Bulldogs apologise for Mad Monday antics but say 'invasion of privacy' has hurt players and families

Canterbury have apologised in a letter to members following the NRL club's Mad Monday gone wrong, and say the "invasion of privacy" that followed has taken its toll on the players and families involved.

The club was fined a record $250,000 by the NRL for misbehaviour and police also laid charges after naked antics at the Harbour View Hotel in Sydney's Rocks were revealed by media outlets.

A co-authored letter from chair Lynne Anderson and chief executive Andrew Hill released on Friday, confirmed the club has reacted to the NRL's breach notice, but would not go into further detail.

The club's response to the breach notice will remain confidential as the NRL's integrity unit's investigation continues - a decision on whether the fine stands is not expected until after the grand final on September 30.

Players Adam Elliott and Asipeli Fine, who were charged by police with wilful and obscene exposure, were fined $25,000 each ($10,000 suspended) by the club.

Marcelo Montoya $10,000 ($5000 suspended) and Zac Woolford $10,000 ($5000 suspended) were also sanctioned by the Bulldogs.

"As a club we were disappointed at some of the behaviours that took place at our end of season celebration," the letter stated.

"All parties involved have acknowledged there was behaviour on the day that was not up to the standards expected by our club and that stronger processes should have been in place to prevent and react to it differently."

Anderson and Hill, who revealed the same function venue had been used by the Bulldogs in 2016 and last year, also took aim at the media coverage of the incident.

"The invasion of privacy that has followed and the subsequent stories that evolved have had a major impact on the individuals involved, their families and the club," they wrote.

"What we need to remember here is that these are good people who have worked hard within the community and our club."

Anderson and Hill clarified that young playmaker Lachlan Lewis was not at the event, and reports a GoFundMe page had been set up by a member of staff was incorrect.

They said the Bulldogs are continuing their internal review and will "put steps in place to make sure that we respond to the learnings of this".

Front page of the Daily Telegraph of Bulldogs' Mad Monday celebrations.
Front page of the Daily Telegraph of Bulldogs' Mad Monday celebrations. Source: Daily Telegraph


Watch: Damning footage shows former Panthers captain-turned-trainer conducting team during playoffs win over Warriors

The Panthers have come under fire for the way they are using their trainer after vision surfaced from their playoff win over the Warriors showing former captain Peter Wallace directing the team.

Wallace, who retired midway through this season with an ACL injury, was caught on camera spending a hefty amount of time on the ANZ Stadium turf on Saturday night.

While out there, he is seen multiple times yelling to players and directing them as the Panthers went on to win 27-12 and eliminate the Warriors.

Former player and Australian journalist Paul Kent is demanding the NRL take action.

The 27-12 loss brings the Warriors' 2018 campaign to an end. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's a disgrace," Kent told NRL360.

"The NRL need to sit down and say, 'look, this isn’t under-8s where coaches are allowed to be on the field'.

"What we face a risk of now is that Peter Wallace played this season for Penrith and retired mid-season - he knows all the plays, he knows their structure, he knows what they are trying to achieve because he trained with this team as the dummy-half and one of the spine.

"If we allow this to continue it will be a disaster."

The way the rules around trainers work in the NRL currently is that they are allowed on the field until the fourth tackle and must be off the field when their team is defending.

Kent says it's ruining the game.

"What Wallace is doing and we see [former Broncos player-turned-trainer] Alfie Langer doing it as well, is that they are directing players around the park," Kent said.

"It’s like we are using a remote control. Give the game back to the players."



'It's not what our game needs' - NRL and Rabbitohs vow to investigate lewd Auckland video chat claims

South Sydney have been plunged into a lewd video chat scandal on the eve of their semi-final against St George Illawarra, with the salacious claims referred to the NRL's Integrity Unit.

The Rabbitohs have enlisted the NRL to probe accusations published in the Daily Telegraph that two high-profile players exposed their private parts without consent in a video chat call with a woman on May 26.

"The South Sydney Rabbitohs will investigate claims in today's media regarding alleged player behaviour in May this year," a club statement said.

"A thorough investigation will be undertaken in conjunction, and in close co- operation, with the NRL's Integrity Unit."

The 23-year-old woman emailed the NRL club the day after the alleged incident as a "funny" FaceTime chat became explicit, leaving her feeling "violated and disgusted".

It is alleged one player pulled down his pants to expose his genitals while the other showed his backside.

The woman reportedly has screen shots of the stars engaging in the lewd act.

Rabbitohs fan.
NRL Premiership rugby league. Vodafone Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 26 May 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Rabbitohs flag. Source: Photosport

After a club spokeswoman replied assuring the woman the matter was being taken "seriously", she decided to go public after follow-up emails to South Sydney went unreturned.

Coach Anthony Seibold was briefed on the allegations on Thursday afternoon, admitting it was an off-field distraction in the lead-up to Saturday night's must-win clash at ANZ Stadium.

"It's a little bit of chaos thrown in front of us," Seibold told reporters.

"We've got the players in here this morning. We've got our last practice just before a semi-final game.

"It's not ideal that these accusations come out and they're front page news. It's not what anybody wants. It's not what I want. It's not what our game needs or wants either."

The Rabbitohs are attempting to reach out to the woman.

"Since receiving contact details last night for the female involved, Rabbitohs officials have attempted to make contact via phone and email," the statement said.

"The Rabbitohs take any allegations of player misbehaviour very seriously."

The club believes the emails may have inadvertently been tagged as spam and has hired an independent contractor to confirm the theory, a spokeswoman said.

The corner of a Rugby Field in Tawa, New Zealand
Source: istock.com


Rabbitohs under fire as woman claims players exposed themselves in Auckland video chat following Warriors win

The Rabbitohs have come under fire on the eve of their NRL semi-finals match against the Dragons, with a woman accusing several players of exposing themselves during a Facebook video chat.

The Daily Telegraph reports that South Sydney team are investigating an email the 23-year-old sent on May 27, a day after the incident in which she said an initially "funny" FaceTime chat with players turned explicit and left her "violated and disgusted".

Players had been celebrating their 12th round 30-10 win over the Warriors in Auckland, with the woman taking screenshots of a South Sydney player showing his genitals and another revealing his backside.

The woman claims that one player called her repeatedly days after the incident, after she made it clear she wanted to be left alone.

She reportedly got in contact with the club on June 1 about the issue, but she said she received no return call or contact from South Sydney.

After repeated emails and no response, she opted to go to the Sydney Telegraph.

A Rabbitohs club spokesman confirmed that the woman's email was received by the club's football operations manager Brock Schafer on June 1.

But follow-up emails from the woman on June 5 and August 31 were never responded to.

The spokesman said the woman's emails were recognised as spam mail by the club's mail server - a conclusion supported by an independent contractor's investigation of the club's email system.

The Daily Telegraph has chosen not to name the players involved in the matter.

Rabbitohs fan.
NRL Premiership rugby league. Vodafone Warriors v South Sydney Rabbitohs. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 26 May 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Rabbitohs flag. Source: Photosport