Sport:Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck

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Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck© Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Veteran rugby league reporter Paul Kent has doubled down on his claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's State of Origin success can be largely chalked up to blind luck.

Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
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Kent penned an article for The Daily Telegraph earlier this week in which he crowned Fittler "the heavyweight champion" of serendipity.

He believes Fittler's series victory last year was largely due to the fact Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk retired.

"Freddy luck," Kent called it.

Then, this year, Kent pointed to how injuries to almost every other five-eighth candidate led to Fittler picking James Maloney for Origin II following the series-opening loss.

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Maloney, of course, was stellar in the Blues' thumping win.

And when Nathan Cleary went down with an ankle injury midway through the second match, Fittler had Wade Graham to call on in the halves.

Graham had only returned to football a fortnight earlier after a nine-month layoff with an ACL injury. More "Freddy luck", Kent said.

Speaking on Triple M, Kent didn't back down from his stance.

“Fittler’s one of those guys who’s had this — good players make their own luck and he’s got tremendous talent and he always has — but he’s also had a lot of things happen his way,” Kent said on Sunday.

“You can argue the good ones make it happen their way, but I’m just saying he took over as coach of NSW when the Blues had won one series in 12.

“Almost immediately after he takes over, Cooper Cronk announces he’s not going to play Origin anymore.

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"We already knew Johnathan Thurston was about to retire and then before we get into his first series, two weeks before that Cameron Smith retired.

“Hence the word ‘luck’ … Everybody gets lucky, some are luckier than others. That’s the way it is. It just happens that way."

But Kent insisted he wasn't trying to discredit Fittler.

“The thing about Fittler is he puts himself in a position to benefit from that luck. He’s not sitting at home on a couch," he said.

“My point is he walks in and we’ve all talked about this legendary Queensland side that’s had the best spine that began with Slater, Lockyer, Thurston and Smith, and then became Slater, Thurston, Cronk and Smith for the 12 years.

“Then almost in Freddy’s first year, he walks into and it there’s only an injured Billy Slater left who missed the first game.”

Fellow reporter James Hooper challenged Kent's opinion, pointing out that Fittler had blooded 11 debutants in Origin I in 2018 before going on to lift the shield.

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“He had to coach a whole NSW side that he picked last season that had a whole heap of rookies and he had to get them to go out and win the series – which he did,” Hooper said.

Hooper added: "Did he get lucky when he missed out on the NSW job and Laurie Daley got the job instead of him a few years earlier?”

Still, Kent's mind was not changed. “You could argue he did. Because he didn’t run into [Smith, Cronk, Thurston]. He got lucky.”

Hooper fired back: “He wanted the job. He got knocked back. He got rejected. So, in failure, he got lucky?”

Kent shot back: “Yes, he got lucky. Because you know why? He didn’t have to coach against them.

“Listen, do yourself a favour. Get your phone out and Google what the word luck means. It’s actually not planned.

“He got lucky because he didn’t run into that Queensland side which would’ve bashed around his winning record a little bit.”

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Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
Paul Kent doubles down on claim that NSW coach Brad Fittler's success is largely due to luck
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