Police charge two men over 2019 Dally M betting scam

NSW Police have charged two men over a betting scam involving Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy’s Dally M win last year.

A major investigation was launched by the Organised Crime Squad’s Casino and Racing Investigation Unit after the NRL Integrity Unit reported suspicious betting activity on the 2019 Coach of the Year Award.

It lead senior police to search two separate residences in Paddington and Waterloo and a business premises in Surry Hills last Wednesday, in which documentation, electronic devices and computers were seized.

This morning, NSW Police confirmed two men, aged 29 and 31, have since been charged with use inside information to bet on event and possess inside information communicate to other to bet on event.

“Police will allege in court that the men placed bets on the 2019 Dally M Coach of the Year Award winner with prior knowledge of the result,” A NSW statement said.

“It will also be alleged that they shared information with other individuals, who in turn placed bets with various betting agencies.”

Bellamy was sensationally backed into $1.80 favouritism with some bookmakers after originally being considered an outsider in the market.

The men are due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday 20 August 2020.

Investigations are continuing.

It comes just a matter of hours before the 2020 NRL season is due to re-start, with the Brisbane Broncos to take on the Parramatta Eels at an empty Suncorp Stadium tonight.

Cronulla star Bronson Xerri suspended after failing drug test

Young Cronulla NRL star Bronson Xerri has been provisionally suspended by the NRL after failing an ASADA drug test.

The news has rocked the game just two days before the season resumes.

The 19-year-old returned a positive A-sample to exogenous Testosterone, Androsterone, Etiocholanolone and 5b-androstane-3a,17b-diol which are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Authority and the NRL. 

Xerri was tested by ASADA on November 25.

He now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed.

In a statement, the NRL says Xerri is prohibited from participating in any WADA compliant sport, including rugby league, while the provisional suspension is in place.

The Sharks say they were made aware of Xerri’s suspension earlier today.

“Bronson has been stood down from training and playing responsibilities while the process runs its course, which under the policy includes the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed.

“The club has been in contact with Bronson.”

Broncos’ McCullough joins Knights after shock exit from Brisbane

Broncos star Andrew McCullough has been released from his Brisbane contract, effective immediately.

The popular hooker is now headed for Newcastle, with the Knights snapping up the 30-year-old after 12 years at the Broncos.

The Brisbane club confirmed the surprising news in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

“We wish Andrew and Carlie all the best in what will be a new and exciting opportunity for them,” Chief executive Paul White said.

“He has been a favourite son of the Broncos for a long period of time and has always been so well respected by his fellow players and staff.

“It is a sad day for the Broncos to see him depart Brisbane, but he will always be welcome back here at the club.”

McCullough has been a part of the Broncos’ system since he was just 13 years of age, playing in the National Youth Competition under-20s team, before making his NRL debut in Round 10 of 2008 against Cronulla.

The Newcastle Knights also released a statement a short time ago, revealing their excitement at securing the NRL star.

“The Newcastle Knights are pleased to announce Andrew McCullough has joined the Club for the remainder of the 2020 season,” the club said.

“Andrew McCullough gives us valuable experience at the highest level… He is a quality defensive player with a consistent passing game and kick threat.

“He’s a senior player with maturity which will only compliment Mitchell Pearce, Kurt Mann and Kalyn Ponga in the spine.”

Gold Coast Titans logo on vehicle

Gold Coast Titans to play home games out of Brisbane

NRL games are just around the corner, but CBUS stadium won’t be welcoming back any games just yet.

It’s been confirmed that the Gold Coast Titans have been stripped of their home games until at least round 9, with games to be played at Suncorp instead.

Centralised stadiums were decided on by league bosses, to ensure all venues follow the biosecurity protocols and keep everyone safe.

The Titans admit they would prefer to be able to play at CBUS, but understand that biosecurity protocols need to be followed.

Gold Coast Titans prop Shannon Boyd says he doesn’t even mind, he’s just glad to be playing again.

“It is what it is, you know, if we’re playing footy I’m happy.

“As long as we can get back playing, I think that’s the main thing, I don’t think people need to look at where it’s being played, its just, let’s get back and play some footy and enjoy it again,” Boyd said.

However, he’s pretty eager to get back to CBUS as well.

“You always want to play at home, it’s your home ground.

“It would be a good push for us if we can start getting a few wins together and make that our little fortress there like other teams have done in the past with their own home stadiums.

“I think it will be good to get back there, and really try hard, get some wins there, then get the Gold Coast community back in and watch us play whenever the restrictions lift,” Boyd said.

Footy Field

GAME ON! Draw unveiled for revamped NRL season

The NRL has today unveiled the first two rounds of the competitions relaunch, much to the delight of league fans starved of their weekend footy.

The restart of the 2020 season is set to kick off with a bang, with the Brisbane Broncos hosting the Parramatta Eels for the much-anticipated opener on Thursday, May 28.

The clash will then be followed by an all-Queensland derby on Friday night, with the Gold Coast Titans going head to head with the Cowboys, before South Sydney does battle with the Roosters.

On Saturday, the Warriors, who have packed up and relocated to Australia due to coronavirus travel restrictions, will take on the Dragons at 3pm.

Following that match, the Sharks and Tigers will take to the field, before the Melbourne Storm and Raiders kick off.

On Sunday, Penrith and Newcastle will meet, however both sides will each be without one of their stars, with Panthers player Nathan Cleary suspended for his Anzac Day antics, and Knights playmaker Kalyn Ponga out for a shoulder charge.

Sunday night footy will conclude with Manly taking on the Canterbury Bulldogs.

It gets even better in Round Four, with the Broncos taking on the Roosters on Thursday night.

The Panthers and Warriors will then meet on Friday, before the Storm and Bunnies do battle.

Saturday’s matches will consist of Parramatta and Manly, followed by the Cowboys and Sharks, while Sunday will see the Raiders up against the Knights and Titans do battle with the Tigers.

The annual Queen’s Birthday showdown between the Dragons and Bulldogs on Monday afternoon has also been locked in.

Round 3

Thursday, 8pm: Broncos v Eels

Friday, 6pm: Cowboys v Titans

Friday, 8pm: Roosters v Rabbitohs

Saturday, 3pm: Warriors v Dragons

Saturday, 5.30pm: Sharks v Tigers

Saturday, 7.30pm: Storm v Raiders

Sunday, 4pm: Panthers v Knights

Sunday, 6.30pm: Sea Eagles v Bulldogs

Round 4

Thursday, 8pm: Broncos v Roosters

Friday, 6pm: Panthers v Warriors

Friday, 8pm: Storm v Rabbitohs

Saturday, 5.30pm: Eels v Sea Eagles

Saturday, 7.30pm: Cowboys v Sharks

Sunday, 4pm: Raiders v Knights

Sunday, 6.30pm: Titans v Tigers

Monday, 4pm: Bulldogs v Dragons

The remainder of the schedule is expected to be announced next Thursday.