The Life of Riley

The NRL in its infinite wisdom elected to give Riley Brown a life and not charge him for his season-wrecking tackle on Craig Wing.

It was within the rules so no crime was committed, but surely it would be considered derelict of duty if they didn't take action against the action? I mean it was a "dog act" - no one even fair-minded Rooster fans disputes that - so it must be outlawed from the game else the incident itself will be used against the game by rival football codes to send the talented youth in their direction. They would be stupid not to seize the opportunity.

I can see the ad campaign now. The scene is a newsroom in the year 2017. They go to the nightly sports report and the sports anchor says something along the lines of:

The maim game for this weekend's round of thugby league is Team X versus Team Y. Should be a brutal encounter with the latest betting favouring Team X to break more bones but Team Y to finish on top in the amount of blood spilt.

Whilst in soccer, er football I should say, just can't seem to get used to calling it that, registrations at junior level have exceeded all the football codes for the ninth year in a row. A leading official elated with the further jump in popularity says it all started way back in 2008 when the NRL failed to crack down on a lethal tackle.

"We just capitalised on it. It was a massive 'free-kick' for our game and I know at the time the ARU and Aussie Rules benefited from it too. It is perhaps why the latter has made such an impact in western Sydney with its second AFL team the West Sydney Wombats challenging the Sydney Swans for supremacy. The incident caused a furore and they punted the entire NRL board over it not long after, but the damage had been done and we've been cashing in ever since." That's sport I'm David Gallop.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the nasty episode is the attitude of the Roosters club. They have dismissed it with a snigger and a chuckle, trotting out the line "he (Brown) didn't break any rules." No he didn't, just broke the shoulder of a defenceless player with his back to him and in doing so, made the decision easy for parents as to which code of football little Johnny should avoid.

Heaven forbid, imagine if Anthony Minichiello after two wretched seasons, is put out of the game indefinitely by a similar incident. Will the Roosters be prepared to accept it as part and parcel of the game? I know avid fans like Janelle, Curdy, Double A and the O would be furious and rightly so, I would too and I openly admit that the Roosters are among my least favoured clubs.

It was great to see Mini back to the type of form which made him one of the best in the game and other than against my team, the Bulldogs, I look forward to more of the same.

How is what Riley Brown did any different to the 'king hit' by David Fa