Commiserate or celebrate: is there a difference?

Commiserating and celebrating seem to be the same thing for many NRL players, after three of the game’s biggest names were recently caught with cocaine. Reece Walsh, Brandon Smith and Cameron Munster have all been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being caught with the white powder and charged by police.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Walsh used the white powder to celebrate, Munster to commiserate, and Smith to do both. Walsh was partying at Surfer’s Paradise just moments after being named RLPA Rookie of the Year when he was caught in possession of cocaine.

Munster, meanwhile, was commiserating the Melbourne Storm semi-final loss at a party and was filmed in possession of the illicit drug. The same leaked video incriminated his teammate Brandon Smith, who was managing the mixed emotions of missing out on the grand final and being named Dally M Hooker of the year.

They say a professional football career can be an emotional rollercoaster, but the best way to manage the highs and lows seems to be with cocaine.

If nothing else, at least it guarantees Walsh, Munster and Smith a chance to win The Fronwlow Medal in 2021. If they succeed or fail in their quest to take home the greatest prize in Australian sport, they clearly know how to process the result.

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Reece Walsh still in the running for a second major award.

Young NRL star Reece Walsh could add The Frownlow Medal to his rookie award this year after he was arrested for cocaine possession late one night at Surfer’s Paradise.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Moments after winning the RLPA Rookie of the Year award, Walsh was arrested at the popular nightclub strip for disobeying a move-on order, and recently confessed to being in possession of cocaine at the time.

The freakishly-talented player was the hot favourite to also win the Dally M Rookie of the Year award, but was ruled out. Not because of the recent drug bust, but because he was suspended for on-field indiscretions twice in the season.

Reece took the NRL by storm this year and at just 18 was selected for Queensland in State of Origin, but missed the game through injury. He impressed so many people when he switched to the Warriors mid-season that Kiwi legend Roger Tuivasa-Sheck moved to the wing to allow Walsh to play fullback.

He has now moved himself firmly into the senior ranks by getting nominated for the most prestigious award in Australian sport, The Frownlow Medal. He also repeated the ultimate footballer’s cliche when he said in media interviews earlier this year that he will “look to personally set a positive example for the next generation” and that he wants to make his baby daughter proud of him.

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Anthony Milford does something newsworthy.

Anthony Milford Arrested for Assault is a better headline than ‘Anthony Milford Overpaid’ or ‘Anthony Milford Out of Form’. It’s also more likely to win him The Frownlow Medal in 2021.

The NRL player made headlines recently after being arrested in Brisbane for alleged assault of three people in the early hours of the morning. He was charged with three counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count of wilful damage.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Milford is alleged to have become involved in an argument with his wife, and mother of his young child, as well as other people. He is said to have fled the scene. Police then hunted him though the streets of Fortitude Valley and arrested him, before making him spend the night in a police cell.

Alleged assault is also far more impressive than the incidents which earned Milford his previous Frownlow nominations. He was nominated for ‘liking’ Israel Folau’s famous homophobic social media post, and in previous years was nominated for a drunken incidents at the Canberra Raiders, and for breaking team curfew with the Queensland State of Origin team.

He leaves the Brisbane club this year after seven lacklustre seasons, and this could be the most memorable thing he does for the Broncos. Rabbitohs fans must be happy that they are already getting their money’s worth out of their 2022 recruit.

The alleged incident occurred near a nightclub called Ella Sabe, Spanish for She Knows. What does she know?

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Saving David Fifita.

Feature film Saving David Fifita is set to hit cinemas in time for the July school holidays. The family-friendly blockbuster follows the NRL champion and the efforts of two clubs to bail him out of messy legal situations, as well as his attempts to win The Frownlow Medal.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

Fifita takes centre stage in the fast-paced flick which details his time in police custody in Bali, and his trespassing charge in Queensland in late 2020, as well as the efforts of the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans to save their highly-paid star and get him back onto the footy field.

The Queensland Origin star was arrested in December 2020 after trespassing at a Gold Coast property. Residents claim an intoxicated Fifita walked into a bedroom where a woman was sleeping, and they called the police. Fifita was then arrested on the street, but he was released with a caution, because he claimed he was simply looking for another resident and accidentally walked into the wrong bedroom.

The NRL has since reopened the investigation into the incident, and Fifita has earned a third Frownlow nomination, because it has been revealed the Titans arranged a $10,000 payment to the property residents. As a result, Fifita is expected to be served a breach notice, and could miss game 2 of State of Origin.

Saving David Fifita also features previously unseen footage of the Broncos bailing him out of jail in Bali in 2019, when he earned his first Frownlow nomination. The rampaging back-rower was arrested for an alleged assault outside a nightclub in Seminyak. On that occasion, he was freed after a representative from the Broncos flew to Bali to arrange his release. Exactly how that release was secured is known to only a few people. What is known is that after the Broncos got him out of police custody in a foreign country, Fifita signed with the Titans.

It is believed the Titans have now established the Fifita Fund, and are putting money aside in case their star player needs to be saved from the law in the future.

Saving David Fifita will screen at all major cinemas throughout July. Check local guides for details.

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John and Jamil Hopoate join the Frownlow family.

Former NRL players Jamil and John Hopoate have become the latest father and son duo to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. Jamil was recently nominated for leading police on a car chase related to alleged drug importation and was nominated for both The Frownlow Medal and the hall of fame in the same year, while father John is the owner of the most famous finger in rugby league.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor 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.

Jamil allegedly got into a truck containing $155 million worth of cocaine, and sped through the streets of Sydney with the police in pursuit. He then allegedly jumped from the truck, dumped a backpack also containing cocaine and sprinted away from police in the suburb of Pagewood. He was eventually caught before he could ground the ball with downward pressure in the in-goal area.

Young Hopoate will now most likely spend time in prison, for the second time. He was sentenced to 18 months in 2014 after being found guilty of a violent assault outside a Manly pub, while he was playing for the Sea Eagles. He and two friends brutally bashed two men and hit and kicked them while they were on the ground. Jamil also argued with security guards and fled the scene, and later defended himself by saying he had self-medicated with alcohol to deal with stress and anxiety.

The back-rower was welcomed back into the NRL, where he most recently played for the Brisbane Broncos. He’s lost his contract with the Broncos even before he was charged with assaulting his partner in Port Macquarie in late 2020. Police allege Jamil hit his partner to the ground, spat at security guards, threatened to bash them and fled the scene, leaving behind the mother of his nine-month-old child. His partner was taken to hospital, and he was later caught drink-driving.

Father John was inducted into the hall of fame in 2016 after multiple nominations for offences such as playing rugby union under a false name, inserting his finger into a player’s private parts during a game, verbally abusing a touch judge and ball boy, and for numerous charges of assault.

John and Jamil now join the following father and son pairings who are already part of the Frownlow family:

Jim and Andrew Krakouer (AFL)

Gary Ablett Jr and Sr. (AFL)

Daniel and Roger Kerr (AFL)

Wendell and Tristan Sailor (NRL)

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Has Jack Watts been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame?

Footy fans are confused. They thought former AFL player Jack Watts had earned a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, but then reports indicated that he hadn’t. To add to the confusion, it’s the second time he has and hasn’t been nominated for Australian sport’s highest honour.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor 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.

Watts was originally charged with a driving offence in Adelaide in 2020. He was accused of drink-driving, failing to stop at a crash scene, failing to give particulars about the crash to a police officer, and driving without due care. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but then things got complicated. Lawyers intervened, and reporters starting using words like ‘revoke’, ‘summons’, ‘serve’ and ‘hearing’. At present, it’s hard to say whether Watts has a legal case to answer or not, and whether he can receive a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

The former Melbourne and Port Adelaide player has confused Frownlow judges in the past. In February 2019, a video emerged of him snorting a white substance off the chest of a woman, but his management claimed the substance was legal.

Watts has apparently implored his lawyer to clear the legal confusion and make him eligible for a bona fide nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. Watts is desperate to attend the Frownlow awards night, where there is no doubt as to what footballers will be snorting off womens’ chests.

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It happened…

A woman has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal. NRLW player Nita Maynard becomes the first woman to receive the honour since the award’s inception in 2015, after she was involved in an incident at a pub in Sydney.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

The former NSW and New Zealand representative was charged after allegedly assaulting two security guards at Northies in Cronulla, the site which earned nominations for so many players in the past, including 2019 winner Ben Barba and 2016 medallist Corey Norman. Maynard was arrested, and media reports indicate she had to be restrained after becoming aggressive and assaulting the guards.

The Sydney Roosters hooker was taken to Sutherland police station and charged with two counts of common assault and failing to leave premises when required. Interestingly, two hookers from the Roosters men’s team, Victor Radley and Jake Friend, are also Frownlow nominees, so perhaps it has rubbed off on Maynard. That said, the Roosters and the NRL have conveniently palmed off the scandal to the North Sydney Bears, the Roosters’ feeder club, where Maynard currently plays. You’d think the Rooster’s would be proud to claim such a history-making achievement.

Rumours have also surfaced that Maynard has been asked to join the men’s team when her expected suspension ends. The Roosters have suffered many injuries to key players already this season, and they know Maynard would fit in during team bonding sessions.

The nomination of a woman is unprecedented, and has left many questions unanswered:

Does she compete against men for the award?

Yes. The Frownlow Medal does not discriminate. The Frownlow Medal has always judged players on their actions and not their gender, race, colour, religion, sexuality or nationality. Players need only represent an Australia – based team from one of the four major codes in order to qualify. Woman have always been eligible, they just hadn’t been nominated.

Is this a new era of gender equality?

Perhaps.

Can she attend the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame?

Yes, but would she want to? She’d be the only woman there.

Why did she do it?

Who knows. Apparently she’d had a few drinks, and alcohol has caused most of the nominations for The Frownlow Medal. Then again, it happened in The Shire, so maybe she mistook the security guard for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and did what many Australian women would love to do – take a swing!

Will she win?

She’s a chance. As they say in sport, you’ve got to be in it to win it. She faces tough opposition, though, from players nominated for stabbing, assault and rape.

Either way, Maynard will now be remembered as the first woman in history to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal.

Will she be the last?

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Sam Burgess makes a comeback.

Sam Burgess has made another bid for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame despite having been inducted in 2020. The former NRL player was recently caught driving without a valid NSW licence and using an unregistered vehicle, and allegedly failed a drug test. Some media outlets claim he tested positive for cocaine, and was on his way to pick up his children.

Who says footballers are not great role models?

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor 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.

Burgess was inducted into the hall of fame last year after a massive controversy which saw him accused of domestic violence, violence against women, intimidation and drug and alcohol abuse. His former club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, was also accused of covering up some of his misdemeanours and providing false samples for drug testing. The investigation into the incident continues.

Burgess received Frownlow nominations in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and first attracted the attention of judges when he posted a photo of himself on social media using his phone while driving. He has come a long way since then.

The rampagining forward, who is famous for playing in a winning grand final team with a broken bone on his face, will now be remembered for a sordid family scandal riddled with drug and alcohol abuse, violence and self-destruction – exactly what is expected of inductees into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

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Michael Lichaa nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Former NRL player Michael Lichaa has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after being charged with alleged domestic violence.

Lichaa was taken to hospital recently with severe arm injuries and was later charged with physically assaulting a woman and possibly having an altercation with another man. The presence of the other man led some news outlets to use the term Love Triangle.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor 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.

Police charged the former Canterbury Bulldogs player with common assault (domestic violence), destroying or damaging property (domestic violence) and stalking/intimidation causing fear of physical harm (domestic violence). The Bulldogs recently denied claims that one of their current players, Adam Elliott, was also involved in the violence, as some media outlets have suggested.

Lichaa is the fifth Australia-based footballer currently under investigation for violence against women, and will await the outcome of the police investigation and the decision of Frownlow judges.

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Payne Haas confesses to intimidation.

NRL player Payne Haas has admitted to intimidation but denies charges of intimidating police officers. The young superstar claims he was attempting to intimidate Queenslanders when he was arrested and that he would never mistreat police because “…they wear blue.”

Haas explained that he was hurling abuse at Queenslanders ahead of the 2021 footy season when he was arrested in Tweed Heads recently, because he is still angry at losing the 2020 State of Origin series.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

“I wanna win Origin this year,” stated Haas.

“I can’t believe we lost to their reserve grade team last year, and I’m not gonna go through that again this year – so I went as close to Queensland as possible and started just yelling stuff at random Queenslanders from across the border.”

“I just love intimidating Queenslanders, but I couldn’t get into the state because of the whole coronavirus restrictions, so I just had to yell at them from the other side of the river. If we wanna win Origin this year, we’ve gotta get in early, especially if they get all their top players back this year.”

Police arrested Haas on charges of intimidation and verbal abuse, and reports allege that he was intoxicated at the time.

“I still don’t know why I was arrested. I reckon the cops must secretly be Queenslanders.”

The talented prop was lost for words, however, when he was reminded that he plays his club football for Queensland’s most popular team.

It’s not the forward’s first run in with police. In 2019 he appeared in court over two drink-driving incidents, and in the same year he was suspended and fined by the Broncos for refusing to cooperate with the NRL integrity unit in relation to two off-field incidents.

Whether or not the young New South Welshman’s efforts prove effective will be known later in the year.

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