Manly make peace after Grand Final war
So, the war is over. Glenn and Brett Stewart, both very publicly, decided to bury the hatchet with NRL chief executive David Gallop in the moments after last night’s NRL Grand Final.
When Glenn Stewart took to the stage to have the Clive Churchill medal placed around his neck he made his way along a long line of dignitaries before getting to Gallop.
The lock looked straight into his eye, shook his hand and gave Gallop’s right arm a pat as if to say ‘no hard feelings’. Gallop almost looked stunned.
Then it was Brett Stewart’s turn.
This was as close as the two men have got for years and this handshake was always going to provide a headline.
Stewart spent six seconds talking to Gallop who looked slightly shaken by what was unfolding.
Glenn Stewart made a point of talking about closure during the post match news conference saying it was time to move on and describing Manly’s win as the “final chapter” in the saga.
It quickly emerged that departing media manager Peter Peters asked the brothers to make peace with Gallop and they obliged.
“They made some promises to me during the week and they fulfilled those,” Peters said. ”I know what was said and I hope it’s all over.”
“They need to move on and get on with their lives.”
I and countless other journalists approached Brett Stewart in the dressing rooms after the game, but not surprisingly the fullback didn’t want to talk.
The rift between the two parties developed following Manly’s season launch in 2009. The NRL suspended Brett Stewart for having too much to drink at the function, but the Sea Eagles deny that was the case. They feel their star was treated unfairly and over the past 12-months have made a point of telling anyone who’ll listen.
Last night’s developments are significant no matter how sick you are of this story.
The only thing that slightly nags at you is this: Was it right to do it so openly or would a meeting behind closed doors been more appropriate?
It has taken some of the attention off the actual win and placed it on the relationship between the Stewart brothers and Gallop once again.
I hope the feud is over.
As I’ve said consistently on Sky News and The Roar over the past 12-months, if “moving on” is what everyone really wants, then it’s probably best no-one talks about it ever again.
That includes Manly.
You can follow Luke Doherty on Twitter @Luke_Doherty and on Sky News Australia.
The Roar is giving you the chance to win 1 of 19 prize packs to Australian Open 2014! Each lucky winner will receive four evening tickets to Rod Laver Arena, plus access to 3 hours in the Heineken VIP Bar. Enter here.