CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Jack Wighton of the Raiders in action during the round two NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Newcastle Knights at GIO Stadium on March 18, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Raiders boss Don Furner says the NRL have come down harder on Jack Wighton after the Broncos mishandled Matt Lodge’s suspension, which led to a widespread of backlash.

The Canberra club are unhappy with the NRL’s decision to add four weeks to Wighton’s suspension given they have been bold with managing appropriate club-imposed suspensions in the past.

The NRL ultimately stepped in and whacked Wighton with a 10-week ban in total as well as a $30,000 fine, which puts the troubled star in the frame to return for finals should the Green Machine qualify.

Raiders chairman labelled he NRL’s punishment to Wighton as “excessive”, adding that the league should simply suspend players before the clubs do if they are going to override the initial sanctions.

Following the adverse reactions to the CCTV footage that leaked in March showing Lodge victimising a young family in the USA in 2015, Furner feels the NRL has made sure they dealt with Wighton’s case accordingly.

“The NRL were embarrassed by their and Broncos’ handling of the Matt Lodge incident and it appears Jack has paid a higher price for that,” Furner told Fairfax Media on Sunday.

The Raiders are reportedly ensuring that the vision does not emerge of Wighton terrorising the family, with the fullback set to face sentencing for his actions in court on November 14.

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But an NRL spokesperson said every case is unique, and that Wighton is not paying for any previous backlashes.

“The sanctions are based purely on a case-by-case basis and it was based solely on the evidence provided to the NRL,” an NRL spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It’s not related to any other case.

“They’ve got five days if they want to appeal so if they feel there’s been a misjustice they have every right to appeal by the end of this week.”

The Raiders have until the end of this week to challenge the NRL’s extended penalty, but are reportedly unlikely to do so.

“Jack is seeking advice and considering his options,” Furner said.


  1. Nrl did stuff up with lodge but raiders were still very lenient on Wighton since he actually pleaded guilty to assault…
    The season suspension should be happening and anything less is generous. Raiders should let it go and accept it, and realise others have been kicked out or suspended for longer for less then what Wighton has admitted to doing

  2. Ask the blokes going to shake his hand , then get head butted and jobbed . Ask them if it was lenient you pompous p Rick Furner

      • No I wasn’t there but if it didn’t happen that way and I’m Wighton,” why would I plead guilty to such things “ . That’s right he doesn’t remember but cctv be pretty consistent with what has been stated to plead guilty. Sorry mate but if I didn’t do it , I ain’t pleading guilty.

    • I never said he didnt do it. My question is if you werent there then how do you know what happened? How does anyone know what happened. Your making an assumption that the assault was all punches to the head, it could have been a small kick to the shin, we dont know.

      • Those concerned are trying all stops to not let the public view the video footage. He is a goner and may even cop an imprisonment term yet.💪🎱👊

    • Were you there when Pearce got 8 weeks suspension and fined 125k for harming nobody in a private dwelling. Pull ya head in and cop it on the chin.💪👀👍

      • No but there was video for everyone to see, they havent released and footage of Wightons so you cant make the same comparison.

      • He has pleaded guilty to 2 counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. I don’t care if it was a punch to the head or a kick to the shin as you have said, he is guilty and the Raiders have hit him with a feather duster.

  3. Matt Lodge was out of the game for 2 years and sacked by his former club. He had to jump through hoops and goes through extensive therapy to be allowed back in the game.

    The Wighton case doesn’t even compare. Jack Wighton got off lightly. You can get more for doing a line of cocaine.

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