Even during the exciting Green Machine days I never thought I’d say I really feel for the Raiders and their fans.
No this doesn’t have anything to do with their defeat at the hands of the Sharks on the weekend but has everything to do with the man who led the Sharks to victory, Todd Carney.
It’s also got to do with the man who has experts talking up the Dragons’ chances of making the top 8 in new recruit Josh Dugan. A certain Warrington winger also comes to mind.
Of course I am referring to players who were once Canberra Raiders but have been dismissed due to behavioural issues only to star at new clubs.
Let me just say I thought the Raiders were 100% right in sacking Carney, Dugan and releasing Monaghan, reportedly at his own request.
Carney had a rap sheet a mile long and was in serious danger of becoming a forgotten and lost talent. Canberra’s decision probably saved Todd’s career and definitely saved the club’s reputation.
Josh Dugan was OBVIOUSLY looking for a way out after signing a contract extension with the Canberra club. He failed to turn up to a rehab session and then posted a picture of himself drinking with teammate Blake Ferguson on Dugan’s rooftop showing blatant disrespect to his employers.
Monaghan supposedly asked for a release, I have my doubts, after a lewd photo surfaced of him after a drinking session.
So Canberra was forced to release 3 State Of Origin representative players (although Carney had not played Origin by the time he was released) due to the players’ actions that were harmful to the club. All three have gone on to sign big money contracts elsewhere and have played starring roles for their new clubs. (Although to be fair Dugan has only played one game, but it was a good one)
Other than appeasing sponsors, what do the Raiders gain from releasing these players? Absolutely nothing!
Raiders’ fans sat back yesterday (Sunday) and saw former Raider Todd Carney orchestrate a victory over their side, not for the first time. Carney won a Daly M medal and played in a grand final when at the Roosters and played Origin whilst at the Sharks. No doubt the Raiders would be a better side now if Carney had stayed. (Assuming he played at the level he has since leaving the club)
So what’s the solution? Personally I agree with Peter Sterling’s suggestion that players released for disciplinary reasons be unable to play against their former side for a time. Canberra should not have to line up against Josh Dugan at all this season and arguably should not have had to deal with Carney on the weekend either.
What of Joel Monaghan who signed for Super League club Warrington? Personally I think his salary from the remainder of his contract should be added on to the Raiders cap until the date his original contract was set to expire. Of course this opens up the loophole that a club could release an underperforming big money player for a small issue in order to use that player’s money in the next season but surely a club would have to prove that the need for a release was genuine.
I understand fully that it was the club’s decision to release the mentioned players BUT how much ‘choice’ did they really have with Dugan especially? Dugan acted with disrespect many times over and sent the very clear message he no longer wanted to be at the club. For mine the Raiders should be given Dugan’s money in next year’s cap to sign a ‘replacement’ or upgrade current players and Dugan should not be able to play against the Raiders.
I’d be interested to see how Raiders’ fans feel toward Carney, Dugan, Monaghan and co. I’d be willing to bet it wouldn’t be an overly favourable view. All three did wrong by their club and have left them 3 rep players down and in return Canberra get what … a congrats from the NRL and to see ‘their’ players go on to earn big money and star elsewhere.
Surely this needs to be looked at. Any suggestions?