Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Why won,COt Players Learn?

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Why won,COt Players Learn?

Article excerpt




NEXT month I turn 63, and for as long as I can remember I have had an affinity with rugby league. I donCOt recall how it started, but I know it hasnCOt stopped.

But while the game is as entertaining now as it has ever been, and the athleticism and skill level of the players has never been greater, regrettably one aspect remains a constant Co rugby league attracts more than its fair share of off-field scandals.

And allegations this week a woman was punched in the face by Rabbitohs back-rower Ben TeCOo makes my stomach churn.

There is no point in discussing here the Cyhe said, she saidCO accounts of the incident. Eventually we will be presented with all the facts, as sordid as they may well be. But the reality is that a woman suffered a fractured eye socket and the odds are she did not hit herself.

Even if there were extenuating circumstances and TeCOo was acting in self-defence Co as he has claimed Co the bottom line is the rugby league brand has yet again been sullied by boof-headed behaviour.

In his defence, at least TeCOo advised his club immediately of the incident. But counteracting that is the fact the Rabbitohs took five weeks to inform the NRL. As fans, we are entitled to know why.

A number of aspects of this case are repugnant, not the least being the fact the woman was injured and Co apparently Co left to fend for herself. Another is that the incident became a media storm just two days after the completion of the NRL Women in League round.

So many people have worked so hard, for many years, to positively highlight the involvement of women in a game that has long held a macho, male-dominated image. But as is the case in society, rugby league always seems to unearth another rotten apple, and many are repeat offenders.

While no-one expects the players to be angels, the modern game demands a high level of decency. …

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