Prime Minister Anthony Albanese led New South Wales to victory in Canberra’s unofficial annual statement of origin but was held up over a disagreement on the football pitch.
Politicians from across the spectrum set up their own version of the NRL series outside Parliament House on Tuesday, dressed in blue and maroon to represent their home state.
But Mr Albanese’s attempt just before halftime created tensions on the pitch between him and Sports Minister Anika Wells.
Ms Wells, representing Queensland, claimed to have tapped Mr Albanese just before hitting the ball on the grass.
However, Mr Albanese insisted he scored the try cleanly and the game continued.
Mr Albanese appeared on the Today show during halftime, where he shared an update on the match.
“We are doing well. NSW leads 3-1 at halftime,” he said.
“I scored the try to give it a 3-1 lead and at that point I think the game should have been stopped at half time.
“It’s all kind of fun.”
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The prime minister said the opposition would “stop for nothing” after former Wallabies player and current Senator David Pocock was spotted in the maroon uniform.
“I can report the biggest scandal since Greg Inglis played for Queensland,” said Albanian.
“David Pocock of the ACT puts on a Queensland jersey.
“They will stop for nothing.”
Mr Albanese later confirmed the win on social media, saying “happy to help NSW win game 4” after the Blues lost the official tiebreaker to Queensland last month.
Ms. Wells admitted her defeat on Twitter and offered her opponents a brutal dig.
“It is my responsibility to remind NSW that the real shield still belongs to QLD,” she said.
At a press conference that afternoon, the Sports Minister was also asked about the match and Mr Albanese’s controversial attempt.
“We all agree that the referee gave the prime minister a chance, I think we all agree that the referee will be the next governor general based on that decision,” she said.
Social media users who responded to Mr Albanese’s post brutally linked Tuesday’s match to former Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Morrison was on the campaign trail in May when he accidentally hit an eight-year-old boy while visiting the Devonport Strikers Football Club in Tasmania.
“Good to see that no small children were injured during the game!” a user wrote on Mr Albanian’s post.
“Tell Scomo you can tackle in that game,” said another.
“Congratulations on not knocking over a child while exercising,” added a third.