Someone's already mentioned it in the comment section on a Barba articleSo Barba's careers over...Cue the outrage on social media about Lodge still in the game... There'll be no mention of Packer or Inglis. Just the evil Broncos.
What's this about Pearce?The convenient and coincidental timing of under performing or ex roosters players getting caught in controversy can surely no longer be ignored/denied by the nrl. Why is every other club bar the club that they were at at the time getting punished. Great salary cap management? Bullshit!
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/sport/nrl/with-more-videos-to-come-suspending-napa-would-be-a-grave-mistake-20190207-p50wck.htmlWith more videos to come, suspending Napa would be a grave mistake
Andrew WebsterFebruary 7, 2019 — 9.00pm
Should the NRL suspend Dylan Napa from the opening rounds of the NRL because of his leading role in the “Big Papi” sex tape series?
Of course not. But that’s what NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg is expected to do within two weeks and, when he does, he will box himself into a corner that not even he can slip out of.
Consequences: Suspending Dylan Napa would set a grave precedent.Janie Barrett
When the next explicit video revealing players “bringing the game into disrepute” from several years ago eventually emerges, he will have to suspend them, too.
And it will happen. Another sordid video is about to drop and it doesn’t involve Napa.
It involves three current big-name players and, unlike the most recent one linked to Napa and another player, this one is legit.
I haven’t seen the video but I do know this: players at one club have seen stills from it and they are already edgy about what happens if it goes viral on social media.
Indeed, quite a few players are nervous right now. Says one: “We can’t remember what we did on a night out four or five years ago, let alone if someone shot it on their phones. I’m a different bloke now. I’ve settled down and got married and have kids.”
Hard line: NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg this week shut the door on Ben Barba returning to the game.AAP
Greenberg returned early from annual leave last month in the face of the worst off-season for scandal in history, including the Julian O’Neill years.
He talked tough about banning players for life if it’s proven that they have assaulted or sexually abused a woman. Within days, Cowboys fullback Ben Barba was sacked following an altercation with his long-time partner, Ainslie, at the Townsville casino following a drinking session.
“It starts now,” Greenberg said. Maybe it should’ve “started” with Barba a long time ago.
He also said this about the Bulldogs potentially losing Napa, who hasn’t played for the club since his off-season transfer from the Roosters: “It might be [harsh], but it's not my primary concern. It's a bit like the Cowboys. It's a little harsh on them: they are missing a player [Barba] that's never laced on a boot for them. That's the real difficulty with recruitment and retention for clubs. My message to clubs is when you are buying and selling players, look equally at the values as opposed to the skill-set. They should be assessed in equal priority.”
Greenberg’s strong words about Barba are fair enough. He had no choice but to ban Barba for life. But Napa’s indiscretions aren’t in the same postcode.
To suspend him for something he did four or five years ago, when he was 22, from a club he hasn’t yet played for after an off-season transfer from the Roosters, would be grossly unfair.
A hefty fine would be appropriate followed by a clear warning to players and clubs that the next bloke to star in their own amateur porn video that finds its way into the public domain can expect to be sidelined indefinitely.
Instead, head office will make an example of Napa because it can. Greenberg will do so to back up his tough talk from a few weeks ago.
This is where the NRL lets itself down.
Fans are growing angry, if not weary, about the image of their game being constantly trashed. But they also believe in fairness. They know grandstanding when they see it.
Suspending Napa and wounding the Bulldogs’ season before it even starts for foolish behaviour from four to five years ago is simply not fair.
Neither was Greenberg’s left jab about the Dogs not doing sufficient due diligence before they signed Napa.
Sure, it has been widely known that Napa is a loose cannon off the field. He was the man of the match in post-grand final celebrations, as evidenced by the sight of him on Oxford Street still wearing his playing gear from the night before.
No return: Ben Barba's alleged assault on his partner was just the latest chapter in the NRL's off-season of woe.AAP
The Roosters were also concerned at the start of last season about his lack of discipline. Napa didn’t want to leave the club but was told quite clearly he would be playing NSW Cup if he didn’t take the offer on the table at Belmore. He was considered a liability.
But how were the Bulldogs to know that videos like the ones featuring Napa would leak out as they did? They are football clubs, not MI5.
Because the integrity unit’s verdict on Napa won’t drop for another fortnight, the Bulldogs are saying very little on the matter even if it’s becoming clearer by the day that their man is about be scapegoated.
Chief executive Andrew Hill did tell me this: “The club, our sponsors and our members would find it very hard to accept if we were penalised for an incident involving Dylan when he played at another club and up to five years ago. To make comparisons with other incidents is wrong. They should be considered on a case-by-case basis.”
There’s also a belief from several clubs, not just from the Bulldogs, that Souths are getting a dream run through this delicate time.
They struggle to see the difference between the nude FaceTime chat involving Sam Burgess and a woman that made front-page news during last year’s finals series and the “Big Papi” tapes involving Napa.
Rival clubs also continue to moan about Greenberg providing a reference for Greg Inglis for his appearance in court on drink-driving charges last month.
New details of Dragons player Jack De Belin's rape allegation revealed
By Shannon Tonkin
St George Illawarra Dragons player Jack De Belin has had his bail conditions relaxed on account of his celebrity footballer status, as details of his alleged rape of a woman inside a Wollongong apartment block have been aired for the first time in court.
Police documents reveal De Belin, 27, is accused of repeatedly raping the woman inside his cousin’s apartment on Gipps Street in the early hours of December 9 last year while his friend and co-accused, Callan Sinclair, 21, watched on.
At one stage, De Belin is alleged to have invited Sinclair to participate, saying “come on, have a go”, as the alleged victim lay on the bed, crying.
De Belin and Sinclair, who both fronted court for the first time on Tuesday, have each pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault in company.
Callan Sinclair arrives at Wollongong court on Tuesday. Picture: Adam McLean
Sinclair was in and out of the registrar’s court in a matter of minutes, however, De Belin’s case was referred to Magistrate Roger Clisdell after De Belin’s lawyer David Campbell SC flagged an application to change his current bail.
De Belin has spent the past two months reporting to Wollongong Police Station twice a week - Mondays and Fridays - however Mr Campbell asked for the court to delete that condition on account of his need to travel with the Dragons to interstate games.
The application was opposed by police prosecutor Sergeant Sean Thackray, who argued the reporting condition was not an onerous one given the seriousness of the charge.
“The community expectation in relation to the nature and seriousness of the offence would dictate that all measures are put in place to ensure he attends court,” Sgt Thackray said.
“The prosecution submits that if at anytime he becomes fearful of being convicted, the temptation arises for him to leave the jurisdiction.
“I’m not saying its likely, I’m saying it’s a risk. To mitigate that concern, the bail officer put a reporting condition in place.”
Mr Campbell said his client was currently being supervised by the NRL Integrity Unit (two board members were in court to hear the application) and that De Belin did not present a flight risk given his sporting commitments, the fact he owned real estate in the area and that his wife of six years was heavily pregnant.
Magistrate Clisdell agreed to delete the condition, finding that De Belin was essentially “too well known” to flee, especially given he had already surrendered his passport.
“He has a substantial contract to play professional rugby league, and it requires him to travel interstate,” he said.
“Given he’s a high profile sports person, he’s been in media for a number of years, I don’t think he presents a flight risk.”
Both cases were adjourned to April 17 for police to serve the brief of evidence on Sinclair and De Belin’s legal representatives.
Dragons player Jack De Belin and friend Callan Sinclair on a pre-Christmas pub crawl in Wollongong.
Police documents tendered to Wollongong Local court and sighted by the Mercury reveal De Belin, Sinclair and the alleged victim met at Mr Crown nightclub on the evening of December 8, where they talked and danced as part of a larger group.
However, it is alleged the woman accompanied De Belin and Sinclair when they decided to leave Mr Crown and head to Fever Nightclub.
The trio was captured on CCTV standing at a taxi rank on Kembla Street for a short time before speaking to a group of people in the lower part of the Crown Street Mall.
The trio then got into a Tuk Tuk-style taxi and headed north on Keira Street, with the two men telling the alleged victim they wanted to charge their phones before they headed out again.
They went to a unit on Gipps Street, owned by De Belin’s cousin, who was not home at the time.
Jack De Belin at WIN Stadium in December. Picture: Adam McLean
The woman told police she used the bathroom when they got inside, however as she was finishing, she claims De Belin walked in, naked.
She walked out and De Belin hopped in the shower for a short time.
It is alleged De Belin was again naked when he came out of the ensuite naked, but this time grabbed hold of the woman and forcibly removed her shirt.
She claims she put her hands over her breasts, at which time both De Belin and Sinclair allegedly said “show us your tits”.
“De Belin moved himself between her legs, lent down and put his right hand around her throat and [his] right forearm pinned the upper left side off her body,” the police fact sheet said.
He then began raping her, while Sinclair watched on, without speaking, it is alleged.
The woman said she she next saw Sinclair he was removing his clothes, at which time De Belin said to him “come have a go”.
It is alleged the pair then engaged in the joint rape of the woman, at one stage swapping positions between them, before
Sinclair alleged said “I can’t get hard anymore” and went to have a shower.
Police allege De Belin continued to rape the woman in the bedroom, at times putting his hand around her throat, making it hard for her to breath.
Afterwards, the woman said she had a shower before ordering the trio an Uber to take them to Fever Nightclub.
She said she left soon after they arrived, and contacted a friend.
She then went to Wollongong Hospital where she underwent a rape test.
She was seen to have injuries to her legs, neck, lower abdomen and shoulder.
Court documents noted the size difference between De Belin and the woman - she is a size 6, and weighs 51kg, while De Belin is 188cm tall and weighs 106kg.
Police raided the Gipps Street unit later that day, seizing sheets, towels and clothing.
De Belin attended Wollongong Police Station on December 13, while Sinclair was arrested four days later.
Both men were granted strict conditional bail.
I don’t really agree with that. I am sure a scumbag defence lawyer will push that shit, but the fact that she left soon after getting to the club and went and got a rape kit seems pretty believable. Sounds like a very vulnerable woman who played along that everything was cool until she could get the **** to safety.She took a shower and ordered an uber? Not gonna help her case...
Not doubting her, but this will quickly become "he said, she said", and any decent defence barrister will accuse her of celeb chasing, followed by regret.
I hope the police has solid evidence for her sake!