Cheaters never prosper…. except in the NRL

I’ve been racking my brain for days and I finally figured out why I was so angry watching the 2017 NRL Grand Final.

Cheaters never prosper.

They were the three little words that were going off like a fireworks display in my subconscious as I sat with a furrowed brow watching the Melbourne Storm superlative train stop off at every station on Grand Final night.


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Cheaters. Never. Prosper.

It is a concept we learn as very young children and it is a fundamentally important aspect of both society and individual morality.

Do NOT do the wrong thing, because if you do, you will never get away with it in the end.

Whether it is a thief who gets caught and goes to jail or repays the stolen goods and is forever tainted with a criminal record, or whether it’s a cheating partner that re-marries someone who makes the rest of their life completely miserable, we as a society place an unbelievable amount of faith in this notion of cosmic comeuppance.

So as the commentators were furiously scrolling through the office thesaurus to find new superlatives to describe whatever Smith, Cronk and/or Slater were doing at any particular moment, all I could think about was ‘wait, hang on a minute, these guys are cheaters…and they’re prospering!’

To anyone who may not know what the Storm did or anyone who naively thinks those past wrongs have no bearing on the team that were showered in glory on Sunday, feel free to have a look back through at what was called at the time ‘The biggest scandal in Australian sports history’.

Allowing the Storm to keep their three star players (and make no mistake, they are all of them once-in-a-generation star players) together could only ever have led to last Sunday.

The Storm illegally retained their big names and while they were cheating the competition for five years, their young stars were forming a bond and combinations the likes of which this game has never seen.

That effortless (almost mockingly so) outside-inside combo that set up Slater’s try in the Grand Final could not have been a better example of why the NRL sets tight salary caps – any club would create a dynasty if they could retain three prodigiously-talented juniors all the way to 300 game veterans.

A juiced-up Lance Armstrong doesn’t just get his past erased – he is not allowed to race anymore because he now has an unfair advantage due to his cheating.

Saying the Storm won fair and square on Sunday night is like having no problem with a golfer driving the ball right behind a tree trunk, using a sneaky little ‘foot wedge’ when no one was looking to kick it clear of the tree and then hitting the next shot to 6ft and draining the putt.

It doesn’t matter how good your next few shots are, the foot wedge immediately disqualifies you from the hole altogether.

There is no way to know where the Storm’s gun players would have played their last seven seasons had the Storm not cheated and denied normal NRL salary cap dynamics from taking effect, but in many ways it doesn’t matter.

As good as these players are individually, they were part of the greatest ‘foot wedge’ moment in Australian sporting history, yet for the last decade have been glorified in the Origin and Test arenas as cleanskin champions of our game.

Ditto Parramatta who not 12 months ago were caught for similar breeches and yet this season were one game away from playing in a Preliminary Final.

The message the NRL is sending is loud and clear and it is not cheaters never prosper, more like ‘if caught, cheaters can prosper next season and beyond’.

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You’re a trollop. They lost Will Chambers, Greg Inglis, Ryan Hoffman, Brett Finch, Aidan Tolman, Jeff Lima, Brett White because of the Salary Cap. Played guys on base salaries to keep the “big 3” and rebuilt their club. Sour grapes much

The only bloke they wanted to keep was inglis. The rest were no great loss. They are cheats, as are the players because they signed 2 contracts. It says in the history books they are cheats!

What a rubbish story. Terrible a***ogies .. Rubbish.

To the writer of this “article”, you are pathetic. There are plenty of words to describe a person like you, but we won’t go there. This article is a disgrace. I’ve got a couple of words for you, build a bridge princess.. as you say, when we’re young we’re taught not to do the wrong thing otherwise we we pay for it and guess what sunshine… that’s exactly what the Storm did, the payed the price, well actually a lot more than just that. But just like the champions they are, they were knocked down and they got back up again. There are always gonna be pathetic haters like you, but you know what, I really don’t care.. say what you want cause I’ll just point at the shirt that I’m still wearing and you can read the words; MELBOURNE STORM 2017 PREMIERS ??⚡️☝️?
And just one more thing that will get your knickers in a knot, the Melbourne Storm will go down as the greatest team of the past decade ? Anyway, I’m off to continue celebrating our victory! Up the Storm! ⚡️⚡️

So obviously you are a storm hater? How many bloody teams over the years have had salary cap issues? Yet you pin point Storm… why?? Were you a wanna be rugby player who was always overlooked? I cannot believe how biased and unfair this article is. Only thing it’s good for is for wiping your a***…. in the words of AFL great Sam Newman…”You idiot”.

What a moron. An idiot. A sook. A whinger. I could go on about you, but honestly, why? First of all, you need to do something called research. It would have helped you realise how stupid this exercise was before you started it. Do you think the Storm were the only ones to have been caught breaching the salary cap? Canterbury did it years before the Storm, and were caught being $2m over the cap. The difference? Melbourne were, and still are, a successful club. Bulldogs….not so much. Parramatta did the same. They lost their 9s trophy. Shall we be calling them cheats as well? How about last year, Cronulla and the drugs scandal? Did they cheat their way to the premiership on a drug fuelled past? You honestly need to re-evaluate your priorities if you got so upset over the Storm winning. The players have. The rest of the NRL has.

Garbage “journalism” goes someway towards describing this “article”. When you show me a forensic audit of the other 15 clubs for the years 2006-2010 that show every club complied with the cap you might have half a leg to stand on. The club lost a host of players, were stripped of premierships and minor premierships and forced to make a farce of the entire competition by playing for no points (winning enough games to finish 5th mind you). This was all done on the whim of one man, David Gallop, based on a report by Ian Schubert, the chief salary cap auditor. To put this in context, Schubert was in charge of keeping the books at Parramatta during their recent salary cap scandal. Yet here you are spewing garbage at a club that has rebuilt itself and embarrassed those those that tried to end it.

Whatever you stupid person. SOUR GRAPES !!!

Really, how about you get off the coast and really do something really good. Jarryd Haynes is a dud. The t**ans spent so much money for one player and expect to be in the finals what a joke. Even with the salary cap saga in which it was an administration fault which you lot loves to jump the bandwagon on. The Storm had still been able to get into the finals series ever by talent.

This includes 18 months without Billy Slater playing for the team.Yet you call us cheats and never looking at any other NRL team including the t**ans for their breaches of salary capping.

You really need to get your facts right before printing off trash.

I guess it’s easy to sit in your armchair watching a GF desperately trying to find a way to discredit the winner.
Your angle is not new – in fact it’s so old you’re so late to the party the Storm have been audited more times than the t**ans have appeared in the finals.
But I guess that doesn’t matter.
I recall my parents giving me some advice as a kid too – much along the lines of the one you have used as your thinly constructed premise …. “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” But there is a better one ….

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

Brave face, no name editorial. Keyboard warrior and bullying is a paid job now?! Well done media for paying things like you for a trash piece with little fact, oh that’s what sells apparently. Truth and deceny does not, or you my friend would be jobless relying on decent traits.

Its not the players that commit the offence they don’t know the salary levels of the other players in the squad. Its the only the club that can work that all out and its not the money that makes you a better player. The Storm players were already at the club as youngsters they became good because of the coaches not the size of their salary

How did you even think up this crap – and since when does the removal of 3 players become punishment for indescretions management carried out you boofhead. these players had nothing to do with salary cap breeches, why punish them – you’ve had one too many “spiffs” if you ask me

What a crop of sh@t the Melbourne Storm were penalised heavily the make an example how many other teams since have had salary cap violations and not penalised as much or at all

Biggest SALARY CAP BREACH in the whole history of sports not only NRL but all MF sports. I’m a NRL FAN and ex player if I was ex storm player I’ll be ashamed to claim any GF after being claimed the biggest cheaters in the world. TY

Best article ever written about this farce. For the idiots on here that think Melbourne paid the price, the benifit was that they were allowed to assemble a better champion squad by paying overs. Assembling certain players in the one club all at once that otherwise would not have played together. Just because they moved a few on later does not take away the advantage. The NRL do not punish cap cheats hard enough. Bulldogs got done and won a year or 2 later, then Melbourne now Parramatta is on the verge of success. They should have had reduced salary caps by the total amount they were cheating by for 3 years afterwards. Otherwise what is the point of a cap if the punishment for cheating is success and a premiership.