Why Adam Reynolds and Patrick Carrigan shouldn't be suspended for NRL season opener

The Brisbane Broncos players were filmed in a public altercation on a night out.

Patrick Carrigan and Adam Reynolds at a Brisbane Broncos training session. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
Patrick Carrigan and Adam Reynolds at a Brisbane Broncos training session. (AAP Image/Jono Searle) (AAPIMAGE)


Brisbane coach Kevin Walters was coming to the end of a press conference he didn’t need or want when a reporter asked what sort of message the drunken street wrestle between his captain Adam Reynolds and deputy Pat Carrigan sent to kids. "It's not something that any of us are proud of, but it's happened and everyone makes mistakes. I'm sure you've made a couple in your life or are you a bit special and haven't made one?" he asked one of those pesky types holding a microphone.

Kev, we'e neither special or mistake free, especially when hops, malt, yeast and water are combined into liquid form. We're also not an NRL player. Far from it, in fact.

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The Reynolds-Carrigan stoush was an average look for the club and the game, coming just a few weeks before the NRL launches its season with an historic double header in Las Vegas. Just last week NRL CEO Andrew Abdo tempted fate by declaring this off-season had been the best on record for player behaviour.

"I'm confident our policies, education programs and a no-nonsense approach to misconduct is now second nature to everyone in the game," Abdo told the Daily Telegraph. "The players are professionals and partners in the game. The NRL, clubs and RLPA work together to maintain the standards expected in a professional environment."

The Broncos blow-up will make Abdo and those at NRL HQ a tad nervous as to what may unfold in Sin City with all its temptations. But it doesn't mean the perpetrators should be left behind as punishment.

Walters is willing to forgive and forget and so should the NRL Integrity Unit, which has been tasked with investigating the incident before deciding whether punishment is warranted. On the atrocity meter, this is a two out of 10. Yep, two of the game's highest profile players should never have put themselves in a position to get in a stink after a night on the drink.

Patrick Carrigan, Adam Reynolds and Kevin Walters.
Patrick Carrigan, Adam Reynolds and Kevin Walters speak to the media. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi) (AAPIMAGE)

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It was embarrassing behaviour by two drunken idiots who should have known better. But they did no harm to each other, no property was damaged and no member of the public harmed in any way.

If some low life had not reached for his/her phone and recorded it all before releasing it on social media, the night would have faded into obscurity. To suggest it should cost Reynolds and Carrigan a trip to Vegas is ridiculously over-hyping things.

As Walters said: "That's one of the things that I'm very confident with our players. Their behaviour has been immaculate the last couple of years. We had a blip on Sunday evening. It was in-house. Our players were bickering among (themselves) and no one from outside was involved. All they've done is really hurt themselves and the brand more than anyone from the public.

"From our perspective, they'll be on the plane. It's up to the NRL to give them the all-clear and tick, which I would imagine they would. We expect them to be over there and will plan accordingly." As they should.

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