Taking the Country out of the boys
By STEVE SPINKS
YOU could have forgiven Jo Matthews, the operations manager of the Comfort Inn All Seasons at Ballina, for being a little wary when the NSW Country Origin rugby league team booked in last week.
After all, professional rugby league teams don't have the best reputation when it comes to touring.
There have been a number of unsavoury incidents in recent times, including the Newcastle Knights' romp through Bathurst earlier this year.
But don't link the NSW Country rugby league team with thoughts of footballers behaving badly.
According to Matthews, the Country team were a delight.
"We didn't have one problem whatsoever," Matt-hews said. "They were all really polite and we'd be very happy to have them back again."
Matthews approached The Northern Star to highlight the Country lads' fine behaviour and to spread the word that not all footballers are bad news.
"If you give a dog a bad name it sticks," she said. "But that's certainly not the case here."
During the presentation after the loss to City in Lismore, the Country team presented the Comfort Inn with a signed jumper and two footballs.
"They were very easy going," Matthews said.
"They were often approached for autographs by kids and staff, and I never saw them say no."
The Comfort Inn's experience was so good they will now host the NSW Country rugby union team, which will play in Lismore on May 28 against Perth Gold in an Australian Rugby Shield match.