The Roosters are on the wagon. Again. Or is it off the wagon?
Regardless, the Mitchell Pearce suspension and subsequent flogging at the hands of the Cowboys two weeks ago seem to be the catalyst for the playing group to swear off the grog once again. According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
The Sydney Roosters have slapped an alcohol ban on themselves to ensure their premiership defence gets back on track. It has been revealed the players made a pact to stay off the booze at an honesty session following their 42-10 loss to North Queensland last month.
The playing and coaching staff held a meeting the day after the defeat in Townsville to address the performance, arguably the worst since Trent Robinson took over as coach last year. With the team sitting outside the top eight and still reeling from the fallout of Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner’s big night out, the coaches were looking for answers.
A number of issues were addressed, with captain Anthony Minichiello understood to be one of the more vocal players as the club dissected a disappointing start to the season. The result was an indefinite booze ban, which is likely to remain until the end of the season.
The playing group, you may recall, slapped one on themselves last year (thanks to Ben Honig @benos95 for the friendly reminder and great memory) and subsequently rolled to a premiership. Since this current iteration of the booze ban came into effect they’ve put in arguably their best performance defensively this season (against the Bulldogs) and their most clinical first half perhaps all year (last week versus the Raiders). Cause and effect, perhaps?
Their performance against the Cowboys was insipid and unbecoming of a Robinson-coached squad. Something needed to change, and the impetus looks to have been a boozy night out which put Pearce and Cordner in the spotlight — and most important, it was a change chosen by the players.
I shudder whenever someone says “the players need to be banned from going out”. Imagine your workplace demanded you stop having a social life — how would you react?
These players are adults, and entitled to make choices. One of those choices is apparently to swear off the grog, as it was last year. They weren’t forced into it by the club, nor should they ever be. The players are old enough to make their own decisions on what they put into their body, and ultimately it should be up to them to decide what doesn’t go in and when it stops.