How the NRL should handle the Victor Radley headbutt incident

Victory Radley looks to pass for England at the Rugby League World Cup 2022.
Victory Radley has been representing England at the Rugby League World Cup, where he is alleged to have been involved in an altercation with Ireland rival James Bentley. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)


The following may see my membership from the Society of Perennially Outraged Journalists revoked, but it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Here’s what the NRL should do about the Victor Radley-James Bentley pub skirmish in England - absolutely nothing.

Unless we're being served up a whole heap of horse manure – always a chance given the number of league types with a PHD in lying – we're told there was no police report, no one was hurt, there was no property damage, no one complained and not one member of the public was involved.

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The pub doesn’t have any CCTV footage of the incident and the landlord seems more concerned with his Sunday roast and pint promotion than an incident few saw and even fewer had a problem with.

The Irish RL couldn’t give two hoots, the International Rugby League wields as much power as a transit cop and the English RL's investigation sounds about as strong as a bloke searching for his partner's cat.

Meanwhile, the NRL Integrity Unit awaits a report of any kind to hit its inbox before deciding whether to go all Jake Peralta or write it off as a chase of the wild goose variety.

So, here's what we do know - or at least, have been told.

The England team was enjoying a post-World Cup drink in Worsley to which James Bentley, who represented Ireland at the tournament, was invited.

Things got a little mouthy between Radley and Bentley – as tends to happen when Victor's in your postcode - and one headbutted the other.

Whether Radley nutted Bentley - or it was the other way around - is in dispute, but no damage appears to have been done and neither player suffered anything more than a scratch.

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It appears to be nothing more than a bit of push and shove between two grown men on the drink.

Childish and immature? Yes, most definitely.

Time for the Roosters to give Radley another 'pull your head in' reminder? Probably, for what good it will do.

Worthy of a full-blown investigation taking up the time of people across four organisations in different hemispheres?

Most definitely not. Move on, nothing to see here.

Victor Radley's locker room gaffe has prompted suggestions the NRL players' union could raise questions about the use of behind the scenes broadcast cameras. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Victor Radley was reportedly involved in a skirmish with pub fracas with Ireland rival James Bentley. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Not every single incident, no matter how minute or insignificant, needs to be investigated.

Bentley versus Radley is not in the same class as Taylan May back-slamming some unsuspecting punter from behind.

It’s not even in the same league as Payne Haas slapping Albert Kelly around for scuffing his new pair of wheels.

Even the Society of Perennially Outraged Journalists has to concede on this one.

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