Rugby League Week - - Pre Game -

It is a great shame your RLW Editor in Chief, Martin Lene­han, chose to be so se­lec­tive in his ar­ti­cle cov­er­ing the sub­ject mat­ter of poor sports­man­ship (in the Septem­ber 15 is­sue). He seems in­tent to solely high­light the sup­pos­edly poor sports­man­ship shown by Cronulla’s Mike En­nis and Jack Bird af­ter the Can­berra v Cronulla match, yet his mag­a­zine com­pletely ig­nores the James Roberts kick­ing in­ci­dent in the very same round of fi­nals.

Ac­cord­ing to his ar­ti­cle, it is con­sid­ered “boor­ish” to mimic a Vik­ing clap taken from the Ice­landic soccer team, or hold an in­dex fin­ger to your lips to shoosh the ri­val team’s fans. Martin goes on to say, in part, “It is one thing to taunt op­po­nents — a blight on the game which is out of con­trol”. What a per­fect missed op­por­tu­nity for a sea­soned jour­nal­ist to then launch an equally scathing at­tack con­demn­ing James Roberts’ kick­ing of a fel­low player in the back while he lay help­less on the ground. Even more amaz­ing was the com­plete over­sight by four on-field of­fi­cials and the keen eye of the ever-present hope­less bunker.

With se­lec­tive cov­er­age such as this, is it any won­der the per­cep­tion of favoured teams within the NRL is alive and well?


SAYS: Martin’s point was that the Sharks’ an­tics af­ter their win in Can­berra crossed a line. It’s one thing to strike out at an­other player in the heat of the mo­ment, as Roberts un­de­ni­ably did — and was de­servedly pun­ished for. It’s quite an­other to mock the fans and gloat over a win, like Bird and En­nis. Play­ers who act like Roberts have the ju­di­ciary to an­swer to. Play­ers who act like the Cronulla boys only have to an­swer to the court of public opin­ion — hence the ar­ti­cle.

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