What on earth is going on at the Raiders?

Another week, another loss and more off-field drama. The natural ebb and flow of sports teams means that good times tend to be followed by bad.

But the seminal downfall of the Canberra Raiders, last year’s semi-finalists and the previous year’s finalists, is something to behold.

With none too many of the other sides having drew significant improvements over the off-season, this is a case of Canberra regressing. This almost certainly owes to off-field ruminations, most notably the events bordering George Williams.

From the views of information that we have ascertained the story vanishes something like this: having denied access leave to return to England– in spite of Brisbane allowing countryman Herbie Farnworth to do so- he went to the club at the start of the year expressing feelings of homesickness and unease.

George Williams goes for a run

George Williams( Photo by Mark Nolan/ Getty Images)

At some interceding spot he then asked to be secreted at the end of 2021, two years into a three-year contract. It’s unknown if this was agreed to in principle. Then, last week, he asked for some epoches off on compassionate soils for either himself, his pregnant girlfriend or both.

With this, Canberra opted to release him from his contract effective immediately, and we be brought to an end with the current impasse playing out before us.

It’s important to target all these recent events in context. The Raiders premised their recent increase on smart-alecky, somewhat left-field recruitment from beyond the east coast. There was young recruitment from Aotearoa-New Zealand, the scouting of undergrowth participates and the atrocious signals from England.

This saved them a pretty penny. They faced less event from other guilds for slightly more obscure players and thus were in a position to agree lower wages. The cheaper cost of living compared to the bigger municipals likewise allowed them contractual leeway.

But it was also done to bring in the liberty calibre of player. Sydney and Canberra offer, shall we say, different lives. Indicating for the Raiders signalled a desire to primarily center energies on on-field topics, refusing the distractions offered by a( previously) world city.

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It was working- until COVID-1 9. But his leaving and definitely that of John Bateman before him was not because he was a second-rate Brit unable to hack it in the world’s premier rugby league competition. Bateman was a Dally M second-rower, while Williams’s achievements last year were befitting of a semi-final side and acting on behalf of an England international and several grand final winner.

These weren’t ordinary incidents of homesickness either. With some of the tightest strip rules in the world, Australia is to all intents and purposes hermetically sealed off from beings of the outside for at least another year- altogether irregular during the early stages of these players’ tenures.

There are some depressingly horrific comments and innuendo doing the rounds that require clarification. This isn’t about money. It’s not a subterfuge for a better contract. His return to England would result in a significant pay trimmed. It’s not an attempt to find a move to Sydney- that would only worsen the situation.

Claiming he should simply tough it out with shaky analogies to war-time deployment or the ten-pound Poms or even the insistence that he’ boy up’ are as tone-deaf and improper “where theyre” unhelpful. Society moves forward and progresses to leave such unhelpful attitudes and know-hows in the past.

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In a Twitter response to some of the commentary on NRL 360 he received’ likes’ from several of his teammates, including foreign participates of both English and Kiwi persuasion, seemingly understanding of his predicament. He likewise received oral support from onetime co-captain Josh Hodgson.

This isn’t a’ whinging Poms’ matter either, returning to the warm embrace of Yorkshire and Lancashire away from the big league. Just as many Australians have had topics adjusting to life in Europe and felt the need to come home- Trent Merrin left Leeds amicably, while Israel Folau is the talk of Southport after returning mid-contract from his stint in Perpignan.

We are currently witnessing a slow-motion auto slam of Canberra’s title intentions this year, possible for many years to come. We have become privy to the testy breakdown in relations between participates and staff members, assume out for us by attention-seeking media that I myself am guilty of indulging( and with this, contributing to ). And it’s a bloody shame.

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