Can Jarryd Hayne return to glory?

Former NRL player and current prisoner Jarryd Hayne could claim the greatest prize in Australian sport this year. Hayne is the favourite to win The Frownlow Medal, ahead of 61 professional footballers who have earned nominations for all manner of off-field scandals.

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.

Hayne is possibly the most talented player to have never won a grand final. He came close with Parramatta one year, and almost single-handedly won a State of Origin series for NSW on one occasion. He now languishes in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault.

Can anyone beat Hayne?

Former NRL player Mananse Fainu poses a strong threat. He is still awaiting the outcome of his legal proceedings after he was accused of stabbing someone outside a Mormon church dance back in 2019. Another Dragons player, Tristan Sailor, was also accused of rape but has not been found guilty as COVID-19 slows down court proceedings in Australia.

Other challengers

Hayne saw off the challenge of another accused rapist, fellow NRL player Jack de Belin. The Dragons and NSW player was found not guilty of sexual assault after a long court case, but is still in contention after attending Paul Vaughan‘s infamous BBQ. This unsanctioned house party led to nominations for another 11 Dragons players, and created the Matt Dufty Fun Run around the streets of Shellharbour.

Corey Norman won the medal in 2016 and was also at the BBQ. He thought he could outsmart the cops by fleeing on foot, but he left behind his phone and car – with personalised number plates. It was his second nomination of 2021, after getting into a brawl outside Northies.

Gender equity

2021 marked a milestone for The Frownlow Medal. Nita Maynard became the first woman to be nominated after getting drunk and taking on a bouncer at Northies. Fellow NRLW player Millie Boyle followed her lead and earned a nomination after being caught in a toilet tryst with misguided NRL player Adam Elliott.

The Breachers

Breaching COVID-19 protocols earned nominations for many footballers this year, even though that particular scandal failed to win the Frownlow for any nominees in 2020. Footballers never learn. Many players breached some form of protocols, including perennial nominees James Roberts, and fellow NRL player Josh Dugan, who was caught by police more than 3 hours from home, twice, on the same day.

Jai Arrow and Api Koroisau were both punished for smuggling women into their restricted hotels rooms during the State of Origin series. Koroisau is married, and Arrow is sponsored by a food delivery company which guarantees fast and efficient delivery.

NRL dominance

NRL players look determined to win back what they believe is their birthright, after Taylor claimed it for the AFL in 2020. They comprise 47 of the 61 nominees. They also supplied two of the most bizarre nominations. Victor Radley was punished by the NRL for tackling someone, while Lachlan Lewis was caught trying to sell a speaker on EBay, after stealing it from a room in the Bulldogs’ hub.

AFL defence

The AFL defence looks flimsy. Jordan De Goey earned three nominations in one year, for essentially being Jordan De Goey, while Taylor Walker made a racist comment and a pathetic attempt to apologise for his racist outburst. Nine more AFL players were nominated for relatively minor offences, and so far they look unlikely to reclaim the medal.

Super Rugby

Super Rugby has offered four candidates. Suliasi Vunivalu earned his nomination before even playing a game in his new code, while three Rebels Marika Koroibete, Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili had a few quiet drinks in their team hotel and broke curfew while playing for the Wallabies. Apparently Rebels are not allowed to rebel.

A- League Absence

The A-League has never won The Fronwlow Medal and has failed to supply any candidates in 2021. Why?

Hayne might be accepting The Frownlow Medal from his prison cell later this year, but it is only September, and four months is a very long time in football.

Image: NuNa

Players put their hand up for The Frownlow Medal 2020.

The year is not yet a month old but already four players have staked their claim for The Frownlow Medal.

Jarryd Hayne, Jack De Belin, Manase Fainu and Maika Sivo will all use carry over credits from 2019 nominations in an attempt to win the most prestigious award in Australian sport.

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 player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.

Hayne and De Belin are the clear favourites at this early stage. Both Rugby League stars have been charged with sexually assaulting women and would have challenged 2019 winner Barba, but their court cases were still taking place at the time the award was announced.

Fainu is another strong contender whose case is before the courts. The young hooker was charged with stabbing a man outside a church dance and his guilt or innocence could determine the winner of this year’s medal.

Sivo, meanwhile, earned the latest nomination in the history of the award, being arrested in his native Fiji for allegedly harassing a woman at a hotel just moments before Barba was crowned. The flying winger was allowed to return to Australia to continue pre-season training with the Parramatta Eels, but last year’s leading try scorer must also await the decision of the courts to learn his fate in the NRL and The Frownlow Medal.

Frownlow fans are desperate to find out who will take home the medal in 2020, and whether this year will produce as many off-field highlights as last year.

Image: NuNa

Ben Barba wins The Frownlow Medal for 2019.

Former NRL player Ben Barba has won The Frownlow Medal for 2019 after being kicked out of the NRL for the second time in his career.

The 2012 Dally M Medallist lost his contract earlier this year after being charged with public nuisance, and was first banished from the NRL for the use of cocaine.

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.

Barba was caught on security cameras during the pre-season in a heated argument with his partner, and the mother of his children, at a venue in Townsville. The North Queensland Cowboys tore up his contract and he was banned indefinitely from the game in Australia. The flying fullback earned his first Frownlow nomination in 2016 when he was caught with cocaine just moments after his heroic role in Cronulla’s first ever premiership win.

Barba beat the strongest field ever in Frownlow history, including fellow Cowboy Scott Bolton. Bolton pleaded guilty to common assault of a woman and served a lengthy suspension from the NRL. This was one of many incidents of violence against women in 2019.

Zane Musgrove was kicked out of the NRL for the second charge of violence against women during his career, while rookie Liam Coleman was charged for the same reason.

Dylan Walker was a strong contender before his partner dropped charges of domestic violence against him, and he was found not guilty, while Jarryd Hayne and Jack De Belin are still involved in legal cases for alleged sexual assault.

Rugby League players clearly dominated the awards yet again this year. In fact, Barba’s victory means that every medallist has played in the NRL, including code-swapper Karmichael Hunt.

Manase Fainu earned his nomination after being charged with stabbing a man outside a church dance. Many parents are now wondering whether it is safer to let their children play Rugby League than go to a church dance. Fainu will also have to wait until 2020 to learn his fate before the justice system.

Australia’s most famous homophobe, former Rugby Union player Israel Folau, created the most controversy this year with his divisive social media posts, but his actions were simply not enough in comparison to accusations of violence against women.

Jaidyn Stephenson flew the flag for the AFL. He had himself banned for 10 games for illegal gambling, but the challenge from Aussie Rules was fairly weak this year.

The A-League is a perennial poor performer in The Frownlow Medal, but bolstered its representation when four young players were simultaneously investigated for…you guessed it…group sex. After all, footballers can hardly be expected to enjoy the company of a woman all by themselves.

A number of Rugby League players were nominated for sex tapes, adding some spice to the competition yet again.

Even the Australian Rugby League captain earned a nomination. Greg Inglis was caught drink driving and was fined and stripped of the honour of captaining his country. He then retired from the sport after an injury-plagued career.

Barba and his fellow nominees will be resting sore heads in 2020, after the famous Frownlow awards night. Meanwhile, we anticipate another year of off-field drama in 2020.

Happy New Year Ben.

Image: NuNa

Jarryd Hayne calls for Hillsong to host Frownlow awards night.

Rugby League star Jarryd Hayne believes the awards night for The Frownlow Medal must be held at Hillsong Church in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Hayne is a member of the hugely popular Evangelical megachurch and is a favourite to win The Frownlow Medal in 2019 after being charged with sexual assault.

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 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was 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.

Hayne believes Hillsong Church is a superior venue to The Star, Sydney, which is the traditional home of the award’s night for the most prestigious award in Australian sport.

“Sure, lots of guys have been nominated for stuff that happened at The Star,” Hayne conceded.

“Even Corey (Norman, 2016 Frownlow Medallist) got busted with pills there, but Hillsong is better – it rocks. It’s a huge venue, they have wicked concerts and stage shows and the atmosphere is massive,” he argued.

The former NRL player, who has not been found guilty of sexual assault, also believes it could attract distinguished guests to the ceremony.

“We could get ScoMo to go. He loves new age Pentecostal churches and he’s a huge footy fan. He could hand out the awards. I reckon if we told him he could wear a baseball cap and sink some schooners, he’d do it for sure.”

Holding the ceremony at Hillsong may also appease two other leading candidates, Israel Folau and Manase Fainu, who have an affinity with churches in the western suburbs of Sydney. Folau lost his multi-million dollar Rugby Union contract for expressing views he cultivated at a church in western Sydney, while Fainu will soon face court after being accused of stabbing someone during a brawl outside a church in western Sydney.

Hillsong faces strong competition for hosting rights. The Star is a very popular haunt with Frownlow nominees, while La Favela nightclub in Bali is where recent nominees Nelson Asofa-Solomona and David Fifita attracted the attention of Frownlow judges.

Wherever the event is held, all in attendance are sure to be filled with some sort of spirit.

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Manase Fainu threatens Frownlow favourites after knife attack outside church.

NRL player Manase Fainu has launched an attack on fellow nominees for The Frownlow Medal after being charged with stabbing someone during a brawl outside a church in South West Sydney.

Fainu obviously sought divine intervention in his bid for Frownlow glory, as the winner for 2019 is just moments from being announced, and the timing of his nomination is perfect.

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 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.

Fainu has been charged with various offences, including affray and intent to cause grevious bodily harm, and the matter is currently under investigation by the police and the NRL Integrity Unit. Bizarrely, Fainu has been charged with assault despite having recently undergone shoulder surgery.

Even more bizarre is the fact that a Rugby League player was involved in more violence outside a church than on the football field.

The promising young hooker has already been nominated for Frownlow honours. In 2018, he was nominated for filming himself and a young woman having sex and posting the film to social media without the girl’s permission.

The Manly player’s main rivals for the most prestigious award in Australian sport are Scott Bolton (NRL), Zane Musgrove (Rugby League), Jaidyn Stephenson (AFL) and Israel Folau (Rugby Union). His Sea Eagles teammate, Dylan Walker, was the clear favourite until his partner dropped charges of domestic violence.

Fainu is now expected to go to confession on his way to the upcoming awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Image:NuNa