The fallout from Good Friday’s clash between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury Bulldogs continues, with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting this morning the Dogs could be docked competition points.
Canterbury on Friday night appealed for fans to ‘dob in’ anyone who was involved in the ugly post-match incident where bottles were thrown from the members section at ANZ Stadium. Six fans were removed from the ground as police review CCTV footage of the incident.
I think the rugby league community is in full agreement that violence is not the way to respond to a decision going against your side. These images bring the game down for the 99.9% of supporters who abide by the terms and conditions of entry into a game.
The controversial penalty against James Graham on kicker Adam Reynolds is likely to cost both sides. Reynolds injuring knee ligaments and is likely to miss most of the season. He was in contention to partner Bunnies five-eighth Luke Keary in the halves for New South Wales at Origin time.
Tony Archer was quick to come out and side with the referee’s decision post-game. Depending on what law of the game you apply to the decision, there is certainly a grey area. Some sight section 15 of players misconduct, “if the player in possession has delayed kicking the ball until the tackler has commenced to dive, the tackle should not be penalised”. Rule ten also states if a player is fouled in attempting a field goal a penalty shall be awarded in front of the posts. There’s differing views on whether it was legal or not.
Graham was involved in several run-ins with officials during the fiery clash. His tirade after the Reynolds penalty could be sent straight to judiciary along with team mate David Klemmer. Josh Morris is in deep trouble after lashing out at Isaac Luke in the act of scoring a try towards the end of the first half.
In a bizarre twist on Saturday, Isaac Luke was involved in a homophobic statement on his Instagram account “get off my page you lil poofters”. Luke later apologising for his comment saying emotion got the better of him. The National Rugby League Integrity Unit are investigating.
Players are human but are also aware of how many followers they have on social media. This unprofessional behaviour has let Luke down on different occasions over the years of playing at the top level.
Luke’s not alone as the controversy continues out of the game.
JayCar’s CEO Gary Johnson has demanded the NRL give the Bulldogs the two competition points claiming incompetent officiating prevented his side from winning. There’s no way the governing body will even consider for one second the complaint by Johnson.
It’s not the first time these two sides have been involved in an ugly clash on Good Friday. Two years ago Canterbury’s Krisnan Inu was lucky not to be sent off for a dangerous tackle on Greg Inglis in the Rabbitohs 17-12 victory.
Good Friday will never disappoint in grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons.