In close season, it was revealed that former Newcastle Knights player Ashley Gordon was keen to help combat New South Wales’ gambling problem. However with innovative companies like Pure Microgaming Casinos increasing in publicity, and widely available and advertised on the internet, it is hard to ignore the hype. Alcohol consumption is widely banned across the NRL, and players pursue other forms of activities to fulfil their need for a thrill.
Contractually, some can’t even do certain activities like surfing to protect them from injury. Unfortunately, this has given rise to gambling which has become a major problem in most sports around the world, but Gordon in keen for NRL players to understand the risks attached.
NRL 2014 Season so far
After the first few rounds of the NRL, though, the campaign is far from in full swing. The rough and tumble of Australia’s highest profile rugby league competition often has die-hard fans drooling with expectation.
The Dragons currently top the ladder, and after last season’s 14th place finish in 2013, recruited wisely. An impressive list of signings featured England star Gareth Widdop, who was brought in from Melbourne Storm, along with half back Sam Williams from Canberra Raiders, to add to others.
A defeat to the Broncos last time out has put them level on six points at the top with the Brisbane based outfit, as well as Melbourne Storm, Manly Sea Eagles, and the Gold Coast Titans.
Yet to register any points so far, are the Cronulla Sharks who are bottom of the standings, having lost heavily to the Knights last time out, who are just above them on two points.
Jordan Mclean Suspension
Emerging from the NRL last week was the news that Melbourne Storm’s Jordan Mclean has been suspended for seven weeks, after a lifting tackle on Newcastle’s Alex McKinnon, who was left with a dreadful spinal injury.
McKinnon is still in hospital, though faces the possibility of never being able to walk again after sustaining a broken neck in the tackle. The disciplinary panel needed less than 10 minutes to find Mclean guilty.
“Terrible and tragic”
Having pleaded ‘not guilty’, Mclean’s lawyer, Nick Ghabar described the incident as a “terrible and tragic accident”.
The defence also argued that McKinnon contributed to his injury by “unfortunately and unwittingly” tucking his head into his chest in the tackle before hitting the ground.
Storm will be keen to get their campaign back on track, after the heart-breaking event seemed to have an effect on them in their first game without Mckinnon game. They lost emphatically to Canterbury Bulldogs, 40-12.
Last year’s table-toppers the Sydney Roosters, face the Paramatta Eels and will want to get their title bid back on track after a mixed start so far which has already seen them record an impressive 56-4 win against the Eels, a 30-26 victory over the Brisbane Broncos, a narrow 8-0 defeat to Manly Sea Eagles,an opening round 28-8 defeat to fierce rivals South Sydney Rabbitohs, and an agonising 9-8 loss to the Bulldogs last time out.
The Rooster also revealed this week that their exciting young prop Kane Evans has signed a new contract until 2017, and should feature against the Eels.
For Ashley Gordon though, his time may now be over but at least he can make a positive impact off the pitch.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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