NRL players will be reminded to stay on their best behaviour while still guests in Queensland and to make sure the game and fans “are not reading about any incidents” as eight clubs celebrate the end of another tough season after this weekend.
Just as he did last year, NRL boss Andrew Abdo said he would remind the clubs about the need for players to avoid any Mad Monday-like celebrations.
Bulldogs players celebrating at the end of the season in 2013.Credit:Fairfax Photographic
Players remain in an NRL bubble. They can attend restaurants and bars, but not pubs. They have often sought exemption to attend the popular Burleigh Pavilion.
Canberra could become the first club to finish their season should they lose to the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night, but Friday will feature reviews and medicals, followed by Saturday’s Mal Meninga Medal luncheon. They all go their separate ways on Sunday.
Canterbury and Wests Tigers players have the chance to blow off steam on Sunday night after they clash in Redcliffe, as well as the New Zealand Warriors and most likely the Gold Coast Titans.
“There won’t be any memos sent but we will talk to the clubs,” Abdo said. “This is a different year and different season, we want to make sure we maintain our discipline all the way through, and we’ll have a discussion about how we do that, how we exit the season and make sure we have no issues that concern us.
“All the families are there with the clubs and it makes sense to have a dinner with the families and for us to not be in a position where we’re reading about any incidents that are occurring.”
Raiders chief executive Don Furner said his club had not held Mad Mondays in several years, and if players wanted to get together, “it is up to them to arrange it and arrange to pay for it”.
“Those days are well over,” Furner said.
The Queensland government kept the game alive, and the last thing officials want is for NRL players to abuse that goodwill.
Meanwhile, the JJ Giltinan Shield will be presented to the minor premiers on Friday night at Cbus Stadium.
Melbourne will receive the trophy should they defeat Cronulla, while Penrith, who play Parramatta at the same Gold Coast venue straight afterwards, remain an outside hope of collecting the gong for a second straight year.
Because of Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown, Abdo said a Queensland-based commissioner could be given the job of presenting the shield, or a former player from one of the two powerhouse clubs.
The Panthers will be at full strength for their showdown with the Eels, including powerhouse winger Brian To’o who ran for nearly 300m in his return from an ankle injury last week.
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