Sport Rugby League NRL Straight Six: Melbourne again in the eye of the storm
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NRL Straight Six: Melbourne again in the eye of the storm

It is Melbourne Storm bashing season according to their chief. Photo: Getty
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Melbourne Storm has been put under the microscope for its wrestling tactics and ability to slow down the ruck after South Sydney CEO Shane Richardson publicly attacked the tactic.

Storm CEO Dave Donaghy responded in kind, publishing a letter to club members alleging there was a dedicated campaign against Storm on an annual basis.

“Like you, I love this time of the year – it’s getting close to finals time,” Donaghy wrote.

“And, like clockwork, the annual Storm-bashing of our club has begun.

Funny how it always seems to happen about this time of the year, every year. As a club we always focus on being the best we can, on and off the field, and treat white noise as just that.”

It was a strong defence, but unfortunately coincided with Melbourne’s stunning capitulation to the Raiders on Saturday night.

Storm surrendered an 18-0 lead against Canberra and ultimately lost 22-18 in one of the biggest comebacks of the season.

Perhaps the club is best to do its talking on field.

Ring around suggests gift in order

Not only did Storm have that drama to deal with, but the NRL found itself being questioned in some quarters for gifting a diamond ring worth $15,000 to Barbara Smith, the wife of Cameron, at a private dinner to celebrate the Storm player’s 400th NRL game.

Cameron Smith was away from home a lot during 400 games. Photo: Getty

The gift was not approved by the ARL Commission and has been heavily criticised.

But NRL boss Todd Greenberg has defended his actions.

“Our biggest stars wouldn’t be where they are today without the women in their lives,” he said.

“We make no apologies for honouring the amazing role Barb has played and the sacrifices she has made throughout Cameron’s career.

“His feat made history and may never be done again. It was right to acknowledge the achievement in the way we did.”

Hall of Famers did it for League

One NRL decision not up for question was the elevation of seven individuals to the Hall of Fame.

Ex-players Danny Buderus, Ruben Wiki, Stacey Jones and Craig Young along with administrator JJ Giltinan, and media figures Ray Warren and Peter Frilingos were acclaimed at the Carriageworks induction in Sydney for their huge contribution.

Buderus and Young did it all for their clubs, Newcastle and St George, as well as for NSW and Australia, while Wiki and Jones are two of New Zealand’s finest products.

Giltinan, who died in 1950, helped found rugby league in Australia and the NRL’s premiership shield is named after him.

Frilingos, who died in 2004, was a renowned writer and radio broadcaster, while Warren is Channel Nine’s legendary commentator who has been calling games since the 1970s.


Stuttering Souths need to rediscover form

Something’s rotten at Redfern, with South Sydney bumbling its way to a disappointing 14-6 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday.

The Bunnies were flat and uninspiring, unable to conjure anything in attack and looked well past their best.

The defeat was their third in a row and their fourth in seven games, seeing them slip out of the top four.

Souths were so dominant at the start of the season, and it appeared as though they could really challenge Storm and Roosters for the title.

But now they are meandering and look anything but challengers.

Seibold’s swipe backfires

Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold caused some dramas last week when he had a crack at Sydney Roosters halfback Luke Keary.

Seibold’s star man Darius Boyd has been under fire all season for his lacklustre displays on the field. His coach tried to deflect some of the heat off him by targeting Keary.

“I had a look through the competition last weekend. There is an Australian No.6 (Keary) playing for a team in Sydney who only made four metres last week and missed five tackles,” Seibold said.

“Not one thing was said in the media about that. His team won and our team won. For whatever reason because Darius only had one run, he has been crucified all week from what I understand. I just think everyone needs to back off on Darius.”

As a tactic it has backfired on Seibold badly.

Carney’s past bubbles to surface

The squeamish may want to stop reading now, but former NRL bad boy Todd Carney has opened up about his controversial career and the infamous ‘bubbler’ incident that saw him kicked out of the competition in 2014.

Carney was sacked by Cronulla, and never played in the NRL again, after a photo of him trying to urinate in his own mouth went viral.

Todd Carney
Todd Carney had an ignoble exit from NRL. Photo: Getty

“It was a stupid party trick, very tasteless and inappropriate, but I feel it needs to be put in context,” the 33-year-old wrote in his book.

“It was at no one else’s expense and I was just acting the fool. And my rights were violated … I’d clearly done something inappropriate, but … no one was hurt by my actions – they were just dumb, plain and simple.

“Every time I go to a public toilet, I find myself anxious that blokes will see me and take the mickey out of me.”