Tandy breaks his silence on NRL betting scandal
HE’S disappointed, annoyed and confused. Disappointed at Canterbury for sacking him.
Annoyed and confused a b o ut c r i t i c i s m f r o m Bulldogs greats.
But Ryan Tandy is not surprised. For the man at the very epicentre of the code’s most i nsidious tremor, Tandy wore a rem a r k a b l y c a l m e x - pression as he broke his silence yesterday.
‘‘ There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t at least get one sly comment,’’ Tandy laughs.
‘‘ But it’s generally in good humour and I’ve not had anyone call me anything nasty like a ‘ cheat’.
‘‘ The worst has been tradies pulling up alongside me at traffic lights and yelling out, ‘ Hey Tandy! Take t he t wo points!’ You’ve got to have a laugh . . . what else can you do?’’
Everyone knows the story, one that’s been retold on countless back and front pages since the NRL and police first beg a n i n v e s t i g a t i n g Tandy’s link to a betting plunge on last year’s Bulldogs-Cowboys clash.
Waves of cash rolled in for North Queensland to open the scoring with a penalty goal at juicy odds of $ 13. It was Tandy who, within the very first minute, handed over the ball and then conceded a penalty that gave the Cowboys a shot at goal. They declined and opened the scoring with a try.
When the identities of several who’d backed the option were linked to Tandy, the circumstanc e s nat ur a l l y i nvi t e d deep concern.
‘‘ I can definitely see why people think that way,’’ Tandy says. ‘‘ I can understand that point of view and where their opinion comes from. But I know what I’ve done and where I stand. People have come up to me and said things. That’s fine. They c a n have t hei r opinion.’’
Tandy is facing charges that stem from the NSW Crime Commission inquiry, but none that relate to match-fixing.
The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty to every allegation, but the Bulldogs stood him down on full pay.
Then last Wednesday a f t e r noon, t hey s ummoned Tandy to appear at a show-cause meeting.
On legal advice, Tandy declined to answer their questions and was duly dismissed.
Tandy’s legal team argued that any statement would compromise the impending criminal process. And that’s why he can’t answer those questions here either.
But the Kincumber juni o r d o e s h a v e s o m e choice words for certain officials at the Bulldogs, against whom he commenced unfair dismissal proceedings on Monday.
‘‘ I was a bit rattled,’’ he says. ‘‘ I thought the Dogs might have stood by me a little bit more.’’
Most of Tandy’s angst, however, is reserved for high-profile critics who blasted him for not standing down voluntarily.
‘‘ The people I’m really disappointed in are guys like Steve Mortimer and Luke Patten, who bagged me for not standing down voluntarily,’’ he says. ‘‘ They mouthed off without knowing the facts.
‘‘ The truth is I never even had the chance to stand myself down. The club decided to stand me down before I could even talk to them about it . . . so it’s disappointing to be absolutely sprayed by p e o p l e wh o h a v e n o idea.’’
IN LIMBO: Former Bulldog Ryan Tandy training at Coogee Oval yesterday