rugby

Souths players cleared after internal review into sexting scandal

An internal review has cleared South Sydney players of misconduct over the sexting scandal.

An investigation was launched after allegations players exposed themselves to a woman via a social media account linked to star forward Sam Burgess.

The news rocked the club as they prepared for this weekend’s NRL preliminary final against fierce rivals the Sydney Roosters.

A panel which included Souths Chairman Nick Pappas, CEO Blake Solly and the NRL Integrity Unit’s Karyn Murphy began investigating the complaints which had been made to the club.

Souths players and staff were questioned by the panel how the woman who made the complaint declined to be questioned by the panel.

She did however speak privately with Ms Murphy.

In a statement the club says that “based on a thorough review of the available evidence before it, the Panel was not satisfied that any South Sydney player engaged in any actionable misconduct resulting in a breach of their NRL Playing Contract, the NRL Rules or the SSFC Code of Conduct.”

“The Rabbitohs have no further comment to make at this time.”

NRL Football

Paul Gallen ruled out of grand final qualifier against Melbourne

Cronulla will have to win their way into the NRL grand final without captain Paul Gallen after he was ruled out of Friday night’s clash with Melbourne due to injury.

The Sharks were hopeful the 37-year-old would be able to play in the crunch match, even flying him down to Melbourne despite tearing ligaments in his shoulder during last week’s one-point win over Penrith.

The leadership duties now rest with retiring back-rower Luke Lewis in Gallen’s absence, in what could be his last NRL game.

In fact, it will be the last ever game for either veteran Lewis or legendary Storm fullback Billy Slater.

Although Lewis knows the ultra-competitive Slater will be spurred on by the occasion, he also plans to harness the emotion in his performance.

“I’ve built up a really good relationship with Billy over the years, especially having the opportunity to play with him [for Australia],” Lewis said.

“But in saying that, when we’re out on the park we don’t like each other for that 80 minutes. He’s going to want to win more than ever, [but] I want to win more than ever as well.”

Scott Pendlebury Collingwoo Magpies AFL

Footy fever spreads as Grand Finals near

THE schedules are now set for next week’s preliminary rugby league and Aussie rules finals following what has been a thrilling weekend of semi-final football.

In the NRL, defending premiers Melbourne Storm will take on the Sharks in a showdown at AAMI Park on Friday night following Cronulla’s 21-20 win over Penrith.

This will be followed on Saturday by a blockbuster battle between traditional rivals South Sydney and the Roosters at Allianz Stadium after the Rabbitohs defeated the dragons 13-12.

It’ll be the last NRL Telstra Premiership match played at the ground before it is knocked down for a new stadium to be built at the site.

Meanwhile, the AFL has also announced the fixture for week three of the 2018 Toyota Finals Series following its big games at the weekend.

Minor premiers Richmond will host Collingwood at the MCG on Friday night, before West Coast welcomes Melbourne to Optus Stadium in Perth on Saturday afternoon.

NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series – Week 3

1st Preliminary Final: Friday, September 21
NRL: Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks @ 7.40pm (AAMI Park)
NRLW: Brisbane Broncos v New Zealand Warriors @ 5.15pm

2nd Preliminary Final: Saturday, September 22
NRL: Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs @ 7.40pm (Allianz Stadium)
NRLW: Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons @ 5.10pm

Week three Toyota AFL Finals Series

1st Preliminary Final: Friday, September 21
Richmond v Collingwood at the MCG, 7.50pm

2nd Preliminary Final: Saturday, September 22
West Coast v Melbourne at Optus Stadium, 1.20pm AWST (3.20pm AEST)

will.i.am

AFL Grand Final: Jimmy Barnes, Black Eyed Peas to rock the MCG

The AFL has today announced the big artists set to headline the Pre-Game Show at the 2018 AFL Grand Final this month.

Legendary Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes and American RNB group The Black Eyed Peas will be sure to bring the house down when they take to the stage at the MCG on Saturday, September 29.

Featuring former The Voice coach will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo, The Black Eyed Peas say they can’t wait to perform down under for the first time since 2009.

“Australia! We are honoured to be heading to Melbourne to perform at the AFL Grand Final Day,” the group said.

“This is the biggest day in Australian sport, so we will be pulling out all the stops for this special performance. See you soon!”

Barnesy, who will be joined on stage by Aussie singer-songwriter Diesel, will also be performing at the free post-game premiership party which kicks off at the MCG from 7.00pm.

“Looking forward to singing at one of the world’s greatest sporting events” Barnes said.

“It’s going to be a huge day on the ground at the MCG! It doesn’t get bigger than this – 100,000 passionate football fans and rock ‘n roll will be a great mix.”

Mahalia Barnes, who is Jimmy Barnes’ daughter, will perform the National Anthem before the bounce, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan confirmed.

Footy Field

Sydney Rabbitohs launch investigation into alleged lewd video

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have confirmed that they have launched an official investigation into claims a number of players exposed themselves to a woman on Facebook video chat.

The alleged incident is believed to have happened after the team’s win in Auckland in May this year, the Daily Telegraph reports.

“A thorough investigation will be undertaken in conjunction, and in close co-operation, with the NRL’s Integrity Unit,” the club said in a statement on Friday.

“Since receiving contact details last night for the female involved, Rabbitohs officials have attempted to make contact via phone and email.”

The Rabbitohs said that they take “any allegations of player misbehaviour very seriously and will not be making any further comment until the completion of the investigation.”