music and eventually cut away from the dance to an interview between Karl Stefanovic and Andrew Johns.
"The locals are certainly loving it here at the Adelaide Oval," Bracey said over the top of the Welcome to Country.
"The atmosphere certainly is building and we are moments away from kick-off. Karl, you're with Joey."
It comes after the NRL also backflipped on its national anthem ban after several players last year refused to sing.
Armstrong couldn't believe it when the Welcome to Country was snubbed.
"Channel 9 just started commentating over the Welcome to Country. Cool cool cool," Armstrong wrote on Twitter.
"You won't believe it. We made it to the end of the anthem."
Fox Sports' Adam Peacock also wrote: "Welcome to Country should be before Anthem with both teams out there"
Triple J reporter Avani Dias posted: "I clocked about 20 seconds of the Welcome to Country before they cut to the commentators. Interesting decision considering the anthem debacle".
Fans on Twitter also described Nine's decision as "disrespectful", "rude", "unbelievable" and "a total lack of respect".
Originally published as Nine roasted for 'disrespectful' Origin snub