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Todd Carney showed he had learned little from his past mistakes

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Todd Carney sacked by Cronulla Sharks

Social media claims another victim after a photo emerges of Carney performing a lewd act at a urinal.

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A meeting with Atherton Roosters president Mick Nasser after last Friday night’s match in Brisbane should have reminded Todd Carney of what it was like to lose his livelihood as an NRL player.

Nasser, who employed Carney at his North Queensland pub in 2009 after he was sacked by Canberra, has been one of the former NSW five-eighth’s biggest supporters and travelled to Brisbane to watch him help the Sharks to a 24-22 comeback win over the Broncos.

Juvenile behaviour: Cronulla five-eighth Todd Carney in what became his last match for the Sharks against Brisbane on Friday night.

Juvenile behaviour: Cronulla five-eighth Todd Carney in what became his last match for the Sharks against Brisbane on Friday night. Photo: Getty Images

But just 24 hours later, it became apparent Carney had learned little from his past mistakes when a photo taken of him urinating towards his own mouth during a drinking session at Northies night club in Cronulla began circulating on social media.

After being sacked by Sydney Roosters when the club’s chairman Nick Politis could no longer stand by him - following two years of unwavering support, it now appears to be a case of three strikes and you’re out for Carney in the NRL.

Throughout his career, officials, coaches and teammates at the Raiders, Roosters and Sharks have stood by the talented playmaker and each time he has let them down.

No other club is again likely to do so after a string of misdemeanours that include drink driving and driving while disqualified after a police chase in Canberra, allegedly urinating on the head and neck of another patron at an ACT bar, damaging a vehicle he jumped on in Goulburn, another drink driving charge at the Roosters and breaching a player-enforced alcohol ban that led to his sacking from the club.

As a result, Carney has been banned from his home town of Goulburn for a year, warned by a judge that he would go to jail if he was convicted by another court, sacked from the Raiders and Roosters, deregistered by the NRL and banned from playing Super League in England because of his criminal offences.

Cronulla represented his last-chance saloon and while the Sharks haven’t made public any other breaches since he joined the club in 2012, there were widespread rumours that Carney had been off the rails this year and it was considered only a matter of time before he again found himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

With a rival club official telling Fairfax Media that his coach had recently raised the possibility of signing Carney in the belief that Cronulla might let him go, it may now be clearer  why the Sharks had pursued Benji Marshall so vigorously before he joined St George Illawarra. The Sharks already have no major sponsor and trying to attract one had been hard enough with the ASADA investigation hanging over the club but Carney’s behaviour would have made that task virtually impossible if the club’s board didn’t act swiftly to terminate his contract. It is understood he did not upload the photo circulating on social media but Carney has already been linked to a bizarre apparent craze known as ‘‘bubbling’’. It is a story that will travel around the world in the same way as John Hopoate’s finger poking antics and Joel Monaghan’s simulated sex act with a dog.

Sadly for Cronulla, the incident comes after the team’s third win in a game that featured the scrum-base combination of Carney and halfback Jeff Robson playing the full match together for just the third time this season – all of which have resulted in victory. 

However, the damage to the Sharks brand and the image of the game is far more important and no one would be more aware of how many chances he has already had than Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce, who now has the distinction of having sacked the same player twice. He was the Roosters CEO when Carney’s contract was terminated by the club in 2011. The previous season, Carney had won the 2010 Dally M medal and helped the Roosters to the grand final in what was viewed at the time as a great story of redemption, and he again appeared to have turned his life around when he made the 2012 NSW Origin team after being given a lifeline by the Sharks. 

Rather than impose any restrictions on Carney, Cronulla officials  said he deserved to be treated ‘‘like a man’’ and thought he would respond by showing responsibility. His failure to do so may not only have cost him his $650,000 per season contract with the Sharks but his NRL career and what was left of his reputation. 

Twitter: @BradWalterSMH

1 comment

  • Sadly, these guys are judged differently to most other employees - and most other blokes wouldn't lose their job for drink driving or "bubbling"... but that's not really the point. NRL players - and especially NRL players who have had multiple high profile incidents before- just cant use that as an excuse. END. OF. STORY. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just cant cure dumb.

    You'd think these guys would learn that once they've had a few- its time to go somewhere private where phones and cameras are banned, or its time to go home, or it's time for a few waters.... Especially guys who have demonstrated time and again that they cant handle a drink.

    Why are clubs and pubs serving him? Why arent his mates and team-mates keeping him in line? Why doesnt he employ a minder to be with him 24/7 on weekends? Just plain stupid, all around.

    Commenter
    Thomas
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    Sydney
    Date and time
    June 30, 2014, 1:12AM
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