Australia don’t lose rugby league Tests often – but when they do, it’s usually when there has been a sudden loss of talent or an oversupply, with too many good players being squeezed into the side to please too many people.
Following the emergence of new intelligence from Anthony Watmough, experts remain sceptical of Manly’s assurances the club is no longer a dictatorship besieged by internal nuclear tension.
Concerns over the rogue nation resurfaced this week when former staffer Watmough deployed a round of savage verbal WMD’s towards targets on the already war-torn Manly region, an affluent enclave cynically referred to as the ‘Insular Peninsular.’
The erstwhile Blues back-rower – once described in true communist style as a “DNA Freak” – claimed former coach Geoff Toovey “lost him” when he tried to act in the best interests of the club, before switching aim at Daly Cherry-Evans by alleging the current skipper “turned in to a f**kwit” when he became a footballer.
Watmough claimed the behaviour eventually forced him to flee to the war zone of Parramatta, albeit on a bankrupting 16-game, $800,000 deal which ultimately reduced the capacity of their new stadium.
Despite the comments rekindling the dormant schadenfreude towards Manly that had settled in rugby league since the last Cherry-Evans fiasco blew over almost a month ago, it has reignited concerns the club isn’t the denuclearised and democratised utopia its administration publicly promises every week whenever something crumbles.
Ever since the fall of the benevolent dictatorship of the Fulton-Pepsi reign, Manly has gradually descended to an outcast hermit state dogged by rumours of impoverished conditions, rights violations and gross wealth imbalance.
It is a stark contrast to the former days of peace, where the club’s only crime was to pillage players and wipe out smaller, weaker neighbours like North Sydney.
The advent of this ‘Manly hates Manly and we don’t care’ era has seen the NRL constantly seeking an agreement from the club to provide complete, verifiable and irreversible proof they don’t operate out of demountables, in exchange for two Friday night games and Jason King.
However, stoic officials from the rogue state continue to trumpet internal harmony as recently as May, promising all nuclear behaviour on the Peninsular had been disarmed since dumping Jackson Hastings out to sea.
This was accompanied by denials of any inhumane conditions or tyrannical domineering, despite Cherry-Evans remaining captain.
In response to Watmough’s allegations, club officials emphatically denied the claims by jointly reading a written statement of condemnation while standing before their captain, who was heavily armed.
The club even took the extraordinary step of thanking Watmough again for his wonderful service to the club, namely the extra cap room his departure provided for irreplaceable halfbacks with a bad wrap.
In response, the NRL has pledged to continue untangling Manly’s scorching political knot in the hope of a healthier state for the greater good, or just a Nobel Peace Prize for the foyer at headquarters.
However, they continue to struggle to make meaningful contact due to the club’s paranoid security boundaries, which is just the Spit Bridge’s dreadful traffic.