Why the Raiders won’t sack Jack Wighton

Tim Gavel 29 June 2018 35
Jack Wighton

Jack Wighton: Better to keep him in the fold. Photo: Supplied by Canberra Raiders.

I can’t see the Raiders’ Board sacking fullback Jack Wighton, despite the fact that he pleaded guilty to assault and public urination.

I am not condoning assault, far from it. You don’t resort to violence no matter the provocation. As a journalist you get to know players at a certain level but it rarely ventures into the social, so I can only give a somewhat superficial appraisal.

The court will deliver its punishment then the Board, with the NRL Integrity Unit, will have input. There is the possibility that the Board at the direction of the NRL may be forced to stand him down for a lengthy period, but it could depend on what sentence the court hands down.

The Raiders have been down this path before, and more often than not, they have taken a hard line on players who misbehave. They virtually cut an origin backline when they terminated the contracts of Dugan, Ferguson, Carney and Monaghan.

The belief at the time was that the NRL would back the Club to the hilt in their hardline stance, only to see all four players turn up with rival teams. At the time I also called on the Raiders to take a tough line on players misbehaviour.

Given what has happened in the past it is my view that the Raiders will punish Wighton but I don’t think the club will sack him, given the lessons they have learned from the past.

No doubt the NRL is taking a cautious approach given the fallout from Matt Lodge’s return with the Brisbane Broncos.

The Raiders have worked hard on its culture with players, including Wighton, regularly undertaking work in the community with various charities. It has been the goal of coach Ricky Stuart to ensure the players are good citizens as well as elite sportspeople. Stuart has shown himself to be an incredible manager with a number of players turning their careers and lives around in Canberra.

Let’s face it; rugby league has the ability to offer players, such as Wighton, a chance to better their circumstances in life. It is for that reason the Raiders need to keep him in their system, work with him, help his growth and impact on his values, and allow him to regain their trust.

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35 Responses to Why the Raiders won’t sack Jack Wighton
Lynn Orcher Lynn Orcher 1:11 pm 02 Jul 18

Jacks not going anywhere 😃4 blokes half pissed approached Jack and his mate only the 2 of them. Jack and his mate come out on top. How many of you have never taken a leak in public ? I'll wait 🤣Jacks a real good bloke and is only human. Broken jaw pffft 🤣

Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:17 pm 30 Jun 18

Someone on this thread alluded to a difference between Rugby League and Rugby Union. Well, not really: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-02/former-wallaby-george-smith-sacked-by-japanese-rugby-club/9388068

I blame the Raiders management for not monitoring Wighton’s intentions in regard to what celebrations he was planning for his birthday.

Andrew Lyttle Andrew Lyttle 2:00 pm 30 Jun 18

Many young guys get drunk and make a goose of themselves, this is when they need help the most he should be given the opportunity to redeem himself and be a role model for other young guys who invariably are going to do the same thing

Mike Long Mike Long 11:40 am 30 Jun 18

Right on Tim.....apprentice Raiders player and yes I do have someone in mind.

Anthony Eppelstun Anthony Eppelstun 9:31 am 30 Jun 18

Rugby league should and will give him a second chance, hopefully it’s with the Raiders.”

Like society league offers help and a chance to better yourself to those with these types of issues. It’s a game played by people from all sections of society including from troubled backgrounds, turning their backs on players who mess up is the equivalent to turning their backs on all supporters who’ve made mistakes themselves.

Because they are elite sportsman they have better access to support and rehabilitation and imo stories like Russell Packers where he has turned his life around through the help of Rugby league will achieve far greater good for the fans who actually need role models opposed to reinforcing the moral high ground of those who are able to fall back on their privilege upbringings and judge others so easily.

If you prefer elitism and judgement Rugby is the sport for you.

Phil Slater Phil Slater 1:31 am 30 Jun 18

Seems like the Raiders are not willing to throw another player away. League has an issue. Does not set a good example, neither does the govt or the courts.

Jeffrey Malone Jeffrey Malone 1:01 am 30 Jun 18

He goes back to playing...and his wage goes to the people he attacked...everybody wins...

    David Warwick David Warwick 8:50 am 30 Jun 18

    Paid for What, for going up to a well known player and as a group, thinking they're tough guys and mouthing off and getting a well deserved touch up?

Nicky Ram Nicky Ram 11:49 pm 29 Jun 18

Cath Welch - what we were talking about tonight...

Kitty Hicks Kitty Hicks 10:59 pm 29 Jun 18

These guys are supposed to show that they are pro athletes and professional behaviour. He should be sacked and not allowed to pay professional football again. We need to provide a professional standard which if broken means YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE !!!

    Leanne Chaffer Leanne Chaffer 11:13 pm 29 Jun 18

    Agree to a point but it doesn’t play out like that. We sack him the Roosters will pick him up in a heartbeat and he’ll be playing for Australia before we know it. If the NRL took a stance against it ie rub out Lodge, Dugan, Ferguson, Packer then the game would be better for it.

David Brown David Brown 10:32 pm 29 Jun 18

I wonder if a well known CEO was caught hitting people and pissing in public, how long would he keep his job?

Jarrod Scott Jarrod Scott 9:25 pm 29 Jun 18

Jacks the man, keep him in the berra”

Stu Williams Stu Williams 8:18 pm 29 Jun 18

And if the Raiders sack him, another team picks him up anyway, so what's the point? Raiders lose out. Time for rehabilitation.

Will Gardner Will Gardner 7:58 pm 29 Jun 18

Jack is a genuinely nice person and this seems incredibly out of character. I hope that he stays in Canberra after all this.

    Jimmy McGilvray Jimmy McGilvray 8:09 pm 29 Jun 18

    “It’s not his go” is probably the most widely used defence of all rugby league players.

    Ian Munro Ian Munro 5:07 pm 30 Jun 18

    Craig Bahnslee True Craig but I don't see any comparison and Carney primarily and to a lesser extent Ferguson. I think I would like to see him stay

    Ian Munro Ian Munro 5:08 pm 30 Jun 18

    I think some of the text went missing "between Dugan etc"

Peter Zivkovic Peter Zivkovic 5:55 pm 29 Jun 18

Great kid who made a silly mistake. People need to also remember that he did not instigate the fight and threat he was provoked.

    Luke Jorgensen Luke Jorgensen 8:19 pm 29 Jun 18

    You don’t have to start a fight to be charged with assault

    David Skeen David Skeen 8:56 pm 29 Jun 18

    All you need to do is win a fight to be charged.

    Chris Bishop Chris Bishop 8:27 am 30 Jun 18

    Assault is assault mate.

    David Edwards David Edwards 10:02 am 30 Jun 18

    Peter zovcovic you have no idea.

    Travis Achilles Travis Achilles 9:45 pm 30 Jun 18

    He coward punched someone and broke their jaw... Its been clearly captured on CCTV - just wait until its released.

    Peter Zivkovic Peter Zivkovic 10:11 pm 30 Jun 18

    Travis Achilles provoked.

    Lynn Orcher Lynn Orcher 1:12 pm 02 Jul 18

    Nope no broken jaws and no coward punches. 4 against 2 Jack sticking up for a mate. Wouldn't you do the same ?

    Travis Achilles Travis Achilles 11:35 am 06 Jul 18

    So that's why he pled guilty? And why some of those assaulted wern't charged? And is now seeking to bury the CCTV? It was a 100% a coward punch after someone refused to give him a cigarette. I would stand up for mates and I think most of the population would understand that, if thats what happened. But it's unfortunatly is not.

David Jones David Jones 5:55 pm 29 Jun 18

So when he doesn't get sacked all the other players know the they can act up as much as they want and it won't hurt their careers.

Awesome idea 😂

    Sharon Merten Sharon Merten 6:02 pm 29 Jun 18

    Yes the Canberra Raiders can sack him but another club will pick him up. So it doesn’t hurt his career at all.

    Leanne Chaffer Leanne Chaffer 9:35 pm 29 Jun 18

    Spot on Sharon - sick of us taking the moral high ground and having other clubs rub our noses in it - with the NRL standing around watching.

    Chris Bishop Chris Bishop 8:26 am 30 Jun 18

    I have heard the raiders have told the NRL they will sack him if they give a guarantee no other NRL club picks him up.

Scottie Barbour Scottie Barbour 5:48 pm 29 Jun 18

Ah??? didn't he "one punch" 4 or 5 people in one night???? You idiots are kidding right?

Ben Shingles Ben Shingles 5:37 pm 29 Jun 18

What about todd carney he was excommunicated from the nrl for less

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