‘To wake up to players half naked is disappointing’
THE NRL's Integrity Unit will investigate Canterbury over their Mad Monday antics - and ARL commission chairman Peter Beattie has revealed his disappointment at the episode.
Bulldogs players were caught stripping naked and grabbing each other's genitals while they danced on pub tables in Sydney's north.
Police have also launched an investigation into whether the Harbour View Hotel breached its liquor licensing conditions during the Mad Monday celebrations.
"This is extremely disappointing on the eve of the finals," ARL Commission chairman Beattie said.
"We put on a great event yesterday to launch the finals and it is overshadowed by player behaviour in a hotel.
"Todd Greenberg personally warned all club chief executives to ensure there were no Mad Monday incidents, in a group call last week.
"So the clubs were in no doubt that they had a responsibility to ensure their players had a good time without doing anything to damage the game.
"To wake up to photos of players half naked and sick is very disappointing.
"The Integrity Unit will seek a full explanation from the club and we will determine what action we take from there.
"I don't understand why players feel the need to take their clothes off to celebrate their season.
"But if they do feel that need they should do it in a private room somewhere - not in public view.
"We expected more of the Bulldogs and this very regretful. But we will deal with that over the coming weeks.
"Our focus now has to be on the finals … we have a great series coming up and I am very excited about it."
Police will investigate whether the Harbour View Hotel breached its liquor licensing conditions during the Mad Monday celebrations.
"Police have been made aware of potential licensing issues at a hotel on Lower Fort Street at Dawes Point," a NSW Police spokeswoman said on Tuesday morning.
"The reports follow a function at the venue yesterday.
"Sydney City licensing police have attended the premises to speak with the licensee and make follow up inquiries.
"While police have received no formal complaints regarding any other matter at the hotel yesterday should further offences be identified action will be taken."
Liquor licensing breaching can include offences such as out of hours trading, selling booze made in house or serving intoxicated people
Beattie said incidents like this impacted the NRL's ability to attract sponsors and would hurt them financially.
"This behaviour undermines the ARLC/NRL's hard work in attracting more corporate sponsors, government support and women to the game," he said.
"This means less money for the game and less money for clubs and players. It makes no sense. No professional sport in 2018 can operate like this.
"I am in Perth promoting rugby league and meeting with the Premier and his key ministers. This story today undermines the promotion of the game nationally as these stories become national stories. They don't remain in Sydney.
"Everyone has to constantly remember we live in a fishbowl in rugby league and indeed any sport. Our behaviour matters."
- additional reporting Derrick Krusche