Cronulla Sharks and Campbell Newman both jump their opposition
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Sometimes things happen, and all you can do is say wow.
There was something in the air as the round four clash against the Cronulla Sharks loomed.
For starters, I’d been online sledging a couple of Sharks fans not long after they notched up their first win of the season last Sunday.
Nice to see you guys beat Manly, but you think you’re going to come up to our house, in our weather, and beat us? Ha!
Secondly there was the little matter of recruit Robert Lui pleading guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. This was after an incident last year where Lui is said to have beaten his pregnant girlfriend after Mad Monday celebrations once his old club, the Wests Tigers, had been eliminated from the finals series.
Lui had already played in the first round loss to the Gold Coast, but had been out for the next two matches with injury, so what the Cowboys would do next interested me greatly.
Beating up those weaker than you shows an inherent weakness in a person’s character; having been the unfortunate witness to domestic violence throughout my life I have zero tolerance for men who do this.
The Cowboys’ response was quick. In a statement on their website, Lui was suspended indefinitely by the club.
He is undergoing regular counselling sessions, and it is hoped that being up in his hometown of Townsville will help settle him down.
In a Roar article that argues why Lui should not be cut off from rugby league forever James Payten made the point that “after he’s cut adrift from the Cowboys and the NRL for good, and sent back to whatever prospects he had before making it into the top grade, the chorus are then silent on their hopes for the success of his rehabilitation or for the positive growth of his relationship and family.”
Given Lui can only play again once the Australian Rugby League Commission is convinced that he has been fully rehabilitated, this would seem a fair course of action taken by the club.
It doesn’t mean that I’ll be all the more comfortable if and when he comes back. Rather, if this gives the man a chance to become a better person then that will ultimately determine its success or otherwise.
On Saturday night the game itself was somewhat overshadowed by the Queensland state election.
Having splurged all my money on books, clothes and computer games earlier in the week I decided to forgo the warming neon lights of the local in favour of keeping up with the game via the Cowboys Twitter feed while watching the state election results come in on the TV.
At first everything seemed to go to plan. The election results showed a swing to the Liberal-National Party (LNP), which had been widely expected.
In the match the Cowboys skipped out to a 10-2 lead, courtesy of tries to Gavin Cooper and Ashley Graham.
On one tweet the Cowboys had just forced the Sharks into a second consecutive goal-line dropout, so things were looking pretty good.
Then the unbelievable.
On the TV, seat after seat after seat fell to the LNP.
At one point I looked up from the computer to find the LNP had something like 45 seats (out of 89) with the Australian Labor Party (ALP) only having two.
Likewise, Cronulla did a job on us, with two tries in the last three minutes of the first half giving them a 14-10 lead.
Matt Bowen helped bring things back to 14-all, with a try early in the second half, before Cronulla captain Paul Gallen wrapped things up for the bad guys with a 72nd-minute try.
As shocking as that was (it reminded me never to get over-confident before a Cowboys game again) the election result was something else.
At the time of writing the LNP has a guaranteed 74 seats in a 89-seat Parliament, while the ALP only has seven (six, if you count the fact that former Premier Anna Bligh resigned the day after she’d bested most of her colleagues and actually won her own electorate).
Sometimes things happen, and all you can do is say wow. Saturday night proved that