Sorry but this feature is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

    [ad '996x120_970x250_940x250_940x120-pos1' placeholder]
    An Ad Component with the div id 'adspot-996x120_970x250_940x250_940x120-pos1' will be inserted here

    Blake Ferguson's lawyer slams NRL over lack of 'mercy'

    Advertisement
    [ad '300x250-pos3' placeholder]
    An Ad Component with the div id 'adspot-300x250-pos3' will be inserted here
    On bond: Blake Ferguson leaves the Sutherland Local Court on Monday.

    On bond: Blake Ferguson leaves the Sutherland Local Court on Monday. Photo: AAP

    The lawyer for Blake Ferguson has launched a scathing attack on the NRL for their lack of ''mercy'' towards the troubled NSW Origin star and questioned what would become of him if he wasn't allowed to resume playing after receiving a two-year good behaviour bond for indecent assault.

    Adam Houda, who has lodged an all grounds appeal against the conviction and penalty, admitted Ferguson had a problem with alcohol but said he needed support - not banishment - from the game that had provided a ''lifeline'' for him after a ''harrowing'' upbringing by his drug-addicted mother.

    With Sydney Roosters, South Sydney, Cronulla and Canterbury believed to be interested in Ferguson, Houda said the 23-year-old would be best served by playing as he would have to train up to seven days a week and be focused on helping his team in games.

    ''That is his best rehabilitation because that is what Blake does best but right now he is unemployed, he is earning no money and what are you going to do - just leave him to hang out with undesirables,'' Houda said.

    Ferguson said his main priority was appealing the sentence handed down on Monday in Sutherland Local Court by magistrate Jacquelline Trad, but the former Canberra and Cronulla star told Fairfax Media that he did not know what he would do if he could not return to the NRL.

    ''Playing footy is what I do and that is my main source of income so if I don't play football I don't do anything, '' Ferguson said. ''They have given chances to a lot more people, I have only had two strikes to my name and I have been condemned for it. It's bullcrap. If I train seven days a week I have got something to go to every day so that is one thing that is pretty good for me.''

    The NRL said it had provided Ferguson with extensive support to assist his rehabilitation.

    The program covered alcohol and drug education, sexual ethics, cultural awareness and leadership through to career counselling and development.

    "It is disappointing to hear the comments today given the effort the NRL's Education and Welfare team has invested to help Blake address the issues he has faced," NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle said. "Our programs have proved successful for the overwhelming majority of players."

    Houda outlined details of Ferguson's childhood as he argued that no conviction be recorded, telling the court his parents had separated before he was born and he had lived with his mother, who used drugs and had sex in front of him, until DOCS intervened when he was 13 years old.

    ''This is only some of the details of the traumatic upbringing of Blake Ferguson,'' Houda said. With his career in tatters and his reputation ''savaged'', Houda said Ferguson had been punished enough.

    He also took aim at the NRL over a statement issued after Ferguson was found guilty on December 11, in which Doyle said the verdict ''would have to be strongly considered'' in forming a view whether he was a ''fit and proper person to be registered as a player''.

    ''The magistrate made a finding and then moments later they have come out and condemned Blake in the strongest possible terms and indicated they won't be registering him as a player,'' Houda said. ''There was no careful judgment, no careful consideration; just a very strong punitive response when the welfare of the player should be their paramount consideration.

    ''They are happy to throw 18-year-old kids into a culture that is embedded in alcohol and drinking and into the world of celebrity where all their actions are heavily scrutinised but when they can't handle the pressure they want to crush them.

    ''Where is the mercy? The NRL should be putting their arms around Blake, who has had a very, very troubled past and a harrowing childhood. He went to six different schools, he developed post traumatic stress disorder because of his harrowing upbringing and at 18, rugby league presented itself as a lifeline for the kid and he became a star.

    ''He has given entertainment to lot of people and when things go wrong they want to wash their hands of him. It's not right, this is a kid who has got no prior criminal convictions and he deserves a chance. People should look into his history and work out that it is a miracle he ever got to where he has.''

    169 comments

    • No sign of remorse

      Commenter
      IH
      Date and time
      February 03, 2014, 8:46PM
      • Sounds like the usual suspects blaming everyone but the perpetrator as well.

        Commenter
        Get a Grip
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 7:29AM
      • Perhaps Blake should have been given speech lessons as well (for example: "It's all bullcrap"), and I suspect Blake would expect that to be at the NRL's expense too? If Blake is mastering everything so well at the football end of things, perhaps it was time, as part of all of this, to also take personal responsibility for his social graces, and his ability to enunciate the issues, if he wants to be in the NRL limelight?

        Commenter
        Bob
        Location
        Davidson, NSW
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 9:39AM
      • He doesn't know what he would do without footy.

        I don't know, how about get a job you slacker.

        Commenter
        ST
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 10:35AM
      • Agree, no remorse. Welcome to life sucker, deal with it ...

        Commenter
        OscarP
        Location
        Brsvgs.
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 11:10AM
      • Blake is a footy player. He isn't an English teacher and won't be required to write the history of Australia anytime soon.

        Commenter
        qlder
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 11:21AM
    • Wasn't enamoured about this guy until I read his history. Yes I know its probably been "stretched a bit", but even so he's come from a rough start. He's had plenty of opportunities now so make the best of it Blake. No more excuses ok?

      Commenter
      Christine
      Location
      Campbelltown
      Date and time
      February 03, 2014, 9:32PM
      • Even with his history there comes a time when every man must learn to take responsibility for their own actions.. Not throw blame at everything and everyone but himself.

        Commenter
        Meds
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 8:54AM
      • Meds, didn't you read the article? Blake isn't a "man", According to his manager and apologists like Anthony Mundine he is actually a "kid" - a 23 year old "kid" to be exact.

        To be honest, I'm sick of hearing people refer to men in their twenties as "kids". Sure he has had a tough upbringing but I agree with you that there has to come a point when he starts behaving responsibly. Will we still be referring to Blake as a "poor kid" when he's 30 years old?

        Commenter
        39 year old kid
        Location
        Coogee
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 9:56AM
      • @ Christine

        Obviously what is happening to Blake is 'bullcrap'....hence he is just an 'escape goat' for the NRL.

        We all need to ask ourselves who is the victim here ? For sure it's not that 'escaped goat' !

        Commenter
        Machooka
        Location
        inner west sydney
        Date and time
        February 04, 2014, 11:22AM

    More comments

    Comments are now closed

    Related Coverage

    'To be humiliated is punishment enough': Blake Ferguson given good behaviour bond over assault

    Fallen NRL star Blake Ferguson has been handed a two-year good behaviour bond for grabbing a woman's crotch in a dimly-lit Sydney pub.

    Fantasy NRL: Ultimate League

    Welcome to Ultimate League, a brand new draft-based fantasy NRL game that puts you in control in the battle for ultimate football supremacy with your mates.

    Brad Arthur keeps Will Hopoate fresh for assault on Auckland Nines

    They waited two years to get him, so another week surely won't matter much; having been left out of Parramatta's squad for the Eels' first pre-season trial – against Wests Tigers in Alice Springs on Saturday – William Hopoate is set to make his club debut in the Auckland Nines.

    Timana Tahu to seek donor after revolutionary knee surgery

    Timana Tahu wants to find the family of the donor whose tendon is now in his right knee and thank them for helping to save his NRL career.

    Kurt Gidley tipped to help Laurie Daley break Origin stranglehold

    NSW coach Laurie Daley will welcome Knights captain Kurt Gidley back to the Origin fold this year if the former Blues skipper's form and fitness warrant his selection.

    Dan Hunt looks to Charity Shield clash to blow out cobwebs

    Veteran Dragons prop Dan Hunt is hopeful of returning from injury in the Charity Shield later this month. Hunt has been on restricted duties for much of the pre-season as he recovers from off-season knee and shoulder surgery, but he is keen to play when Wollongong hosts its first Charity Shield match.

    ASADA investigation: Former Federal judge Garry Downes steps in to help speed things up

    Infraction notices may still be issued against NRL and AFL players while former Federal Court judge Garry Downes is reviewing details of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's 12-month investigation into doping allegations in both codes.

    ASADA hires ex-judge for NRL, AFL probes

    No time frame but charges against footballers from both codes still possible.

    [ad '300x1515-pos1' placeholder]
    An Ad Component with the div id 'adspot-300x1515-pos1' will be inserted here
    Advertisement
    [ad '300x600_300x250-pos1' placeholder]
    An Ad Component with the div id 'adspot-300x600_300x250-pos1' will be inserted here

    Related Coverage

    [ad '300x70-pos1' placeholder]
    An Ad Component with the div id 'adspot-300x70-pos1' will be inserted here

    NRL Season 2015

    Round 1
    Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
    Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
    Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
    GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
    NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
    Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
    CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
    Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
    STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
    CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
    MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
    NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
    Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
    CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
    Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
    WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
    MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
    BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
    Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
    CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
    MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
    Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
    GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
    WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
    Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
    CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
    STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
    Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
    SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
    Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
    GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
    NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
    SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
    PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
    MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
    PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
    CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
    NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
    PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
    STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
    Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
    SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
    STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
    NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
    MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
    NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
    Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
    NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
    SYD 12vs STG 14 Report Stats
    MEL 10vs MAN 12 Stats
    BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
    SOU 22vs CBR 30 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
    SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
    CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
    NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
    PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
    Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
    SOU 16vs STG 10 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBY 10vs SYD 24 Stats
    NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
    GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
    MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
    NEW 22vs WST 12 Stats
    Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
    MAN 10vs PEN 11 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    WST 0vs NQL 8 Stats
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
    Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
    NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
    CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
    NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
    STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
    Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
    WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
    SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
    PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
    Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
    PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
    Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs WST 19:45BO
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
    GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
    CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
    Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
    NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
    MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
    Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
    STG vs SYD 19:00AS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
    SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
    NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
    PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
    Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
    WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
    Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
    Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
    Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
    WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
    Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
    CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
    Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
    CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
    Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
    GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
    MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
    Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
    NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
    STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
    Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
    BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
    Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
    WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
    Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
    SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
    MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
    Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
    CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
    Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
    NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
    Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
    NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
    STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
    SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
    SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
    MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
    WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
    GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 22
    Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
    Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
    NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
    CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
    MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
    CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
    MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
    PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
    View All Fixtures
    Round 23
    Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
    CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
    NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
    PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
    CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
    SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
    CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
    WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 24
    Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
    Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
    STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
    SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
    SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
    MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
    CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
    MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
    GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 25
    Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
    PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
    NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
    SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
    CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
    MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
    MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
    WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
    GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 26
    Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
    CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
    NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
    STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
    PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
    PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
    SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
    CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    NRL Ladder 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D Pts
    Melbourne Storm 10 7 3 0 16
    Brisbane Broncos 11 8 3 0 16
    St George-Illawarra Dragons 10 7 3 0 16
    North Queensland Cowboys 11 8 3 0 16
    Sydney Roosters 10 5 5 0 12
    South Sydney Rabbitohs 11 6 5 0 12
    Warriors 10 5 5 0 12
    Penrith Panthers 10 5 5 0 12
    View all
     
    Featured advertisers