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Robert Lui has to go

John Davidson Roar Guru

By John Davidson, John Davidson is a Roar Guru

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34 Have your say

    With Robert Lui admitting guilt in the assault of his pregnant partner last year, his promising NRL career should be over.

    No third chance, no rehab and no counseling. This was the second time Lui had been charged with assaulting his girlfriend Taleah Rae Backo after an incident back in 2010 when the Wests Tigers were knocked out of the semis.

    In that case he was charged with nine offences in relation to an alleged assault, with those charges eventually dismissed in April 2011.

    This time, Lui was not so ‘lucky’. With his second attack coming eerily almost a year later after the Tigers were dumped from the finals, this time by the Warriors, he couldn’t escape them. And so he shouldn’t.

    The Tigers rightly dropped him after the second incident emerged, and his hometown club the Cowboys picked him up.

    Now, Lui has had his day in court, been convicted and admitted guilt. It’s time for the Cowboys to drop him also and for the NRL to de-register him.

    You consider the example the NRL set for someone like Todd Carney, and then you look at Lui. Carney was de-registered for a year. Lui should face a much, much bigger penalty. Headbutting and kicking a pregnant women while she is on the ground is not on. Doing it twice, should see you ostracised from the sport for good.

    I’ve often watched Mark Geyer on Channel Nine’s Sunday Roast and enjoyed his light-hearted, often farcical rambles. He seems as someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously, who comes up with some off-the-wall comments and predictions at times, and who has some strange beliefs. Perhaps too many hits to the head over his ferocious career.

    But speaking yesterday on Fox Sports News on the Lui case, Geyer hit the nail on the head. He said that now rugby league as a code has the chance to stamp out violence against women.

    Some of Geyer’s comments: “This is the second time he’s done it, there’s no way in the world Robert Lui should be allowed back in rugby league. I can’t fathom hitting a woman at the best of times, let alone a pregnant woman. It beggars belief.

    “We as a code have to be strong on this. We promote women in league to the nth degree, we have to be strong on this. If we don’t do something drastic on the Robert Lui situation, the women in league round we might as well not have. We’re just being hypocritical.

    “Now is the time to stand up and say no more. Enough is enough. He should be stood down and de-registered.”

    Stand up and take a bow Mark, you’re right on the money. See you later Robert Lui.

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    The Crowd Says (34)

    • Roar Guru

      March 22nd 2012 @ 1:12pm
      The Barry said | March 22nd 2012 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

      Agreed. Carney’s “crimes” fade in comparison to this bloke.

      Well said Mark Geyer, especially about the women in league round.

      Maybe part of his sentence should be to be locked in a room with Sam Backo who I understand is Taleah’s uncle.

    • March 22nd 2012 @ 1:34pm
      oikee said | March 22nd 2012 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

      The whole idea is to rehab them and change the way they think about these issues. You cant just get rid of the player for good, this is the easy way out. If rugby league took the easy way out, we would have no players.
      Put him on suspension until he has been rehibiltated, or until a clinic is happy with his progress. If you cut him loose, you are just putting the problem over to the public purse, where he might not get the help he could now. Rugby league is trying to create a message for everyone who has this problem, it will look pretty ordinary if we just throw up and hands and say, put it in the too hard basket.
      You guys need to think before you post. Yes John, i am talking about you.

      • March 22nd 2012 @ 3:37pm
        Tigranes said | March 22nd 2012 @ 3:37pm | ! Report

        what are you saying oikee, that RL is populated by blokes like Lui?

        Not a good look for RL. Tigers did the right thing by sacking Lui, I cant fathom why on earth the Cowboys picked him up?

      • March 22nd 2012 @ 5:18pm
        Nathan of Perth said | March 22nd 2012 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

        Chuck him in rehab by all means but you cannot in good conscience leave such a player on the books in the interim surely. But really, the sort of rabidity it takes to hit a pregnant lady is just … On the great list of inexcusable acts there are very very few below this.

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:30am
          josho said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:30am | ! Report

          Absolutely the NRL should make the tough decision, do the hard yards, take the high road. So he’s a spoilt little brat, who happens to beat his missus whenever he loses a big gameor presumably something doesn’t go his way. Who doesn’t? So she was pregnant and defenceless. Does that give her a hall pass for a good old fashioned beating? no way!

          By all means the message the NRL needs to send these young blokes is: Don’t drink and act like a tool in public (we’re looking at you Stewart and Carney) but beat your missus, meh, she’ll get over it!

          Why send the message that assaulting a woman may have serious ramifications such as losing your career and the vast opportunities it provides when you can just as easily “rehabilitate” them?

          Who better to rehabilitate than a professional football club? Those silly programs and facilities run by professionals in the field have no idea. I mean it worked for the Tiger’s the first time didn’t it? um, moving on.

          Andwhat better way to rehabilitate someone then to provide them with the ongoing benefits of playing a sport they love while remaining in the public eye and being lavished with praise and wealth???

          When will the justice system and correctional facilities learn?

          To provide a deterant to people you must reward them for their crimes not punish them!! Drink driving – lose your licence? No, no, no. Here have a Ferrari (Wests) however, remember, if you do it again you’ll have to trade for a Porche! (Norht QLD)

    • March 22nd 2012 @ 1:43pm
      B.A Sports said | March 22nd 2012 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

      One of the big problems with this was the Cowboys have a huge indigenous supporter base across the North and Far North QLD and domestic violence is a huge issue in indigenous communities. For the Cowboys to sign him in the first place was disgraceful.

      I agree what he is charged with is way more serious than Carney and it is comprable to Dane Tilse who was de-registered for a drunken sexual harrasment case in which no charges where laid.

      I am not sure if the ban should be life, not sure where i stand on rehabilitation in this instance.

      • March 22nd 2012 @ 2:37pm
        FNQ said | March 22nd 2012 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        dont think you can link the cowboys and indigenous community violence ??

        • March 22nd 2012 @ 3:54pm
          Tigranes said | March 22nd 2012 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

          FNQ I think BAS was trying to point out that in signing Robert Lui, the Cowboys have sent a message out to their indigeonus supporters that domestic violence isnt going to stop you landing professional RL contracts.

          Seriously the NRL should have stopped this from ever happening at the first place.

          • March 22nd 2012 @ 4:15pm
            B.A Sports said | March 22nd 2012 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

            Thats right Tigranes

            The Cows have has some great indigneous role models over the years. Matty Bowen, Rod Jensen, Ty Williams to name but a few. Great players and valued members of the community who kids love.

            But sadly domestic violence is an issue which confronts all communities but even more so our indigenous community and campaigns are in place to try and change these issues.

            Here is a link to some of those damning stats.


            two of the most horrible stats;

            Indigenous women are 35times more likely to be hospitalized due to family violence.
            Indigenous children make up 40% of children aged 0-4 who are hospitalized as a result of assault

            The signing of Lui just said to people, “it alright”.

    • Roar Guru

      March 22nd 2012 @ 2:21pm
      John Davidson said | March 22nd 2012 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      Sorry oikee, but I think you should think before you post. Hitting women is wrong, period. There has to to be a line, and this has crossed it. Lui shouldn’t get a third chance. He should get rehab, definitely, but his NRL career should be over.

      • March 22nd 2012 @ 2:50pm
        PLANKO said | March 22nd 2012 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

        John I agree but what is the difference between him and Greg Bird ? Then you bring in Mr Tandy who did get life…. Not just from the NRL but from Rugby League everywhere. I just don’t put giving an early penalty away in a game in the same ballpark as glassing you girlfriend or beating a woman when she is pregnant (not that it is any better when you are not). All three people involved were battling with their demons whether they be alcohol or gambling addiction. Before anyone says it yes not being able to stop drinking means you have a drinking problem. I would love to hear you thoughts. I have no relationship or friendship with any of the three people I have mentioned.

        • March 22nd 2012 @ 3:38pm
          Tigranes said | March 22nd 2012 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

          Planko, Lui said he wasnt drunk at the time of the incident – not that it makes it any better at all.

          • March 22nd 2012 @ 4:16pm
            PLANKO said | March 22nd 2012 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

            Interesting … To me it make’s no difference whether he was drunk but some people will think even less of him now. Being drunk get’s used as a deffence for actions all the time.

        • March 23rd 2012 @ 10:47am
          josho said | March 23rd 2012 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          Whilst not defending Bird I think the difference couldn’t be more clear. Bird – one offence – not a repeat offender (not yet anyway) so doesn’t display any signs that what he did wasn’t a one off (very big and very public mistake) as opposed to Lui’s pattern of behaviour.

          Yet of the two, Bird has missed more NRL as a result of that incident than Lui!

          Bird (it was alleged) had an object thrown at him and threw it back. Lui went out of his way to inflict damage not once, but twice, that the public is aware of anyway.

          If you want to throw them both in the same boat, would you be happy for Bird to continue playing if he glasses his missus again tonight?? Not really the same is it?

          • March 23rd 2012 @ 11:05am
            PLANKO said | March 23rd 2012 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            Josho was only putting it out there interesting hearing your point of view … I am merely making the point that I think there are alot of things happening and consistency is lacking.. Bascially football players are a subset of the community that experience the same issues and commit the same crimes as everyone else.

    • Roar Guru

      March 22nd 2012 @ 3:44pm
      MG Burbank said | March 22nd 2012 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

      This is very simple. First, domestic violence is a problem across ALL racial lines. The indigenous issue has nothing to do with it. Second, the idea that we keep him in the game to avoid a drain on the ‘public purse’ is stupidity at its highest point. Either way, someone is going to have to deal with this man, but this is the bottom line: THROUGH IS ACTIONS HE HAS FORFEITED THE RIGHT TO PROFIT FROM RUGBY LEAGUE. That’s it. The message must be sent that this is unacceptable. Oikee, players do need help but as long as people like you are ready to forgive and forget, NOTHING will change.

      • March 22nd 2012 @ 3:56pm
        Tigranes said | March 22nd 2012 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

        MG Burbank yo’re right about domestic violence is an issue for everybody, but it is a massive problem within this indigeonous community, the rates of domestic abuse are far higher than the national average.

    • March 22nd 2012 @ 3:52pm
      Gareth said | March 22nd 2012 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

      I can’t believe the Cowboys even signed this bloke. I don’t think anyone expected a second acquittal.

      I agree that he’s gotta go. By all means, provide the rehab opportunities but like John, I think he’s crossed the line and shouldn’t play again. There’s a lot of scumbags in the game who have gotten away with similar crimes, and it’s not good for the game. Sure, it’s difficult with blokes like Greg Bird who successfully appealed his conviction in dubious circumstances, or Anthony Watmough who was never actually charged despite the evidence presented against him at an AVO hearing – but it seems pretty clear cut in this case. And there’s precedent. If Tevita Latu copped a life ban for punching a female stranger in the face, Robert Lui deserves a lot worse for repeated abuses against his pregnant girlfriend.

      If the NRL isn’t willing to act on this, may Robert Lui’s knees develop the same keen sense of karma as Anthony Cherrington’s.

      • March 22nd 2012 @ 4:07pm
        B.A Sports said | March 22nd 2012 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

        Daniel Backo and his dad are both capable of belting this bloke into next week – they have shown tremendous strength not to belt the daylights out of the guy. Not sure I would have had the same will power.

      • March 22nd 2012 @ 4:10pm
        PLANKO said | March 22nd 2012 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

        Thanks Gareth I have learn something today did not know that Bird had appealed …. Houston the current knights player had an interesting article about him published in the Newcastle Herald. In short he got off on a technicality on a drug traffic charge. He is playing first grade. He did it and everyone knows it. Bird clearly did it everyone knows it. Watmough oh god I grew up on the northern beaches everyone knows of everyone. He is a tool he does dumb things but his heart is good. He is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Post footy career could be interesting. Trust me it is a Narrabeen/Belrose thing..LOL

        • March 22nd 2012 @ 4:18pm
          B.A Sports said | March 22nd 2012 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

          Ah Watmough (and Matai), the only 105kg guys on the Northern Beaches to get “randomly bashed” when sitting outside his home……

          yeah random…

          • March 22nd 2012 @ 4:26pm
            PLANKO said | March 22nd 2012 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

            Can’t comment about Matai by northern beaches standards he is a blow in. I have heard he has redeeming qualities but once again nothing from personal experience. A distant relative of mine dated Anthony for quite a while. In fact so long that the whole Watmough family apart from Anthony went to her 21st after they had broken up.

            Remember BA Sports 2 sides


        • March 23rd 2012 @ 11:51am
          josho said | March 23rd 2012 @ 11:51am | ! Report

          If you want to know more about the Houston case just “give Gids a call”.

          • March 23rd 2012 @ 2:42pm
            PLANKO said | March 23rd 2012 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

            Do you know his number ? Nah dont worrying about I don’t come from up there so I don’t know how accurate the article was I have not been able to find it again. I did not bring him up cause I don’t think he should play. I believe in second chances.

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