Tandy breaks his si­lence on NRL bet­ting scan­dal

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

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

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