on air now

Why the NRL’s punishment for Scott Bolton was fair

“I think they’re absolutely kidding themselves.”

That’s the response of Channel Seven Brisbane sports journalist Chris Garry to suggestions that Scott Bolton’s punishment for an off-field indiscretion was “a disgrace”.

Bolton pleaded guilty to a common assault charge resulting in a 12-month good behaviour bond – with that incident just one of many which prompted NRL CEO Todd Greenberg to come down hard on a number of off-field incidents which rocked the code over the summer.

The North Queensland forward was suspended for 10 games which can be halved if he addresses all 16 clubs and shows them the CCTV footage of the incident at the Brisbane Magic Round later this season.

Garry told Halftime with James Willis NRL players are held to a higher standard and must be accountable.

“I think they’re absolutely kidding themselves,” Garry said.

“Rugby League players should be and are held to a higher standard, just as I am, just as you are.

“This is what happens when you’re in a public facing company.

“What Scott Bolton did was absolutely on the low end of the scale and I have great respect for Laurence Lancini the Chairman of the Cowboys.

“But for him to be outraged that the NRL treated him harsher than the courts, well that’s how it should be.

“NRL players should be held to a higher standard.”

North Queensland Chairman Laurence Lancini – who has served for 14 years up north – claimed the NRL and ARL Commission had got it wrong – labelling the punishment a “disgrace”.

The Cowboys get their season underway by hosting St George Illawarra on Saturday March 16 at 1300SMILES Stadium.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full discussion below.