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Reserve Grader
Manly whingers
by: Scott Brooks

The Manly Sea Eagles are fast re-establishing themselves as the biggest whingers in rugby league and their skipper Ben Kennedy has been the main culprit.

There is no doubting Kennedy’s attributes as a footballer – he is one the best forwards going around in the NRL and has played with great distinction and impact over a long career with Canberra, Newcastle, Manly and at representative level.

His last two NRL outings against Brisbane and Newcastle have been full of typical ‘B.K’ inspiration - high impact running, great offloads and hard-hitting defence.

Over those two games he has made a staggering 472 metres in attack which is a stunning effort for a 32-year old player many experts believed was a huge injury risk when Manly forked out big dollars to sign him at the end of the 2004 season.

Unfortunately he is letting the side down with an overbearing attitude towards referees and even teammates on occasions as was witnessed in the dying stages of Manly’s loss to Brisbane in round 16 when he let the expletives fly after centre Steve Matai blew a chance to possibly level the scores with just seconds remaining.

He is obviously attempting to set an example to his fellow teammates by being a proactive captain, but he has overstepped the mark of what should be acceptable when it comes to dealing with on-field match officials.

There were periods in last Friday night’s match against the Knights when referee Sean Hampstead could have penalised Kennedy for verbal tirades and didn’t, until the end of the match when another mouthful by the skipper cost his team two points, albeit when the game was already gone.

Displaying passion is one thing, but Kennedy is fast becoming one of the rugby league’s perennial whingers. It seems every time he rises from tackle, he does so with the mouth open and arms flapping all over the place in protest at a perceived lack of action by the referee.

Kennedy is hardly doing himself any favours by acting this way, nor is he projecting a good image for the game.

Of course B.K isn’t the only Manly skipper to have problems in this area over the last 10 or so years.

Geoff Toovey was widely regarded as the one of the biggest back chatters in the game and his antics were a major annoyance to referees and rugby league fans alike.

Who can forget his verbal tirade directed at Bill Harrigan during the season opener of 1998 at ANZ Stadium. It was so bad and persistent throughout the match that Harrigan had little choice but to give Toovey his marching orders.

Michael Monaghan revived unpleasant memories of Toovey as skipper last season when he let anger get the better of him on more than one occasion.

Club stalwart Steve Menzies said he never felt comfortable as skipper of Manly during his short stint in the job and now we now why – he was far too mild-mannered to join the list of Captain Grumpies in maroon and white.

The Sea Eagles are in grave danger of the slipping from the top-eight after losing their last three matches and continually allowing frustration to get the better of them when it comes to perceived poor refereeing decisions certainly isn’t going to help things turn around.

Maybe they are keen to win back their mantle of the team everyone loves to hate.



Reserve Grader
I coodent really care :yeah:

But i think this article is unfair. BK is right 90% of the time he protests.


Winging it
I can see that Scott is going to be left off my Christmas card list, once again. Closet Bulldogs supporter from way back.

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