October 14, 2023

Golden opportunity goes begging for stray Foxx

By Danny Weidler
October 15, 2023 — 5.40am
, register or subscribe to save articles for later.

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

In a horrible case of bad timing mixed with terrible behaviour, Josh Addo-Carr has embarrassed Bulldogs club bosses again and wasted the time of the boss of the game, Peter V’landys.

Addo-Carr was meant to have a high-level meeting with ARL Commission chairman V’landys just days before he was involved in a brawl at the Koori Knockout on the Central Coast.

A meeting was called by Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould to help Addo-Carr plan a career after football. Addo-Carr was a late withdrawal from the meeting because of his selection in the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII to play Papua New Guinea on September 30 – which he also withdrew from. Addo-Carr’s agent, Mario Tartak, and the star winger’s partner represented him.

Gould initiated the idea of Addo-Carr becoming the face of Indigenous rugby league in the closing years of his time at Bulldogs and then into retirement. That shows the level of regard that Gould has for Addo-Carr and flies in the face of suggestions that the pair have had ongoing issues.

If Gould has now lost faith in Addo-Carr it would be understandable. Bulldogs officials and all of those who have gone out of their way to support him have been let down in recent times by his actions.

Addo-Carr lost his cool at the Koori Knockout, and even his closest supporters say he has got what he deserved in terms of his two-match ban, $5000 fine and exclusion from the Kangaroos for the Pacific Championships. His teammates on the day and those who saw the event say there was no real excuse for his actions.

Josh Addo-Carr has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately.Credit: NRL Photos

Addo-Carr then posted on social media on Wednesday about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and then had to apologise for that as well. It was embarrassing for the Bulldogs and another problem they didn’t need to deal with. V’landys won’t comment about Addo-Carr’s off-field indiscretions but confirmed the meeting.

“I was happy to have the meeting because not enough is done to help players transition into retirement,” he said. “It’s a major issue, and when Phil Gould asked for the meeting I was only too happy to meet with them and try and plan something for Josh and his family. I’m open to meeting with players who have ideas about what they’d like to do and I’ll assist where I can.”


Hunt’s annus horribilis

Ben Hunt has labelled 2023 a “year to forget”, but says he is “pretty settled” and has come to terms with the fact he will be at the Dragons in 2024.

Hunt could be excused for being underwhelmed by the club’s lack of recruitment for next year — which could well be his last with the Red V, even though he is contracted for 2025 — but he is trying to present a positive outlook.

Dragons captain Ben Hunt.Credit: Getty

“My message to the fans is just hang in there,” he said. “I mean, I think there’s some good things coming around the corner. I really believe that. Flanno [Shane Flanagan] was a good signing for the club. He’s a great coach. He’s a guy that knows how to get things done and now I think there’s gonna be some good times ahead for him and the club.”

Hunt has been forced to stay and you get the feeling he’d still leave if he could. When it’s put to him it’s been an “interesting” year, he says: “Interesting is a really good way to describe it … it’s been a pretty crazy one; one I’ll probably want to forget really.”

Our revelation in June that Hunt wanted an immediate release from the club to return to Queensland to play triggered an avalanche of media. The emotional toll was significant.

“It started to [take a toll] towards the back end of the season, to be honest,” he said. “You know, the couple of months after Origin, the media wasn’t going away. I know what people were saying.

Standing down as captain never really crossed my mind. A couple of people mentioned that to me and things like that. But I love the group of guys that we have down there and I felt like I was the best guy to lead them.”

Hunt wanted to make it clear his desire to leave wasn’t because of the playing roster.

CIt never had anything to do with the players,” he said. “It has to do with wanting to win. I’m going to be there next year. I’ve had a chat with Flanno. He’s told me a couple of little things that he expects from me and whatnot, but he mostly said that he’s just gonna wait to get back at pre-season. He did tell me he wants me to be halfback.

“I’m pretty good now. I was on a roller coaster up there for a while but I get into the off-season opportunity to come in here [Kangaroos camp] and clear my head. A lot of what it comes down to is wanting to win. That’s most of it. I’ve been playing the game for a long time now and not got too many years left, you know, so I just want to win.”

Matt out of the blue

Matthew Johns has been contacted several times during the week about suggestions that he was going to partner new NSW coach Michael Maguire after backing him for the Blues job as the replacement for Brad Fittler.


Johns has told people that’s not going to happen. It would have been interesting if he had shown some interest, as he is feuding with his brother Andrew, because “Joey” has accused him of being a Queensland sympathiser.

Johns is on holiday in Bosnia. Laurie Daley is also on a European holiday and will take in some of the Rugby World Cup.

Headache for NRL

Footballer-turned-boxer Tevita Pangai jnr says rugby league players stepping into the ring should not be covered by their club’s insurance.

The NRL has been actively campaigning in the background against players being allowed to fight.They know how hypocritical it looks when they are spending so much time and money enforcing protocols around concussion.

Some of the brutal shots delivered by Nelson Asofa-Solomona on Jarrod Wallace during last weekend’s Battle of the Reef were tough to watch.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona batters Jarrod Wallace.Credit: Stan Sport

“I understand the concern around concussion – it’s the sport of boxing,” Pangai said. “I don’t think the clubs should have to cover the players for fighting and anything that happens. Players should insure themselves and be aware of the risk. I think it’s good for players to box.

“It helped me and it’s great for the big boppers and their fitness. I know I’d never had a better preparation than when I boxed last year.”

Magpie attack

Boardroom squabbles at Wests Tigers and moves to oust chairman Lee Hagipantelis are music to the ears of former Wests Magpies chairman Shannon Cavanagh.

He has been shaking his head since Hagipantelis was reappointed for three years last month. Cavanagh was the one who first questioned the governance at the Tigers, and the Holman Barnes Group (the rebranded Western Suburbs Leagues Club Ltd) subsequently commissioned an independent review of the club.

The outcome of that review is expected in November.


“My real concern wasn’t me versus Hagipantelis, it was the lack of governance and how they were trying to shut me up for exposing it,” Cavanagh said. “To accept a three-year appointment whilst a review is being undertaken highlights his primary goal of self-preservation.

“Hagipantelis has pushed the narrative that he and the board are a protected species. This isn’t true. It’s the members of Wests Ashfield, Wests Magpies and Balmain Tigers who can vote for those three boards, which, ultimately, appoint the board of Wests Tigers.

“Two of the Wests Tigers directors, Rick Wayde and Tony Andreacchio, are up for re-election by the members of Wests Ashfield in March next year. If members aren’t satisfied with the direction Wests Tigers are headed, then vote them off. The governance review is long overdue. Members and fans should hold hope that change can happen and Wests Tigers can be the powerhouse that it is capable of being.”

Capital pain

South Sydney were always confident an offer of $860,000 a year for Keaon Koloamatangi was going to be enough.

The club with lots of money to spend and plenty of interest were the Raiders, but they soon realised it was going to cost them more than $1 million to lure the Rabbitohs and NSW back-rower to the nation’s capital.

The Raiders may now have to divert their attention to Payne Haas’ brother Klese, who plays for the Titans, or hope the back-row rich Cowboys have to offload a player.

Lam a Roo friend

Mal Meninga’s loyalty to his staff is well known. And it goes both ways. Leigh Leopards coach Adrian Lam flew halfway around the world to join the Kangaroos in camp after his team was knocked out of the UK-based Super League, and he hopped straight into a key hands-on role. His energy and popularity with the players was evident at the team’s first training session at Airlie Beach.

Bride of the league

Reuben Cotter gets married on Sunday after playing for Australia on Saturday night. He couldn’t turn down the chance to play for his country. He got the green light from fiancee MacKenzie.

“She understood and said I had to take the opportunity,” Cotter said. “The make-up artists are on standby to repair any facial injuries. If I get split or bruised I’m sure we can photoshop that out for the photos.”

But, the honeymoon will have to wait. “We were going to Fiji, but we can do that at the end of the [Pacific Championships] series,” he said.

Danny Weidler is a sport columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.Connect via Twitter or email.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.