Like most kids I was taught from an early age that cheaters never ever (ever) prosper – maybe that is why it is still so hard to watch the Melbourne Storm.
Im sorry to Storm fans but I’m just so sick of hearing how good they are and how good their ‘system’ is and everyone glossing over the fact their list is STILL advantaged from them having rorted the rules of the game.
Why just this week the Fox Sports program NRL 360 devoted a whole five minute segment to highlight just how awesome they were.
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Host Ben Ikin, Telegraph league honcho Paul Kent and current players Benji Marshall and Mick Ennis all sat there and waxed about how good the Storm ‘system’ is and how many discarded players have been transformed by the Storm.
That may be true but guys, they cheated – and they are still getting away with it.
You can’t highlight how brilliant Cheyse Blair and Ryan Morgan are when the reason they are getting the ball in such great space and with so much time is thanks to the Kangaroo hooker and Queensland halfback who create it for them.
Where was the ‘yeh of course they are going well they have superstar playmakers who they retained illegally still there running the show’.
Unless this ‘yeh but’ is always (always) mentioned in Storm-related conversation Melbourne will forever be held up as a shining example to the whole NRL that even if you get caught it is still worth cheating.
Why do you think it didn’t stop the Eels from trying to cheat?
You don’t steal a purse after seeing the guy before you writhing in pain as his severed hands flop about in a pool of blood next to him.
Now it turns out the Eels can’t even cheat without stuffing that up, but they tried, just a few seasons after the Storm were caught.
Why I wonder?
The Storm have taught and continue to teach the league that you can have your illegal third party cake and eat it too.
For the love of Joey they haven’t missed the finals since they got caught!
The superstar trio of Smith, Cronk and Slater (and before that Inglis as well) would not have been able to stay together as long as they did had the Storm not been playing dodgy brothers down there.
They would all be playing for other teams had the club not ensured they all stayed using nefarious methods.
It is their combination and experience playing together that make Melbourne unstoppable, and it is the freakish talent and experience of Cronk and Smith that continue to allow Bellamy to pay unders for the majority of the rest of his squad so they can ‘do a job’.
Anyone who has played in and won a grand final knows the cold hard truth that taking a flag off people after it has been won, celebrated and cashed in on in terms of contract renewals and priceless memories is the weakest of punishments.
And the one thing it was meant to do it has not done – their names are not tarnished.
Slater, Bellamy, Cronk, Smith – they are still respected legends of the game and Smith is in line to be an immortal of the game.
Their continued combination past 2010 has seen Cronk rise to Origin star for Queensland and had it not been for his shoulder Slater would be right there with them both.
Any club caught cheating should be so decimated that the very club itself shakes at the very real possibility of collapse.
The punishment must be so severe that it literally takes 3-5 years to rebuild, not 12 months to win their next grand final!
So next time you’re in awe of how good the Storm are, make sure you remember why.
Otherwise the message will remain loud and clear – cheating pays.
Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar!
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