It's about setting standards and developing a team culture
David Furner has the full support of Raiders players, says David Shillington. Photo: Stuart Walmsley
Sure, it's a tough decision that robs us of two of our best players at a critical stage of the season.
But the players support David Furner 100 per cent after standing down Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson from tonight's game against South Sydney for breaking the club's alcohol policy.
All the great clubs going around at the moment have fantastic cultures and that's set by the senior players, the younger players have to get into line or they're not suited.
I think over the next week or two we'll have a chat as a senior group, and the playing group in general, in terms of our standards and the culture we want to have around the place. It's important to us and you have to fit into that, and if you don't, obviously we can't have you as part of the team.
It has been well documented that we had some time off the drink a few weeks ago to get the most out of our training, and that's part of being professionals.
But the club rules are pretty plain and simple and it's not a big ask what Furnsey's asking of us, it's not like he's putting any crazy strict rules around the place. I've spoken a few times about ticking all the boxes and making sure we're preparing the right way to string wins together, because a win here or there isn't good enough and that's about professionalism, that's what wins games.
We set a high standard and I don't think they're tough standards by any means, but obviously the boys were on the wrong side of that and Furnsey has punished them accordingly.
I don't think they need to be hung out to dry or anything, hopefully the lesson's learned and we'll move on next week.
You can't hold people's hands, the best you can do is spell out the standards and lead by example.
You need people to want to buy into it, not force people into it, that's what creates a team culture and there's not a lot you can do outside of that.
At 4-6 it's terrible timing for the team, we know what a weapon Duges can be, and Fergo has been one of our best this year.
We'll miss them dearly, but NSW lost the first Origin game and changes could be on the cards for them as well.
I thought Duges and Fergo were inches away from being picked for that team, and not being able to put their best foot forward tonight makes it a lot harder for them to gain selection. I think that will hurt them more than anything else.
On a more positive note, I've pulled up fine after helping Queensland win Origin I and will back up against the Rabbitohs tonight.
I'm looking forward to how winger Edrick Lee goes in his NRL debut for us.
I know when first grade does opposed sessions with the Toyota Cup boys, we always have trouble tackling him because he's such a tall, skinny kid.
Hopefully Souths will take him a bit lightly and he can cause some havoc.
David Shillington plays prop for the Canberra Raiders