Not happy: Penrith five-eighth Jamie Soward is far from pleased with Footy Show funny guy Beau Ryan. Photo: Getty Images
Jamie Soward has been hammered for having a crack at Beau Ryan over his Footy Show impersonation – but, in his eyes, his concerns are genuine. And make no mistake this is not a sudden action – or just a reaction to Soward being ridiculed – the Panthers five-eighth has not been a Ryan fan for some time.
He made that very clear to the Footy Show even before Ryan started taking the mickey out of him.
The Panthers No.6 took aim at Ryan – but admitted he does not watch his work.
“Jamal [Idris] is on the show and he tells me what has been said,” Soward said. “I don’t need to watch it.”
Soward cops most of what Ryan does – but he has drawn the line at the character having a lisp. He thinks that can effect other people – kids in particular. It's also had an effect on his wife.
“It's all light-hearted stuff and I didn’t mean to hurt anyone, and if I have hurt anyone I'll stop it,” Ryan said.
“I’m just trying to entertain people. We will steer away from it. It can go either way. I love what I am doing and I hope that I can make people laugh in other ways.”
Soward took aim at Ryan questioning if the Sharks winger even plays any more, and he predicted Ryan would return from injury in the NSW Cup.
After he made those comments and others I made sure that Soward was happy for them to go to air and he said he was – clearly he had been waiting to return fire.
Soward noted that Sonny Bill Williams had the physical presence to make Ryan uncomfortable on the field – his only recourse was through words.
Others don’t mind Beau’s work. “Big Sammy [Burgess] loves it,” Ryan said. And Robbie Farah is clearly a fan of his send-ups because he tweeted in favour of Ryan – branding Soward a sook. It's worth noting that Soward and Farah have a history – Soward verballed Farah last year on the field.
Paul Gallen is also a fan. “Beauy takes the piss out of me in a big way and I play along with it in public saying that he is a goose and I don’t like it – but really we are good mates,” he said.
“If you know Beau he has not got a mean bone in his body and if he has upset Jamie, then he would really feel bad about it. If he ever has a blue with anyone over anything he will apologise.
‘‘People get the wrong impression of him. If Jamie Soward had a problem with Beau he should have called him and Beau would have stopped straight away. If he didn’t want to call he could have got the message through to Beau.”
Gallen may sound like a hypocrite there was a report that he and Ryan had a fight on Mad Monday because of his G-Train antics.
“It had nothing to do with me not liking what Beauy did on the show,” he said.
“I’ll tell you what happened – we were at my place and Beau kept on whacking me in the head with a plastic golf club that belonged to my kids. He’d do it every time he walked past and I told him to stop it.
‘‘He didn’t stop and when it happened it, he kind of leant into it – I was sitting on a chair and threw my arm in the air. I didn’t shape up to him or anything like that.
‘‘He was just being a pest. Yeah, I got him but I did not knock him out. We were being silly, but Beau stayed with me for another six hours so we were hardly having a fight of any sort.
‘‘It was just silly behaviour and nothing more. I have no problem with Beau, never have. Never will. I have not got a bad word to say about him”
The Newcastle Knights have been criticised for their strong stance on the tackle which resulted in Alex McKinnon’s injury.
The club's questioning of the role of other Storm players in the tackle was seen as unnecessary and mean-spirited. In a statement, they also went on the attack about the way Jordan McLean was allowed to play before his judiciary hearing.
What is worth noting is the statement they put out was a “club statement” not attributed to anyone.
Here are some facts to consider – Wayne Bennett and Matt Gidley have both been in contact with the family – Bennett even flew to Melbourne – take it as fact they would not have taken a stance on the tackle like that if the family did not share the view that there was something very wrong with the tackle.
Bennett would not have allowed that to happen. The McKinnons are league lovers who would never hurt the game – but they are of the same view as the judiciary that the McLean tackle was worth hitting hard.
This columnist has extreme sympathy for all involved.
SEA EAGLES BRUSH MEETING
It’s a worrying sign for the Manly owners that an attempt to call a crisis meeting with their star players on Friday fell on deaf ears.
Players were texted late on Thursday night to attend a 10am meeting to deal with the Glenn Stewart situation – it was put in the too hard basket by the players.
The issue is that Manly know how much it's going to hurt the players – in the end, it was left to football manager Steve Gigg to make what can only be called a “Claytons offer” to keep Stewart.
It was conditional on moving other players along. There is no question that Stewart would never want that on his plate – nor would he want to be in any way responsible for next year's key off-contract players – Anthony Watmough, Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans – being shifted to another team.
Stewart has made it clear that he wanted to stay – now he is known to be getting his head around the idea that he is going to be playing for another club next year.
He will take some time to get used to that – but when it sinks in there is sure to be some level of excitement at a new challenge. At least three teams are in the running for Stewart.
Des Hasler insists that he is not hunting Stewart – that’s despite plenty of mail he is going to have a crack. The word has been strong that he would like Glenn and his brother Brett at the club – he insists no move has been made. Our item about Souths and Stewart last week got plenty of people talking. His nous would be be a good complement to the brutal force of the other forwards.
The NRL will be in court next week with its former stats provider Sportsdata. The director of Sportsdata is alleging that the NRL has acted improperly when it comes to his company. The case threatens to get very juicy – there are a number of spin-off issues that have the potential to embarrass the game – and make some officials at League HQ edgy.
ENGLAND NOT FOR BENJI
English league interest in Benji Marshall is genuine, and rich – but the only problem is that Marshall is happy battling through the early days of his career in his new code.
“I have no idea about this so called interest in Benji going to play league in England,” said his agent Martin Tauber.
“The last place that Benji would be looking at playing or thinking of trying out would be England. I had dinner with Benji and his wife last week and they are very happy – they’ve moved into a new place and are loving being in New Zealand. Down the track – and I'm talking well down the track, if Benji was to move I'd explore the south of France or Japan to extend his career. Not England, not for a minute.”
Andrew Fifita has been vocal about his desire to play rugby one day – but in reality the lifestyle may not have been perfect for him. Fifita is not a great traveller – and being a devoted family man, he does it tough when away from his loved ones.
FERGO RIPE FOR ROOSTERS
Blake Ferguson is a long way from playing NRL again – but he was spotted at his agent Sam Ayoub’s inner west Sydney office – no doubt talking about his future. There are plenty saying that Souths will be his home, but you would not rule out the Roosters having a crack at his services. The departure of SBW and the likely retirement of Anthony Minichiello means there will be some money free to sign Ferguson and update the contracts of other key players.
BABY ON THE MIND
James Maloney would not have been surprised at reports that he is under the pump. NSW coach Laurie Daley has fronted Maloney and told him he needs to lift and do it in a hurry. Maloney has had other things on his mind – he is going to become a dad for the third time.
Stephen Dank, who has 34 charges to defend for his role at Essendon, is the most wanted man in the world of drugs in sport.
How the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority can regard itself as an organisation which should be respected after it failed to organise a committee to deal with his matter is beyond comprehension.
You have to feel sorry for those who work hard at the organisation who try and protect the integrity of Australian sport. ASADA's performance from day one of this investigation at the top level has been nothing short of laughable.
SEMI SHAPES UP
Semi Radradra is developing as a player at a rate not even the Eels expected. He is being put through a crash course of media training to deal with all of the requests that are coming his way.
OFFICIAL IN STRIFE
Which league official is in line for a long and difficult life after sleeping with the partner of a league media figure? The media man knows about it. He has plenty of clout and will use it.
SIDDLE ON OUTER
Peter Siddle has been a key member of the Australian cricket team for some time now – but his exit from the side may happen sooner rather than later. He was dropped from the last Test in South Africa and he has not got the same support he used to have where it matters.
Danny Weidler is a Channel Nine reporter.