NRL coach backs Victor Radley after 'really grey' brawl ban

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Sydney Roosters player Victor Radley has been banned for two matches by the NRL for his involvement in and failure to report a scuffle in Byron Bay late last year. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Sydney Roosters player Victor Radley has been banned for two matches by the NRL for his involvement in and failure to report a scuffle in Byron Bay late last year. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has thrown his support behind injured star Victor Radley, after the 22-year-old was banned for two matches by the NRL after tackling a man outside a house party.

Radley tackled the man outside a Byron Bay house party on December 30, reportedly after witnessing the man allegedly assault a woman before physically intervening.

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As well as the ban, which is academic given the 22-year-old is still recovering from an ACL injury suffered last season, Radley has been given a $20,000 fine - 50 per cent of which is suspended for 12 months.

The NRL added that the penalty reflected the fact that Radley did not report his involvement in the incident to the league.

Speaking about the incident with reporters on Thursday, Robinson defended Radley's character, though he admitted the Roosters young gun should have intervened in a different manner.

Robinson also seemed to hint that the Roosters may have appealed the ban.

“Before it actually comes out (publicly), there is an appeal process and then you discuss what you think and why you think the sanction was harsh or not and then you move on, so that took place,” he said.

“I don’t want to talk about the incident too much but Victor’s character is really good, he’s a really good man. 

"But how do you act as a football player and a person in society when you think something has gone wrong and you want to right that?

“But the method that you use has to be different.”

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Robinson, when asked if society and men in particular should be more willing to defend women, Robinson said they should, but the means of doing so should be thought through carefully.

“Without a doubt. Defending women in society, it doesn’t matter about the game or anything like that, we need to do better by women and the way we treat women,” Robinson said.

“But the methods that we use to defend them need to be right and they need to be done in the right way, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

“If you’re defending a woman, and this is really hard, can you physically harm someone else to defend a woman? And in some cases you’d say definitely you need to protect them if it’s a severe matter of domestic violence.

“But if someone has been wronged and you take out that physically, that’s not allowed in society as well so this is where it’s really grey."

Robinson backs SBW to become an NRL coach

Trent Robinson claims Sonny Bill Williams has all the tools needed to succeed at coaching in the NRL, after the cross-code superstar announced his retirement.

Williams confirmed his retirement from both rugby codes this week to focus on boxing, after the 35-year-old slipped out of the spotlight at the end of last year.

But he has also been spending time at the Roosters.

Williams' involvement is at this stage a voluntary one, having visited club training twice in the past fortnight and a particular emphasis put on guiding 17-year-old Joseph Suaalii.

But it is something that has been in the pipeline for some time, with the topic of coaching first broached by Williams on his NRL return last year.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson says recently retired star Sonny Bill Williams has the makings of an NRL coach. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Roosters coach Trent Robinson says recently retired star Sonny Bill Williams has the makings of an NRL coach. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

"He wanted to have a look at that. And he has come back in to learn," Robinson said.

"It's natural for him, he's been singularly focused for such a long time, to then start to work out where's my next role in life... A part of that is spending time with us."

How involved Williams gets in his stints as coach remains to be seen.

He has a long affinity with the Roosters and Robinson, going back to his return to the NRL in 2013 with a premiership in his first season there.

Williams' commitment to boxing and a burgeoning media career means his initial involvement is likely to be limited, with his most likely role to be as a consultant.

With AAP

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