Rugby League followers across the nation are in a state of shock not only over the salary cap rorts carried out by the Melbourne Storm management but also the severity of punishment the club received.
On the streets of Brisbane today, fans shared their concern about the lack of incentive left for team members for the remainder of the 2010 season.
Ashleigh Elliott reports.
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At the start of the season, the Melbourne Storm held high hopes of retaining the title it claimed last year.
But now the penalties they face from the club’s salary cap breaches will see them finish last.
The once golden reputation is now tarnished, leaving many from the rugby league community devastated.
Chris Johns, former CEO Melbourne Storm: “Obviously very disappointed.”
With the team effectively out of this year’s competition there’s concern the penalty may be too harsh.
Chris John, former CEO Melbourne Storm: “Going forward I think it’s crazy that the Melbourne Storm will be playing the rest of the season and not be able to pick up two points.”
Rugby league fans have shared concern over the harshness of playing without points for the season.
Vox one: “I don’t think it’s that fair, maybe the fine but not the title strip.”
Vox two: “It’s not the players fault, it’s the managements fault. So I don’t think the players should be punished.”
But for anyone who bet on the Storm to take out the premiership, there’s some good news.
Brad Tamer, UNITAB: “Given the extraordinary nature of what happened yesterday TattsBet will refund any future bets placed on the Storm.”
The exclusion of the Storm from the premiership ladder, opens up the race for the title.
While the scandal has rocked the rugby league community, Queensland players are expected to still be eligible for the Maroons side.
Michael Hillier, Queensland Rugby League: “We’re hopeful that they’ll still play well for the storm and provided they play well they’ll be picked for State of Origin and that’s all you can hope for.”
With their next game on Sunday against the Warriors, it’s hoped that they will play for pride even if they can’t play for points.
Ashleigh Elliott, QUT News