The Courier-Mail

NOT PLAY­ING BY THE RULES

- Sports · Rugby · National Rugby League · Rugby League · Wayne Bennett · Australian RL Commission · Australian Rugby League

YOUR front-page story, “You’ll kill our game” (C-M, Aug 10), is bad enough, but is only a smidgeon of what is go­ing on be­hind the scenes of the NRL’s dis­as­trous sea­son.

Aus­tralian Rugby League Com­mis­sion chair­man Peter V'landys’ ob­ses­sion to recom­mence a bro­ken sea­son is slowly fall­ing apart be­fore his eyes, with the level of undis­ci­plined mis­be­haviour across the board, of­fi­cials, coaches and play­ers alike, just do­ing what they want with­out any dis­ci­pline or pa­tience, when the rest of the pop­u­la­tion is in lockdown or suf­fer­ing badly un­der se­vere re­stric­tions and deaths.

The se­lect list of play­ers who have breached the rules says it all.

Disobe­di­ence, mis­be­haviour, self-grat­i­fi­ca­tion, de­ceit and bla­tant dis­re­gard are a won­der­ful list of at­tributes for kids who are look­ing for role mod­els to em­u­late.

The big ques­tion is, when will this rub­bish stop, as it seems big fines and stand downs from play­ing are not work­ing.

Too much money and too much time on their hands for these elite lit­tle dar­lings, so, in­stead of a stand down from play, how about a “real penalty”?

These play­ers should be con­signed to the near­est emer­gency ICU ward, or an aged care home, dressed in

PPE cloth­ing and mask, work­ing 14 to 16-hour days during their stand-down pe­riod, just like our front­line med­i­cal staff at­tempt­ing to save those poor souls who are in­fected or dy­ing from coro­n­avirus.

Hit them with a les­son they will never for­get, not a measly fine, an em­bar­rass­ing news­pa­per story and a slap on the wrist with a feather duster.

Les Bryant, Du­rack

IT WAS only go­ing to be a mat­ter of time be­fore the NRL bub­ble was go­ing to prove too much to han­dle.

First we had the news about Wayne Ben­nett, Paul Vaughan and Al­lan Langer need­ing to grab a meal out­side the bub­ble, and now we have a player from the Bron­cos, Te­vita Pan­gai Jr, who had to get a hair­cut.

We all knew that the peo­ple in­volved in this game, that placed it­self on a pedestal above us or­di­nary be­ings, were go­ing to get bored sooner or later and it is com­ing to pass.

Send them all down to Mel­bourne, put them in lockdown and then they might just re­alise how good they’ve had it com­pared to some oth­ers. Duncan Har­man, Bun­damba

THE NRL was granted an ex­cep­tional al­lowance un­der strict con­di­tions to play when thou­sands of oth­ers have been quar­an­tined, lost jobs, and had their in­come re­duced.

How­ever, re­peat­edly one or two have flouted these con­di­tions claim­ing they were un­aware of the rules, which mind you they could have checked be­fore go­ing out.

De­spite a lot of tough talk from the NRL ex­ec­u­tive, they have yet again demon­strated a weak ad­her­ence to the rules by lim­ited de­ci­sive and se­vere penalty action.

Fines, con­sid­er­ing what some are paid, amount to noth­ing more than a slap on the wrist.

What needs to be done if they are se­ri­ous is, where play­ers, coaches and sup­port staff de­lib­er­ately or in­no­cently choose to leave their as­signed base, the whole team should be pe­nalised by dis­al­low­ing them to play for two weeks. I am sure peer pres­sure from their team mates, some of whom would have known what was go­ing on, will en­sure ev­ery­one as a team ad­heres to the con­di­tions. Patrick Mackey, Aca­cia Ridge

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