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Cipriani’s Melbourne stint ends in tears

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    Like many a relationship the one between Danny Cipriani and the Melbourne Rebels ended in tears. But not for the reasons everyone expected.

    The mercurial Englishman and the Rebels parted ways on Monday, setting social media alight with questions about his latest indiscretion.

    The Rebels defended the 24-year-old five-eighth, who has a history of off-field behavioural issues, and said Cipriani had simply decided to leave early so he could join Sale Sharks in northern England in time for the start of their season.

    The tears, according to Cipriani, came after telling his Rebels teammates of his decision, leaving them to face the Bulls on Friday night without him or their injured Wallaby James O’Connor.

    Cipriani, who is particularly close to O’Connor and fellow Wallaby Kurtley Beale, tweeted he couldn’t hold back the tears when telling the players his news.

    “So I said goodbye to the boys: got 5/6 words out couldn’t hold my tears back. Thank u truly for making it special. Met some amazing people,” Cipriani tweeted.

    “Very tight group of lads and only going to get stronger!! Thank you everyone… Some great memories.

    “Going to be sad to leave all my team mates. Made some friends for life over here.”

    Cipriani, capped seven times for England, couldn’t be contacted for further comment but Melbourne chief executive Steve Boland said he would be remembered for some of the Rebels’ best moments on the field.

    Boland said the mid-season exit was always on the cards after he signed his three-year deal with Sale about six weeks ago.

    “He was contracted to us until September but the English season starts in August and they start pre-season in June so it’s always a bit of a cross-over there.

    “We knew from day one Danny’s eye was getting himself back in that England frame.”

    Cipriani’s form was lacklustre in his last game against NSW but he showed flashes of brilliance in his time at Melbourne.

    He also put his head down this season after being linked with a number of models and actresses as well as drinking issues in his first year.

    With O’Connor sidelined until June with liver damage from the NSW game, Beale is set to step into the five-eighth role and he will be assisted in the backline by the return of skipper Stirling Mortlock.

    His first appearance of the season was over-shadowed by Cipriani’s announcement.

    Coach Damien Hill said the experience of Mortlock against the Bulls, who have only lost two games would be vital.

    “There’s no substituting for 15 years’ experience at this level,” he said.

    “He’s one of the most competitive players that I’ve ever come across and he’s our captain so it will be beneficial for him to rejoin our team.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • May 1st 2012 @ 3:25am
      Viscount Crouchback said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:25am | ! Report

      Thoughts on Cipriani’s overall performance in Super Rugby, chaps? Would it be fair to say he produced a few nice moments but remains as defensively flakey as ever?

      • May 1st 2012 @ 7:59am
        Justin said | May 1st 2012 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        Yeah, he has talent no question and a decent hoof but his defense is atrocious.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 5:55am
      mania said | May 1st 2012 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      wow cant believe cipriani’s leaving at such a crucial stage of the rebels campaign. the real loss is that rebels had become so reliant on someone so inconsistent.
      beale at 1st 5. wow what a waste of the best attacking full back in world rugby.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 6:47am
      Moaman said | May 1st 2012 @ 6:47am | ! Report

      Makes a mockery out of all the words about “tight” bunch of lads etc when he decides to ship out early,doesn’t it?

    • May 1st 2012 @ 7:14am
      Doug said | May 1st 2012 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      Cipriani didn’t work out as well as many of us had hoped. But he did produce some nice performances here and there. And generated a lot of publicity for a new team which is one reason for getting a high profile player like him. I hope he does well in the more familiar environment back in the UK.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 7:46am
      Shungmao said | May 1st 2012 @ 7:46am | ! Report

      He leaves our shores with our blessing. Some magic moments but to few to be remembered on the pitch as a good buy, I’m sure he’s looking forward to getting back to slower backrowers and slower games ( but more physical) in the UK, he and Toby flood can compare bicep and calf sizes. On a personal front he tore the place up, many night club owners will be sore in the hip pocket in his absence, and no doubt his contribution to the game will be seen in the next 18-20 years with the Rebels having 6-10 little Danny’s running around with an Aussie accents.

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      • May 1st 2012 @ 8:02am
        Ben S said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:02am | ! Report

        Toby Flood, as in the Toby Flood, one of the slighter backs in Test rugby?

        I bet Cipriani can’t wait to come back and play against slow heffers like Tom Croft and Tom Johnson and Courtney Lawes and Tom Palmer and Tom Wood and Ben Morgan and Tom Guest and James Gaskell etc, as opposed to those speedsters like Nathan Sharpe, Matt Hodgson, Richard Brown, Ben McCalman, Jarod Saffy, Gareth Delve…

        • May 1st 2012 @ 8:27am
          Shungmao said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

          Yes and Yes

          Style of super rugby is less scrum oriented and maul oriented off line outs than the northern hemispheres. Backrowers don’t need to commit to them as often, enabling them to get to 1st tackle and breakdowns quicker.

          • May 1st 2012 @ 8:36am
            Ben S said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:36am | ! Report

            Kind of confused. You seem to be contradicting yourself. I wouldn’t disagree that Super Rugby is less scrum orientated, but IMO there is a strong argument that the NH has the more dynamic and athletic backrowers, and possibly locks too.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 10:13pm
              matthew said | May 1st 2012 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

              Disagree. You seem to be in denial about NH rugby.The Aviva premiership is atrocious.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 3:25am
                Ben S said | May 2nd 2012 @ 3:25am | ! Report

                That’s ironic. How exactly am in denial about NH rugby, and on what basis is the AP atrocious?

                So… Courtney Lawes, Tom Palmer, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Ben Morgan, Donncha O’Callaghan, Donncha Ryan, Stephen Ferris, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip, Brad Davies, Luke Charteris, Ian Evans, AW Jones, Sam Warburton, Toby Faletau, Richie Gray, Dave Denton, Ross Rennie, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Yannick Nyanga, Imanol Harinordoquy… Who does the SH have to compare in terms of dynamism or athleticism?

                Palu on form, Spies (in terms of pure athletic ability), Adam Thomson…

      • May 1st 2012 @ 9:17am
        Riccardo said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        “…and no doubt his contribution to the game will be seen in the next 18-20 years with the Rebels having 6-10 little Danny’s running around with an Aussie accents.”

        Sharp Shungmao, razor sharp…

        • May 1st 2012 @ 9:50am
          Shungmao said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:50am | ! Report

          How’s te sharp object in the eye going this week brother????

          • May 1st 2012 @ 9:59am
            Riccardo said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            Yeah mate, speaking of sharp…

            After Digby’s try in the first 60 seconds FFS!

            Picture an overweight balding fella after a couple of nice glasses of Shiraz flailing wildly around the lounge in semi drunken despair.

            Latching onto the only worthy implement in the vicinity which happened to be a fork (fork you Digby!) and immediatley impaling said eyeball without any further ado!

            Frankly, it made the ensuing viewing more bearable as I could only see half of the gutless ineptitude on display.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 10:08am
              Shungmao said | May 1st 2012 @ 10:08am | ! Report

              See you at the doc’s mate as the reds have crusaders and chiefs in the next few weeks.

      • May 1st 2012 @ 9:31am
        rl said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Shungmao – you left out “6-10 little Danny’s running around with Aussie accents, falling off tackles”

        • May 1st 2012 @ 9:49am
          Shungmao said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          Nice rl, very nice

    • May 1st 2012 @ 8:01am
      Justin said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Thanks Cips I enjoyed watching you play and thought the team was better when you were on the pitch.

      Question is why is his contract being paid out? If he wants to leave and start at his new club due to a cross over in seasons, no problem. But sorry we arent paying you out. You have up until now paid for, the rest surely is on Cips?

      • Columnist

        May 1st 2012 @ 8:13am
        Brett McKay said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        Justin, I’d reckon the Rebels have got more than their money’s worth out of Cipriani just in terms of promotion and publicity (and I don’t actually mean that in a bad way!), so I guess it’s a bit of a golden handshake farewell…

        • May 1st 2012 @ 8:18am
          Justin said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:18am | ! Report

          Brett I agree he has got the club in the paper, good and bad. Im not one for golden handshakes (its the breaking of economies) and I believe you get paid to do a job.

          Its not bitterness I just dont see the need to throw money at someone for no ongoing return. And from what I have heard the Rebels need to slash their wages bill so this isnt going to help…

          • Columnist

            May 1st 2012 @ 8:27am
            Brett McKay said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

            I don’t disagree with you too much actually Justin, for what it’s worth. But I wonder if it might be a case where the amount remaining wasn’t that much anyway, where the contract was somewhat front-ended, or that maybe it was just easier to pay the remainder than to get into arguments about what’s due and so on.

            Anyway, it’s all history now…

            • May 1st 2012 @ 11:29am
              kingplaymaker said | May 1st 2012 @ 11:29am | ! Report

              Brett just think the AFL paid 1.5 million for Israel Folau for publicity, while the Rebels paid 200,000 for Cipriani. Now which gave more publicity to a new franchise? And even Cipriani’s fiercest critics won’t deny he’s a better rugby players than Folau is an AFL player.

              • Columnist

                May 1st 2012 @ 1:49pm
                Brett McKay said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                really? Folau, by the length of the Hume Highway!!

          • May 1st 2012 @ 9:30am
            kingplaymaker said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:30am | ! Report

            Justin actually he accepted a base contract to go to the Rebels and doubtless he won’t be paid for not being there so they won’t lose financially.

            I think he’s an easy scapegoat, as 10s often are. The main problems were bad recruiting in the Rebels forwards and bad coaching, but those two problems very often escape criticism when there’s an easier figure to blame.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 10:13am
              Shungmao said | May 1st 2012 @ 10:13am | ! Report

              KPM I agree with your coaching comment, rebels lack creativity and structure. It seems Hill is trying to hard to be the players friends rather than their coach, I know it a fine line but I needs to be there.

              • May 1st 2012 @ 10:37am
                kingplaymaker said | May 1st 2012 @ 10:37am | ! Report

                Shungmao Hill seems to be one in a chain of overpromoted assistants along with Hickey and Foley who are causing significant damage to Australian franchises and weakening the strength of the conference.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 1:37pm
              Justin said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              KPM – sorry mate but reports are his contract will be paid out. So yes he will be paid for not being there.

              I’m not looking for scapegoats, merely pointing out that principle IMO of players being paid out is not on… I flagged above I enjoyed having him here for 18months, he got plenty of publicity for the club.

              I dont know the structure of his contract but I dont want money wasted on him any further if he isnt here to earn it on the field.

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