National Rugby League

Bring back the biff

Andrew Webster thinks NRL needs to bring back the biff.

Without meaning to anger any concerned mums, doctors, lawyers, headmasters, public relations experts, priests and columnists from the front sections of newspapers, can I make a bold suggestion to the NRL?

Allow players to throw a few punches again. Just a couple.?Please?

Not for my sake, but The Game. Of rugby league, not Thrones.

Last Friday night’s extra-time match between the Broncos and the Roosters was gripping and beautiful, right down to the final play when Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt slipped through the defensive line to score the match-winning try.

The game had crackled from the opening whistle, and much of it had to do with Roosters cranky pants Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Broncos counterpart Sam Thaiday declaring war on each other from the first minute. They went looking for one another whenever the ball went their way. After each tackle, they would wrestle and shove and push and butt heads like bighorn sheep.

They had no other choice.

Since NRL boss Dave Smith rushed in the edict two years ago that punching would end in automatic time in the sin bin, the laws of the jungle have changed. It was compelling stuff nonetheless.

After the third or fourth time the players waltzed around, and players from both sides came rushing in, referee Gerard Sutton pulled the respective captains aside. He then delivered a remark that surely broke the hearts of many rugby league fans. Somewhere in the world, a solitary tear rolled down Peter Kelly’s cheek.

“You don’t have to throw a punch to be sent off,” Sutton advised. “If people come in and push and shove they will go to the sidelines.”

Um, excuse me? Come again?

Read more »

League has gone totally gay

It used to be Rugby League was a game for tough blokes.

But they banned the biff, banned sledging and now you can’t call people who annoy you on twitter pooftahs.

South Sydney’s Kiwi hooker Issac Luke is under investigation by the NRL integrity unit after posting a homophobic slur on Instagram.

In the continuing fallout from the Rabbitohs’ controversial 18-17 Easter Friday win over Canterbury, Luke posted the offensive comment on the social media site in response to attacks from Bulldogs fans. ?? Read more »

Bring back the biff

Rugby League went all sooky years ago, especially when they banned the biff and brought in gay developments like the judiciary.

Now Paul Gallen has been fined $50,000 for calling someone a c*nt on Twitter.

Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has been handed a $50,000 fine and provisional Kangaroos suspension for a foul-mouthed tirade he made against NRL officials on social media last week.

Gallen has seven days to respond to the breach notice and explain any mitigating factors that might have contributed to his Twitter brain-snapwhile holidaying in Hawaii.

The NRL imposed the heaviest possible code of conduct fine on the Sharks and NSW captain, and he will also be ineligible for Australia selection in 2015 unless he successfully completes a leadership course.

His eligibility would then be reviewed by an ARL commission panel.

And what did he do?? Read more »

Labour needs one of these rules

With the Labour party Congress on this weekend and with Trevor Mallard running amok off message, they could really do with a similar rule to the one just implemented in the NRL.

The NRL’s salary cap changes for next year include a “no dickheads policy” that allows clubs to sack misbehaving players without being financially penalised for doing so.

Cronulla had to make the agonising decision to get rid of their star playmaker, Todd Carney, after he was embroiled in another controversy, this time a lewd photo that went viral.

The NRL’s salary cap changes, which were announced a month ago, will not take effect in time to benefit the embattled Sharks. However, clubs are less likely to tolerate abhorrent behaviour from next year, knowing the funds allocated for terminated players can be spent rebuilding their roster. ?? Read more »

Pissy pants Packer put in prison

Australian judge the unflushable Greg Grogan (no jokes please) handed Russell Packers arse to him on a plate yesterday, handing down a fixed 2 year sentence for a brutal assault over an accusation of stealing two cigarettes, punching the man in the face then punching him several times on the ground after he hit his head on the ground before stomping on his head.


NATIONAL Rugby League player Russell Packer has been handed a two-year jail sentence for a “cowardly and deplorable” assault, in which he punched a man lying on the ground and stamped on his head.

The 24-year-old former Warriors forward and Newcastle Knights recruit appeared stunned as he was sentenced to time behind bars for the drunken assault on a man in Sydney’s CBD.

His lawyers said he would appeal against the severity of the sentence, but a magistrate refused to grant Packer bail in the meantime.

The Downing Centre Local Court was today told that Packer had been kicked out of the Chambers Hotel at 1.30am on November 23 last year because he was too drunk.

He moved about 20 metres from the Martin Place pub then got into a disagreement with another man. Read more »

Sports Talk: NRL round 1

Round one of the NRL season kicks off in just a few hours tonight, unfortunately it will merely be an afterthought because of the controversy surrounding the Cronulla Sharks. At this stage the outlook for the Sharks doesn’t look good. Up to 14 players may have used a sports supplement that contained a banned substance. Players were told on Tuesday they had 48 hours to accept a 6 month voluntary suspension if they had used the banned drug, knowingly or otherwise, or face a 2 year ban if investigated and found guilty by ASADA.

“Richard Redman is very experienced and what he would be advising the players would be that – if they were involved and if they know that they were involved – that they should come forward and receive a mitigation in that penalty,” Ings told Fox Sports.

“If they wait, they could get a two-year ban.

“Anti-doping is a very, very complicated area and Richard Redman, I’d say, would be the best-credentialed lawyer in the anti-doping space in Australia.”

Ings said there was a very clear process followed by ASADA in attempting to weed out drug cheats.

“What the players need to realize is that this is a house of cards and, if they are involved in doping, there’ll be someone who will break ranks and people who break ranks are going to get the credit and the reduced penalty,” said Ings.

He reiterated that ignorance was no defense amid speculation Cronulla players could sue the club if suspended, saying they had taken supplements provided by an employee of the club in good faith. Read more »

The NRL has tougher standards, Ctd

? Sydney Morning Herald

As blogged earlier, the NRL has tougher standards than New Zealand political parties.

The new Australian Rugby League Commission has suspended Cowboys halfback Robert Lui for a year and Sharks player Isaac Gordon for nine matches after both were found guilty of domestic violence-related assaults.

If the White Ribbon campaign wants to maximise its publicity this year it should ask which political parties are protecting senior members with suppression orders for domestic violence?

The NRL has tougher standards

? Sydney Morning Herald

It appears that the NRL has tougher standards than a major political party in NZ:

Cowboys halfback Robert Lui has been banned for the remainder of the NRL season for assaulting his partner.

In a strong statement by the ARL Commission, which met today, the 22-year-old Lui was suspended from the rest of the 2012 competition, putting his career in serious doubt.

Cronulla winger Isaac Gordon was banned for nine matches for a domestic violence matter.

Lui pleaded guilty last month to assaulting his partner Taleah Rae Backo following Mad Monday celebrations in September while he was at the Wests Tigers.

He was subsequently suspended then released by the Tigers and picked up North Queensland.

Gordon, who has been serving an indefinite suspension since the start of the season, will now be eligible to play in Round 10. Gordon pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge than Lui but one that involved a domestic violence issue.