"What's the difference between the Melbourne Storm and a toothpick? The toothpick has two points."
cheating bastards for the last five years until the NRL finally caught them and threw the book at them last night. This is disappointing because the Storm were the perfect example of how a team can be continuously successful over a period of years in a Salary Cap environment. Now we know they were cheating, well, any lessons learned from their organisation are pretty much null and void.
The Crime: $1.7 million over the $4.1m salary cap, spread over five years.
The Punishment: Melbourne were stripped of their 2007 and 2009 premierships, their 2006, 2007 and 2008 minor premierships, all competition points they had in 2010, the right to earn competition points in 2010, the $1.1m they have been awarded in prize money in the last five years and fined $500,000. Ouch.
The fallout is continuing but already Melbourne have fired several staff members and Brian Waldron, the Storm's former CEO, has been fired from his position as head of the Melbourne Rebels rugby union club. The NZ Herald is still providing live updates on the scandal.
Can Cleary Coach?
I pretty much blame Ivan Cleary for the Warriors loss to the Panthers on Sunday. All week the build up was "The Panthers will be the biggest forward pack the Warriors have faced all year". So of course the Warriors went into the match with only three props and two backs on the bench. I'm sorry, but what. the. fuck?
Predictably, the Warriors were out muscled at the play the ball by the Panthers, couldn't dominate the tackles and lost 40-12. If Packer wasn't playing and training well then sure, drop him, but by gawd don't replace him with a 80% fit Jerome Ropati. Especially when the pack is already missing Mannering, Luck and Price.
This weeks Warriors v Storm game should be interesting. Will the Storm bounce back or be a unmotivated mess? Can the Warriors actually play? Find out all this and more at 8pm on Sunday!
It will be good to see Clinton Toopi back in the NRL when he comes out for the Titans this week. I have no idea why the Warriors didn't grab him last year and use him in a similar mentoring role.
Mad props to TV3 and Campbell Live with last nights coverage of the Melbourne Storm. 3News mentioned the story shortly after it broke and screened most of the press conference on the Sports News. Campbell Live then had raced Dean Lonergan to the studio and had the voice of rugby league on the phone. This was despite the NRL holding its press conference at 4pm Australian time/6pm NZ time, a very inconvenient time slot for the NZ news staitons. Pity Lonergan is such a meat head.
Who the hell is Hep Cahill? Is he any good? He always makes the NZ side in Rugby League 3 for some reason. Very odd. Maybe we will find out soon enough as Melbourne are forced to rely on cheapies like him to make up their squad.