Munster’s ball: How a newly teetotal genius became the toast of Queensland

The beers were flowing in Queensland’s dressing rooms – but the man of the moment was happy to give them a miss.

Jun 09, 2022, updated Jun 09, 2022
Cameron Munster was Man of the Match for Game 1 of the 2022 State of Origin series at Accor Stadium in Sydney. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Cameron Munster was Man of the Match for Game 1 of the 2022 State of Origin series at Accor Stadium in Sydney. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Cameron Munster has credited a booze ban for his tremendous run of form that reached new heights in Wednesday’s upset State of Origin defeat of NSW in Sydney.

The man of the match terrorised the Blues’ defence and came up with a handful of clutch defensive plays in a 16-10 win, their first in Sydney since 2017.

The Melbourne Storm five-eighth said he hadn’t drunk alcohol since checking himself into for a four-week rehabilitation stint in the off-season to address drinking and gambling addictions.

That drastic move came after the infamous Storm post-season white powder scandal almost cost him his NRL contract.

“It’s been easy, it doesn’t faze me … I haven’t had an urge or feel like I’m missing out,” he said of his first dry Origin camp.

“I’m still enjoying my life and the good times without it.

“Although when Alfie (Langer) gets a couple of drinks in him he wants his little buddy back .. but the boys respect that I want be to playing my best footy.”

The No.6 insists he isn’t sure how that happens, describing Wednesday’s carve up as a “little bit of madness”.

“I don’t know what I’m doing but .. I don’t think the defence does (either). It’s a nice trait to have,” he said.

But, however it occurs, Munster said his new off-field discipline meant it’s happening more often than ever before.

InQueensland in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

“Not drinking, being fitter (means I’m) a little more present in games and training,” he said.
“Giving a lot more to the younger boys coming through, a bit more guidance, I’ve been getting a lot more kicks out of that.”

Queensland fullback Kalyn Ponga said Munster was the most naturally talented player he’s shared a field with.

“I don’t know how he does it. I wouldn’t say a loose cannon, a controlled cannon,” he said of Munster’s game style.

“He’s off the piss and look at him, he’s reaping the rewards.”

Queensland now have the upper hand ahead of game two in Perth on July 26 and the luxury of a third game at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Rookie coach Billy Slater proved his smarts with clever use of his bench, particularly after ankle injuries to winger Xavier Coates and backrower Jeremiah Nanai.

Nanai returned to the field but Coates is facing a stint on the sidelines, Slater acknowledging that extended squad members and North Queensland teammates Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Murray Taulagi would be jostling to replace the Storm flyer in Perth.

Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy