Happy to see Dogs CEO play hard ball

IF ANYONE doubted whether Bulldogs chief executive Raelene Castle had the bottle to mix it in the NRL boys club, their reservations were debunked this week.

Ms Castle, who came to rugby league from netball, has done what most CEOs and coaches in the NRL have often contemplated, but few have bitten the bullet as hard. By cancelling the contract of Sharks prop Andrew Fifita she has told every player at her club, and those aspiring to play there, that the dog will wag the tail, not vice-versa.

Fifita revealed a major boofhead trait last weekend when he declared that because of the criticism levelled at him by fans of both his old and new club, he wished he had signed to go to rugby union. Just as impertinent was his decision to announce his signing on Twitter, before the new deal had been officially ratified.

Obviously the Dogs wanted Fifita, otherwise they would not have offered him the reported $850,000 a season over four years. But they wanted the player, not the young man with the disrespectful, big-mouth demeanour.

Mind you, while Ms Castle comes out of this as a strong leader and smelling of roses, the Dogs are not exactly blameless. No club has more quality props than they have in their kennel, and the signing of Fifita -at that price - was roundly questioned.

And now that Fifita is again singing for his supper, the Bulldogs can go find the fullback they desperately need.

YES, yes, yes

Having co-captains in the NRL has always seemed incongruous to me, so it was good to see referee Adam Devcich wave away Nate Myles on Monday night when the Titans co-captain wanted a chat. "You weren't the captain at the toss," Devcich told him. The two-captain innovation is becoming almost as nauseating as the now-obligatory pre-match dressing room hug.

NO, no, no

As much as he is admired for his achievements last season, Roosters coach Trent Robinson is way out of line criticising referees for the lopsided penalty count against his team. In their four games this season the Roosters have been pinged 38-22, and that follows 223-162 to the negative in 2013. The Roosters are ill-disciplined - it is that simple.

Fair enough

When I heard Jordan McLean had been handed a seven-week suspension for his part in the Alex McKinnon tackle, my initial reaction was 'fair enough'. There was never going to be an acceptable result from this tragic accident, but hopefully all players have now been sent a clear message of the dangers of lifting in tackles. My other hope is that Melbourne does not appeal the decision, as tough as it may seem to some. No more angst, please.



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