DISCORD 2013: Edition 11

DiscordBy STEVE MASCORD

CANBERRA have a long history of taking the moral high ground in punishment of players, only to have those stars come back to haunt – and beat – them.
Talk to Raiders CEO Don Furner and he’ll tell you the decision to sack Todd Carney for repeated misdemeanours in 2008 was the right one. But does he wish Carney was playing with Canberra this year? Hmm … probably.
If Josh Dugan is sacked by Canberra this week and joins another NRL club, one suspects that events will have played out exactly as he wanted them to. He is reportedly unhappy with coach David Furner and didn’t show up to recovery on Monday morning after the loss to Penrith.
Certainly, posting pictures of himself drinking on a suburban roof was provocative – but maybe it was intentionally so. On one hand, the club loses faith with other players by taking no action. On the other, a key player is free to go and ply his trade elsewhere.
It could easily be construed as a tasteless attempt to back his club into a cold, dark corner.
There is an organisational misconnect right now when one NRL club sacks a player for behavioural issues and another picks him up almost immediately. Players can engineer situations that allow them to get out of binding contracts and even earn more money – or escape a coach they don’t like –for nothing.
If Sonny Bill Williams had gone on repeated benders in 2008, perhaps Toulon and/or Williams/Anthony Mundine would not have to have had to pay t hat massive transfer fee for him!
The NRL needs to create a body that filters disciplinary action imposed at one club and applies it to the entire sport. Players should not be rewarded for refusing to show up at work and thumbing their noses at their employers on social media.
If a club suspension is found to be just, it should apply across rugby league. Otherwise, the roofs of Australia will be littered with disgruntled stars each Monday morning.
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I’M pretty sure the most recent rugby league book to roll off the presses is Dave Hadfield’s Learning Curve, the story of student rugby league.
If ever there was a case of a dry subject being well-oiled by wit, whimsy and ridiculously good writing, this is it. Hadfield is our sport’s best bard and he never passes up the chance to make a pun, pithy comment or wry observation.
Except once.
At one point early in the book, he quotes a Student Rugby League official called Bing Crosbee – and then says nothing more about him! Can you believe that?
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FEEDBACK now and Bill wanted to know if journalists and “shock jocks” would be apologising for criticising the government, the ACC and ASADA over their initial press conference.

read on

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