Information has come to light today suggesting Brett Stewart had been drinking for 3 consecutive nights last week; after Manly locals reported seeing the star out drinking on Thursday evening until very late. This Thursday outing was sandwiched between the NRL season launch on Wednesday night and the ill-fated Manly drinking session on Friday night.
After flying back in from the UK earlier in the week, Stewart had to attend the NRL season launch where he sipped on beverages and then regardless of suggested jet lag – the Manly custodian backed up the following night for a late session on the liquid gold.
A Manly local has reportedly seen Stewart drinking at several bars around Manly well after midnight, the local passing the information on to major newspapers.
Despite the drinking, Stewart backed up for training on the Friday morning before heading to the ill-fated season launch for the Manly Sea Eagles club.
After being involved in an alleged sexual assault, Stewart’s DNA test negative has since come back negative – giving the player some breathing space, however the court case will be proceeding in the weeks ahead.
The Many spy who has dropped Stewart in the poo according to the Daily Telegraph, has refused to say which bars Stewart was drinking. The newspaper reporting that the fan felt his side had suffered enough; a surprising comment considering that the fan had apparently come forward to get his side into more trouble.
Getting on the drink 3 nights in a row must be a real concern to coach Des Hasler. While the Sea Eagles have achieved virtually everything in 2008 and more recently the World Club Challenge, maybe they have taken their foot off the gas and are looking to enjoy the spoils? For fitness guru Hasler, it seems 2009 will be a year where motivation might be tough.
The heat has continued for Brett Stewart with his candid interview on the Channel 9 Footy Show seeing him discuss how NRL players need to behave, an interview that was recorded only hours before drinks flowed at his season launch and serious allegations were put forward against him.
It had to be said that Stewart looked a little dazed, possibly jet-lagged still in that interview after a hectic week.
Manly will need to work extremely hard now to prevent any outbreaks of a consistent boozy culture after the NRL champions are seemingly falling from one crisis to the other.
More details have arisen over the amount of booze that flowed at the Manly season launch, with Max Delmege apparently shelling out a single round shout of drinks coming to $500. According to bar staff, Delmege had his black Amex on the bar and the liquid flowed freely.
A potential boozy culture was eluded to by David Gallop several months earlier; the NRL boss unhappy at Manly’s rooftop penthouse party after they won the competition in 2008. Some felt Gallop was a little harsh at the time, but in hindsight – the NRL boss was spot on the money.
Some have turned the heat on Gallop at various stages over the consistent scandal in NRL playing ranks, however the NRL’s top man has been highly visible at every turn and has faced the music on behalf of the code whenever it has been required.
Gallops punishment of Manly was not only correct, but the astute Gallop ensured the code wouldn’t suffer legal ramifications by confirming Stewarts ban was for discipline breaches – nothing else.
Gallops legal background is a major asset to the code and he remains a strong figure to guide the NRL through a tough period.