For those rugby league fans who have spent the past 48 hours under a rock, or perhaps those still celebrating in the Shire, 90% of talk following the Kangaroos squad announcement has centred around the non-selection of Semi Radradra and Andrew Fifita.

For those who have missed the news, both were overlooked due to on-going investigations due to off-field issues.

Radradra has been advised to focus purely on his upcoming legal matter. Due to the nature of the alleged actions of the Parra superstar, I won’t be making any specific comments.

That being said, if the NRL were truly worried about the image of Semi continuing to play the game, they would not have allowed him to ply his trade for the Eels over months since the alleged incident became public knowledge.

Sharks fans were hammered from all corners after booing the returning Parra flyer at Southern Cross Group Stadium after the reports surfaced, yet NRL selectors are being paraded as kings of morality.

Fifita, who has come under incredible scrutiny after a series of errors of judgement, was overlooked for selection despite being one of the form props in the competition.

If the Clive Churchill medal selection process wasn’t the most laughable process of all time, the winner is selected before the completion of the game, he’d be wearing the medal right now.

The try he scored this past Sunday will replay thousands of times, and will rival the births of children when it comes to Sharks fans life memories.

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That being said, he won’t be lining up for the Kangaroos.

For the record, I fully support the decision to leave both players out.

Semi should be focused purely on his upcoming court case. If he is found guilty, his future as an NRL star should be over, as should anyone found guilty of violent offences.

Fifita is under investigation for bringing the game into disrepute. His grand final heroics don’t excuse his bad decisions.

The time off will allow Fifita to refocus and become a better player, and person. He is in a position where can become a role model and to be honest, a Sharks club legend.

He’ll play many more tests for the Kangaroos once the situation is closed.

That being said, the omission of both players reeks horribly of the mother of all publicity stunts.

Good on the NRL for sending a message. It is LONG overdue. There are players running around, high profile players too, that I simply can’t support. If they signed for my NRL side tomorrow, I’d be shaking my head.

Radradra, and especially Fifita, are being made scapegoats. Someone has to be the first, but how can Todd Greenberg and co stand there and honestly ask us to buy into what they are selling, while players with less-than-squeaky-clean pasts, proudly wear the green and gold?

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I don’t want to go into specifics as I don’t want to target players, some of which have completely turned their lives around since their horrible decisions, and are now genuine role models and heroes to their fans.

Why now? Why Fifita and Radradra?

The Roos squad announcement was delayed following the Sharks title win due to the fact that any message sent would have been relegated from the back pages following the culmination of the club’s 50-year journey.

Andrew Fifita, smiling proudly and holding the NRL’s top prize, would have been on both the front and back of the major publications in Sydney, for very different reasons.

By holding the announcement back 24 hours, the message was better sent.

Once again, it’s a positive message, and one I support strongly.

This is one of those instances where I would be very, very happy to be wrong, just as I was after my writing off of the Storm pre-season completely blew up in my face, but this seems like another false dawn.

Hats off to the Greenberg administration for making a stand, and I admire Mal Meninga’s decision not to select those suspended QLD players for Roos duty earlier this season, but only time will tell whether or not this is the turning of the tide or just another publicity stunt.

15 COMMENTS

  1. What a joke Radradra is innocent until proven guilty and Fafita payed for his actions when he missed 6 games last year for abusing a ref. What they now decide to punish you twice like a year later what a joke!!
    The media brought the Fifita armband to the attention of the public and crucified him and then made up what the letters stood for ( Free Keiran Loveridge) it’s absolutely unbelievable. Fifita has said he is only supporting his mate not his actions and apologised to the family who had to relive the hell they went through again because of the media. They are the ones without any integrity in this whole farce!!
    The NRL and Greenberg are totally out of there depth!

  2. I feel like there could be more to it than just there Ref incident. Not only did Fifita get snubbed (Arguably the best Props in the game and Got sharks the premiership) so did Gallen! The man who won best on pitch last test match and also lead Cronulla to there first premiership. I’m feeling like there is some form of Maroon Grudge.

    Some questionable decisions aswell

    -O’Neil over Jennings?
    -Thaiday over Graham?

    Something happened behind the scenes?

    • Not sure about a Maroon grudge. The squad is Qld:13
      NSW: 11.
      I would say they’re looking to the future. Parker missed out too. They are arguably the two best locks in Australia.
      As for Fifita: he is a media headline. Unfortunately, not for the right reasons.
      I’m happy for him to show support for his friend, but do it privately. He has used a public forum to support a person that took the life of someone. Not cool.
      The guy a needs a 24hour PR advisor.

      • Watched him win origin game 3, Jennings plays well of good half plays and he defence is solid. Compare his games when he had Foran & Norman to Robson & Edwards/Guth/Taky

        • He did score the winning try in origin 3 but he single handedly lost us game 2 with his butter fingers and shoddy defence. BJ, Croker, Chambers, Morris all better options to make the squad then Jennings

  3. after all this BS over looking certain players ..discrimination.. why select smith?? smiths the dirtiest player in the game also inglis dont deserve selection wqhats he actually done in 2016?? and numerouis others should be there … intl football these days gone to the dogs its finished ..believe that

  4. Mal Meninga “I have no bias”

    Yeah ok mate. Justin O’Noel (Qld) over BJ Leiluia. Thaiday (Qld) over wade Graham who can play every position on the field and is about 6 years younger.

    Not to mention no Gal and Fifita. NRL has gone real soft. Innocent until proven guilty for Radradra too.

    NRL needs to take a good hard look at itself and the way it’s spitting the fans face from the NRL jucidary to the bunker. Ok break someone’s jaw and get one week, brush a referee get one week.

  5. As an older female who is very passionate for her team (not theSharks or queensland) and the game of rugby league and the hard work these you glass are putting in every week for our entertainment. Also the time that I witness these players also putting in extra time working with local junior league teams and with needy people in the community do we ever thank them?

    But the media beat up stories that have the potential to ruin the lives of these players and their clubs.

    I for one am starting to get a bi fed up with the holier than thee attitudes of some of our leaders in the NRL and others in our community and I am in danger of walking away from the game and taking many others with me.

    I have questions.

    Sonce when did the NRL discourage people from caring for their mates? If somebody ca be of any assistance in helping people turn their lives around it should be encouraged. I could go on but won’t on this occasion.

    What is the difference between th vocal support that Mal Meninga gave to his brother all those years ago and the passive support that. Andrew who is giving to a childhood mate who found himself in an unfortunate circumstance.

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

    • The support for a mate is fine, but keep it to yourself when its “your mate” who slammed a kid and killed him…Not that the media didnt play its part in ramping the story uo from 0 – 100 in 3.2 seconds.

      The Kelly family have suffered enough now with their other kid taking his own life – where’s the NRL in support on that given we have campaigns for “R U Ok” etc..

      • +1

        1. Loyalty should never be used as an excuse to throw away your morale compass.
        2. Players have to understand they are paid not only to participate in but also to REPRESENT the game of RL
        3. Players need to understand and take seriously the influence they have as role models to young supporters of RL who look up to them and believe in them.

  6. Dont support leaving Radradra out due to his own reasons. There needs to be consistency with these issues, you would of thought the NRL Intergrity Unit/CEO would have learnt a bit off the SKD incident.. Fifita I can understand.

    Overall squad is strong, however I’d make 3 changes.

    Chambers > O’Neill
    McGuire > S.Boyd
    Thaiday > Graham

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