If you’re good enough, you get away with anything.
This must be true of Zane Musgrove. The NRL player has just been nominated for The Fronwlow Medal for the fourth time and has been given a chance at redemption on every previous occasion.
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.
Musgrove is either very good at rugby league, or very good at finding a lawyer. He earned Frownlow nominations in 2018, 2019 and 2021, and was recently charged with driving with a suspended license. Late in 2021, police stopped Musgrove for driving without lights in Maroubra, and further checks revealed he was driving while his license was suspended.
The Samoa international has been given many second chances throughout his career, and he must be enormously talented if clubs are willing to take such a risk in signing him.
In 2018, he had an argument with his girlfriend and faced charges of common assault, common assault domestic violence related, and intentionally or recklessly destroy/damage property. He pleaded not guilty and the violence charges were withdrawn by prosecutors. He was found guilty of property damage and fined about $1,500. He was given a conditional release order and required to be on good behaviour.
Shortly after this incident, he was charged with allegedly assaulting a woman at the Coogee Bay Hotel in Sydney. In January 2019, he pleaded not guilty to aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and common assault. He was forced to sit out the entire 2019 NRL season as a result of the charges, and was eventually found guilty of assault with an act of indecency and sentenced to a 12-month intensive corrections order in late 2019.
This is where his lawyer earned his money.
In April 2020, Musgrove had his assault conviction from 2019 overturned by the court.
During these incidents, Musgrove left South Sydney, where he had already been given a second chance, and was later offered a contract at Wests Tigers, on another second chance.
How good is Musgrove?
Is he good enough to be one of the best props in the game?
Is he good enough to warrant so many second chances?
Is he good enough to finally win The Frownlow Medal?