Well it seems Wollongong is the new hot spot for NRL players after a second brawl involving Rugby League players in the space of 7 days occured in the Southern NSW beach side city. This time is was Sydney Roosters players Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Setaimata Sa who went toe to toe with locals over an alleged theft of $100.
After a night on the town with Sa, Rooster Kenny-Dowall is reported to have left his wallet behind after leaving a fast food outlet towards the end of the night. After realising he had forgotten the wallet, Kenny-Dowall returned to the restaurant and allegedly confronted a group of males who had supposedly taken the wallet. After Kenny-Dowall, flanked by Sa was eventually able to get the wallet from the group of locals – it seems they had pocketed the cash totalling $100 from the wallet before returning it. This is when things got heated …
Heavily outnumbered the two Roosters players put in a good showing for themselves and went the knuckles with up to 10 males. Both coming away uninjured, the Roosters who were already breaking their team curfew then set about reporting the theft to team officials and local authorities.
In any case, you can understand the frustration of Kenny-Dowall and him wanting his wallet and money returned; but the promising Rooster was already breaking team curfew and by going the biff with locals, it certainly wasn’t a smart move considering recent NRL headlines and player problems.
The breach for the Roosters is a concern, after seemingly having a strong pre-season and firming as a strong force in NRL 2008 – this will be a wake up call for coach Brad Fittler and club boss Nick Politis. With the likes of Willie Mason now at the club, they would want to keep very short leads on their squad members and make sure they focus on footy and not which nitespot to attend each week.
The overall problem of player misbehaviour is a growing concern for the NRL, as the profiles continue to rise of Rugby League players – it certainly seems they are being targetted more and more by locals looking for a prize scalp. In wake of this incident with Shaun Kenny-Dowall and more particularly the Ben Roberts case, it’s only a matter a time before a player is seriously injured or possibly killed in a large scale brawl.