A BIT OF BALANCE, PLEASE!
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?
BRETT KEMPSTER, VIA EMAIL
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.