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Spoiled star was a law unto himself

Canteen Worker

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Greg Prichard
August 15, 2006

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HOW did it come to this, the world's greatest player being charged with doing something so stupid it could ruin both his and Newcastle's season? The answer is simple.

Part of the reason is Johns's volatile personality on the field; the rest of it is the failure of the people in charge of the club to pull him into line when they should have. Had they done that, maybe what happened at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night would not have. At the very least, it would have reduced the possibility.

Let's go back to when the Knights should have acted: the night of Saturday, July 8, at Parramatta Stadium. A presentation of the match ball to Johns was planned - with his knowledge - in anticipation of the halfback picking up the handful of points he needed to become the highest pointscorer in premiership history.

The Eels were happy for the presentation to go ahead, win, lose or draw - and at that stage of the season, they were looking like competition also-rans. Few expected Parramatta to win, but win they did, and at the end of the game, Johns, who had broken the record, stormed off, leaving Eels media manager Damian Kelly and coach Jason Taylor standing there looking awkward.

It was an awful display of petulance from Johns and one that should have resulted in immediate action by the Knights. Club chairman Michael Tyler, chief executive Ken Conway or anyone in authority should have taken Johns aside and encouraged him to return to the field for the presentation.

They should have demanded it of him if they had to. But no one did, of course, because no one at Newcastle tells Joey what to do. And that is part of the problem.

In any walk of life, when you do something wrong and you're not held accountable, you can end up becoming a law unto yourself. And then you run the risk of going too far.

Please, spare us the passion card when it comes to the defence of Johns. Paul Harragon, who captained Johns at the Knights and is now one of the club's board members, played it on The Sunday Footy Show.

Harragon said we should have empathy for Johns because of the competitor he is. Come on, Chief. We know Joey is a ferocious competitor, that he busts his backside for his team, that he absolutely despises losing. But that is no excuse for abusing match officials, whether they have made a mistake or not.

There are plenty of other players just as passionate who haven't fallen into the same trap. I didn't have a problem with Johns swearing in reaction to a critical decision that went against the Knights in a game against Melbourne recently, because he didn't direct his comments at anyone.

The fact that what he said could be heard on Sports Ears and television is the NRL's problem. If they want to use the technology, that's what they are going to get sometimes. But this case is different.

The match review committee certainly didn't miss Johns. Three or four games might be considered harsh. But if he hadn't gone off, he wouldn't be in trouble. It wasn't passionate. It was just plain dumb.
 

Matabele

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Johns is bi-polar.

That might shed a bit of light on his volatility.
 
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What's a bet that John's pleads guilty and they try and downgrade the charge so that he ony gets one or two weeks (and then they have the bye) which will allow him to get over his neck injury anyway in time for the semis.
 

byso

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He'll use the Mason angle and say he got Tourette syndrome
 

wombat76

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What's a bet that John's pleads guilty and they try and downgrade the charge so that he ony gets one or two weeks (and then they have the bye) which will allow him to get over his neck injury anyway in time for the semis.

Gotta agree with you here, something still smells a bit sus here !!!!
I can see him contesting the charge with some high flying QC and end up getting one week only.....Perfect scenario so he can rest his crook neck and the NRL can come out of it looking like they tried real hard anyway.
 

Dan

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he could still be made to apologise though
 

Matabele

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I don't think his diagnosis is an excuse in any way.

However, if they didn't hush it up so much it could probably be properly treated.
 

Matabele

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Dan, why have you got George W Bush in your avatar?
 

Dan

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because he is my idol :)

just like the avatar!
 

Matabele

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because he is my idol :)

just like the avatar!

Just finished Stupid White Men and started on Dude where's my country.
 

Utility Player

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Johns is bi-polar.

That might shed a bit of light on his volatility.

Indeed if I had sex with both male and female big white bears I would get a bit cranky at times as well :lol:
 

Dan

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nice UP...nice

MAtas have you started the pratchet books yet?
 

DSM5

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Johns is a big headed sook. How is it that our guys didn't go off when Thaiday blatently knocked on in his own thirty and the ref didn't set the scrum? How is it that our guys didn't go off when two of our players were blatently held of the ball with try going begging? Self control is the answer. Johns doesn't have it, Newcastle doesn't have it and they can **** in their pants for all I care.
 

Fluffy

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nice UP...nice

MAtas have you started the pratchet books yet?

oh no, not another pratchet lover

the question now is who is rincewind and who is the librarian
 

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