James Roberts and Will Smith learn how to fight.

NRL players James Roberts and Will Smith are hoping their trip to a boxing match has taught them how to trade blows with the big boys, and has not only earned them a nomination for The Frownlow Medal.

Roberts and Smith breached bio-security protocols and will soon realise that that’s not going to be enough to win the medal when this year’s favourites have been accused, or found guilty, of sexual assault, as well as stabbing someone, common assault and a good old pub brawl.

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.

Roberts and Smith face potential sanctions from the NRL for a bio-security breach while attending the recent fight between Tim Tszyu and Dennis Hogan in Newcastle. Neither player wore a mask despite being told by the NRL that all players and staff must wear masks at public venues.

Roberts really should know better. He earned Frownlow nominations in 2016, 2017 and 2019, for incidents such as public drunkenness and alcohol abuse, accusations of harassing a female bartender and pulling another woman’s hair, fighting with security and using up many ‘last’ chances. All of these actions are far more likely to convince Frownlow judges than failing to wear a mask while watching two grown men beat the frownlow out of each other. Smith, meanwhile, receives his first nomination.

Roberts also earned his fourth ticket to the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, where he and Smith can party all night without a mask, or consequences.

Image: NuNa

Jarryd Hayne knows it’s not over.

It’s tempting to think that Jarryd Hayne has The Frownlow Medal locked up for 2021. The former NRL star was just found guilty of raping a woman in 2018 and has one hand on the most prestigious prize in Australian sport – but the result is not certain.

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 was recently found guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman in her home on Grand Final evening in 2018. He will most likely spend a substantial time in prison. Normally a rape conviction would guarantee victory in The Frownlow Medal. After all, previous medallists have won for physical assault of a woman, but not sexual assault, or for incidents involving stalking, illicit drug use, sex tapes, gambling and drug possession.

However, Hayne faces strong opposition this year from other footballers who have also been accused of sexual assault. Jack de Belin is still involved in a seemingly eternal court case after being accused of rape a long time ago, and fellow NRL player Tristan Sailor is also being investigated for sexual assault, as was Collingwood player Jordan de Goey. It is not certain when a verdict will be reached in their cases.

Following on their heels are Manase Fainu, who was charged with stabbing a man outside a church dance, and Jamil Hopoate, who has been charged with drink driving assaulting a woman. 2016 Medallist Corey Norman used a street brawl to try to win back the medal, and Zane ‘Last Chance’ Musgrove earned yet another nomination, alongside Asu Kepaoa.

AFL attempted to defend the prize they won last year when Jonathon Patton was caught sending lewd images to women who didn’t want them, and a host of fellow NRL players will keep pressure on the front runners for this year’s medal.

Knights rookie Phoenix Crossland announced the beginning of another NRL season by getting into a pub brawl, while Payne Haas and Corey Harawira-Naera earned repeat nominations. Another Corey from the Raiders, Horsburgh, was caught drink driving, while Suliasi Vunivalu earned a Frownlow nomination before he’d played his first game of professional rugby union. The Broncos have made a significant contribution already, with Kotoni Staggs being accused of homophobia, and Tesi Niu being charged with a driving offence.

In addition, Sharks big man Toby Rudolf told the most costly joke in NRL history, and Roosters forward Victor Radley got punished for tackling a man.

Who will win The Frownlow Medal in 2021?

Image: NuNa

Have a beer with an alcoholic.

Rugby League fans are being urged to share a beer with Queensland footy hero Jason Smith in order to celebrate his nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame for offences related to the abuse of drugs and alcohol.

Smith confessed to years of drug and alcohol abuse and was charged with drug possession offences after ending his football career, during which he represented Australia.

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 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.

Encouraging people to have a drink with a recovering alcoholic may seem a little odd, but this is the exact advice given to the people of Toowoomba and Queensland by lawyer Chris Hannay, who represented Smith during his court hearings for possession of cocaine, and who believed it would help the State of Origin hero to get his life back on track.

During the court proceedings and afterwards, Smith confessed to years of alcohol and drug abuse and claims he considered suicide. He was also implicated in the drug supply ring which earned prison sentences for two other former NRL players and Frownlow nominees, Matt Seers and John Touma.

Fans of Smith can enjoy a few quiet ones while they wait to find out if their hero has done enough to be inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Image:NuNa

Was Moses Homophobic?

Moses is famous for his divisive actions, but did you know that he was also homophobic? He is not the first of his kind to stigmatise homosexuality, and he may not be the last. NRL player Mitchell Moses was once sanctioned for homophobic comments and has earned himself a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

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.

Moses was given a two-match ban for directing a homophobic comment at a Queensland player during a junior State of Origin match in 2014. Mitchell called Luke Bateman a “fucking gay cunt” and his slur was picked up by the TV microphone. Viewers heard it loud and clear.

The comment is not quite in the same league as Australia’s most famous homophobe, Israel Folau, but it introduced young Moses to the big time and to the NRL Integrity Unit. Will Moses go down in history as one who divided, and will he join the greats in The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame?

Image: NuNa

Michael Jennings wants The Frownlow Medal before he finishes his career.

NRL veteran Michael Jennings is determined to win The Frownlow Medal before he hangs up his boots and earned his fourth nomination for the award after testing positive for two banned substances.

The Parramatta Eels centre may have played his last game in the NRL as he has been ruled out of tonight’s elimination final against the South Sydney Rabbitohs and could be banned for many years if his B samples also test positive to Ligandrol and Ibutamoren.

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.

Jennings had his phone and laptop confiscated by officials from WADA on the morning of the game against the Rabbitohs. Unconfirmed reports claim that Jennings told the officials he created the controversy in order to finally win the Frownlow after three previous failed attempts. In 2016, 2018 and 2019, the former Origin player made bids for the award with actions such as:

Being dropped from Penrith for arriving at training under the influence of alcohol

Being fined $10,000 for drinking

Being arrested and charged with offensive behaviour

Being accused of kicking a boom gate while drunk

Being accused of intoxication and bad behaviour at a Sydney nightspot

Pressing ‘like’ in reaction to Israel Folau’s famous homophobic social media post.

Jennings has publicly denied the charges and will not face consequences until the B sample test results are returned. One of the substances he is accused of taking is a growth hormone, and experts suggest that the premiership winning player was trying to grow a brain.

Image: NuNa

Is it too late for Maika Sivo?

NRL player Maika Sivo waited until the day before the official announcement to earn himself a nomination for The Frownlow Medal.

With two days left of the calendar year, Sivo involved himself in an alleged incident of annoyance at a hotel in Fiji and placed himself in contention to win the greatest prize 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 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.

The leading try scorer for season 2019 has been charged with ‘indecent annoyance’ for allegedly pulling on the skirt of a female bartender at a hotel in Fiji.

The timing of the incident earns Sivo the honour of receiving the latest ever nomination in the history of The Frownlow Medal, so he has already won two accolades in his first season in the NRL.

Can he add Frownlow honours to that list?

Image: NuNa