Greg Bird needs to change

Greg Bird Titans NRLFormer Cronulla Shark and returning NRL pivot Greg Bird was back on Saturday Night, his appearance for the Allstar Indigenous side his first outing on Australian soil in nearly 2 years.

It was the ideal setting for Bird to return, a game in which he was sharing the stage with a host of other stars and with the main focal point being a celebration of our games best, including our Aboriginal stars.

Bird has been hounded in the press, but here was the chance to play some Rugby League without all eyes being on him. He could ease his way into the match and start to rebuild his image.

While Bird has successfully come away from the courts after his two assault hearings, surely his focus would be to rebuild his image and prove doubters wrong?

Well, just like his former ‘bash brother’ Paul Gallen who seems to struggle with behaving on the field – Bird seemed intent on making the wrong headlines, as he lashed out several times in the Allstar game.

While not doing anything highly illegal, Bird would be best served by ‘cooling it’ or soon enough he will find himself in hotter water.

It was petty, grubby stuff that is just not needed.

Apart from the odd face massage that Bird dished out and a few poor reactions after being hit heavily in a tackle – it was the challenge on Jarryd Hayne over the dead ball line that summed up what Greg Birds all about.

Chasing an attacking grubber kick, Bird challenged Hayne who was shadowing the ball as they neared the dead ball line.

But as the ball ran dead and they play was over, Bird continued to dangerously shove Hayne in the back as they neared the sideboards.

Now, this could have been accidental as the players came to a halt, but anyone who gave Bird the benefit of the doubt would have soon taken it back – as the former NSW Origin rep then proceeded to lean over Haynes shoulder and smash at the ball to waste time.

All this while the balls out of play.

Now in some peoples eyes, this is simply part and parcel of Rugby League. Playing hard and wanting to win at all costs.

But firstly given this was an Allstar Game where the ‘message’ of reconciliation and celebration, along with the actual quality of the game was more important than the end-result and secondly as Bird returns from horror headlines and 24 months he woud rather forget – wouldn’t he be well advised to start behaving on the field and trying to win back a few fans?

Sadly this wasn’t the case.

Greg Bird seems like an angry young bloke and while that might give him the edge and make him play better personally, it will only be a matter of time before he oversteps the line on the field and finds himself in judiciary trouble.

Fortunately for the Titans, they have massive depth this year and will have no trouble covering the former Sharks and Les Catalans player.

The only person he will be hurting is himself.

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