The reason Corey Norman moved to the English Super League will surprise you. Pundits believed it was because:
He wasn’t good enough for the NRL.
He was too old for the NRL.
No NRL club wanted to sign a scandal-prone player.
He wasted his talent in Australia.
He couldn’t handle the enormous responsibility of being a former Frownlow medallist.
He thought he couldn’t win The Frownlow Medal again.
But that’s not why.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Only Corey can explain why he ditched the NRL and moved to the Super League:
“I love sticky date,” he revealed.
“I can’t get enough sticky date, and the best sticky date’s in England.”
“I love it so much I have to have it in the middle of a game. I love to get it on my finger and give my finger a good lick. I can’t get enough of the moist sponge, the finely chopped dates, the toffee sauce – I’m even thinking of bringing a bit of custard or ice cream onto the field with me next time. Or I’m gonna ask the trainer to bring that instead of gatorade. Man, I love it”
“Didn’t you see the smile on my face after I tried some of Ollie’s sticky date?”
Norman’s obsession with sticky date saw him ‘place his hands intentionally between the buttocks of Warrington’s Oliver Holmes’ and he was hit with an eight-game ban and a 500 pound fine. The former Queensland State of Origin player has probably played his last game for Toulouse as the club is facing relegation.
Has he played his last game of professional rugby league?
Norman emulated one of his role models and Frownlow great John Hopoate, who popularised sticky dates while playing in the NRL many years ago.
“Hoppa loves sticky date as well. He liked it before it was trending, but he never had the best sticky date, because he only had it in Australia. Hoppa – come to England mate, you can get great sticky date here,” Norman said.
Super League officials used different words to describe the incident:
“The footage shows a deliberate placing of Corey Norman’s hands and fingers on the buttocks and coupled with the immediate complaint from Holmes, the reaction of his teammate Danny Walker and the statement of Holmes to which we have measured regard we are entirely satisfied that this was an intentional placing of a hand between the buttocks of the opposing player and we find the charge proved.”
Which is a fancy way of saying he ‘did a Hopoate’.
Controversy has accompanied Norman throughout his professional career. He won The Fronwlow Medal in 2016 and his been nominated in 2018, 2019 and twice in 2021, for incidents such as:
Possession of illicit drugs
Leaked sex tape
Being photographed with known criminals
Salary cap controversy
and a street brawl outside Northies.
He has now been nominated for the hall of fame yet again, and has been invited to the Frownlow awards night later this year, where he and Hoppa can enjoy all the sticky date they like.
Image: Getty Images