The New Zealand Warriors NRL club has made the most mysterious bid for glory in the history of The Frownlow Medal, after punishing six first grade players for unspecified discipline reasons.
Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Konrad Hurrell, Albert Vete and Sam Lisone have all been nominated for the inter-code award after they were demoted from the first grade team due to their ‘attitude’.
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. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
“The club is not at liberty to release any details of the players actions, due to the enormously strong competition we face from other players across the four football codes who have already been nominated for the Frownlow Medal” stated a club spokesperson.
“When someone befriends a canine and another player threatens to stab a woman in the eye with chopsticks, this is a clear indication that footballers will do anything in an attempt to win this award.”
The spokesperson also alluded to the strong desire of the Warriors and the New Zealand Rugby League community to keep the award in New Zealand following Kenny-Dowall’s success in 2015.
“We’re not Australia’s little brothers. We proved that last year.”
New Zealand fans, however, are concerned that the focus on the Frownlow has distracted many players from the test against the Kangaroos on May 6.
“It’s easy to beat the Kangaroos bru…” reassured the spokesperson “…it’s much harder to win The Frownlow Medal.”
First published in April 2016