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NRL News: Roosters threaten legal action over Smith video, Annesley rebuffs Hasler's 'crazy' Bunker rant

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21st May, 2024
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The Sydney Roosters have released a statement threatening legal action over the video that has been circulating on social media of Brandon Smith, Terrell May and other players.

The video shows May, who posted it to his Twitch account, along with hooker Smith and other Roosters players Naufahu Whyte, Spencer Leniu and Zach Dockar-Clay, in a hotel room.

The Roosters moved to nip speculation about what was occurring in the video in the bud, commenting that their players undergo frequent drug testing and that professional integrity has been maintained.

“The Sydney Roosters have been made aware of a small clip from a longer live stream that some on social media have claimed identifies behaviour that breaches NRL rules,” the club wrote in a statement.

“The Sydney Roosters uphold the highest standards of conduct and integrity, both on and off the field. Our players adhere to all NRL policies, including its rigorous drug testing and education programs.

“As a club, we remind those on social media that we take the defamatory statements some have made very seriously, and we are conducting a thorough investigation to identify the source(s) of several false accusations.

“Legal action will be pursued against those found responsible for spreading damaging and unsubstantiated claims.”

Annesley rebuffs Hasler’s ‘crazy’ Bunker rant

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Graham Annesley made a telling observation about the bunker’s ruling of no-try to Gold Coast centre Brian Kelly in the controversial 28-24 loss to Newcastle on Sunday.

“Des and I won’t agree on this, but that’s life,” Annesley, the NRL head of football said at his weekly football briefing.

Titans coach Des Hasler lashed the bunker as “crazy” when he insisted Kelly had scored a try that would have tied the match at Suncorp Stadium when he miraculously held off several Newcastle defenders and was ruled to have lost the ball in the grounding.

The on-field decision was a try, but referee Wyatt Raymond in the bunker ruled there was sufficient evidence to rule no-try.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Xavier Coates of the Storm breaks a tackle to score a try during the round eight NRL match between Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs at AAMI Park on April 25, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)Xavier Coates breaks a tackle to score a try. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)[/caption]

“That will have a correlation to law and order, in my view. As the minister responsible for policing, it will really help us. Young men and women in PNG get inspired by the code. It will bring a different dynamic in the way we perceive ourselves.”

The Australian Government is bankrolling the new team to the tune of $600 million over the course of the next 10 years to establish a presence in the neighbouring country amid fears of China gaining a foothold in the region.

A decision is expected next month from the ARL Commission over whethere to proceed with the team, which could also be based in Cairns.

Coates was born in Port Moresby and is under contract at the Storm until the end of 2026 but at 23, he will still be in the prime of his career when the PNG team is ready for its premiership debut.

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