Rub­bish claim mars ef­fort of stand­out year

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - LIAM BUT­TER­WORTH COM­MENT

THE al­le­ga­tions against the Cowboys sug­gest­ing they may have breached the salary cap come at a time when North Queens­land are on track to shat­ter club records.

Sit­ting on 14 wins and 32 points on the NRL lad­der, the Cowboys are just one vic­tory away from equalling their most com­pe­ti­tion points and most num­ber of wins in an NRL sea­son with six games re­main­ing.

They re­main set for a record fin­ish in the top two and are still a chance of win­ning the mi­nor premier­ship, ar­guably hav­ing an eas­ier run home than cur­rent lead­ers Bris­bane Bron­cos.

The NRL has said it won’t be in­ves­ti­gat­ing the club over the al­le­ga­tions that 10 play­ers bought prop­er­ties from chair­man Lau­rence Lancini over the past seven years.

Sim­i­lar al­le­ga­tions were in­ves­ti­gated by the NRL in 2013 by for­mer salary cap com­mis­sioner Ian Schu­bert and the NRL de­cided that no ac­tion needed to be taken.

Be­fore the Fair­fax Media re­port came out yesterday af­ter­noon, wild ru­mours about the Cowboys and a salary cap breach had been cir­cling on so­cial media for days, mostly from anony­mous ac­counts.

The online ru­mours fes­tered and made the Cowboys look as if they were guilty of the kind of sys­temic breaches which saw the Can­ter­bury Bull­dogs and Mel­bourne Storm stripped of ti­tles and com­pe­ti­tion points.

As Cowboys coach Paul Green men­tioned when he fronted the media yesterday, there are mil­lions of ru­mours in rugby league and noth­ing is se­cret. There are al­ways ru­mours about player move­ments or get­ting up to no good, most with­out any ba­sis.

While the Cowboys are in the clear, mud sticks and if the Cowboys are to go on and do well in the fi­nals peo­ple will bring up al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing.

It would be a shame if the Cowboys best ever sea­son is not looked upon as a credit to qual­ity coach­ing, canny re­cruit­ing and hard work, rather than base­less sug­ges­tions of cheat­ing.

Paul Green.

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