Wests Tigers captain Aaron Woods returned to training on Wednesday after a week off post Origin but his comical celebration of Michael Jennings' match-winning try late in Game Three continues to follow him around.
In one of the funniest on-field sequences in memory, Jennings' impressive try was quickly followed by a huge team hug – minus Jennings. Winger Josh Mansour rushed in shifted the huddle out from under Woods as he attempted to leap on top causing him to take an airswing and tumble onto the ground while a bemused Jennings was left to celebrate off to the side on his own.
Adding to the chaos, Blues five-eighth James Maloney put a shot on retiring Maroons lock Corey Parker, leading to the comical image of the veteran Parker angrily chasing Maloney around the Blues huddle looking for all the world like an angry older brother who'd just copped a slap from a cheeky younger brother in the backyard.
An image of an airborne Woods has since gone viral and been turned into all manner of memes and if the likeable Tigers skipper thought the fuss would have died down while he laid low in the week since, his first club media opp since the game told him otherwise.
"Just 'what an idiot'," Woods grinned when asked for his assessment of his leaping airswing.
"I should have ran in to give the boys a cuddle and not tried to jump on top."
The 25-year-old though seemed unfazed by his addition to Origin folklore but stressed more than anything he was just happy to get a morale-boosting win.
"It was a funny moment, it was a pretty weird moment too because a lot of things happened at once – the boys didn't congratulate 'Jenko' and 'Birdy' [Jack Bird] tripping over as well and Jimmy getting in a little scuffle," Woods added.
"Every time I see someone I've never met in the street they always bring it up. I was out the other night and some old bloke came up to me, went to shake my hand and missed it on purpose. It's something people probably won't let me live down for a long time but it's just good to be part of a winning Origin moment."
Woods's teammates could also afford to laugh at their skipper's misfortune.
"I think he's copped it enough but he'll be all right. We all had a laugh about it, it was a massive fail but it's all fun and games," laughed centre Kevin Naiqama.
Added prop Tim Grant: "I think that defines Woodsy as a guy. He failed at the try celebration but I think he made up for it as well. That's just him enjoying footy. He comes in here every day like that bouncing off the walls."
With Origin now done and dusted and the club's three Origin stars in Woods, Robbie Farah and James Tedesco having earned a well-earned rest afterwards, Woods was ready to throw himself into the club's late season scrap to earn a finals berth.
"It's been good, the club gave us a week off, they knew what the Origin period was like," Woods said.
"The last couple of years we've come back and been pretty flat. 'JT' (coach Jason Taylor) was good, he gave us seven days off so it's our first day back today and I'm that excited for the last seven weeks.
"I feel a lot better, especially getting a win in Game Three. That's a lot better for the mental state, if we had have lost that Game Three it would have been pretty disappointing to come back here but it was good to get a win.
"The way the boys have been playing here since we've been out in the Origin period as well, they've been enormous so really looking forward to getting back with the bunch of boys we've got here."
This article first appeared on NRL.com
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