Tiger troubles with player safety

Concerns about player safety are going to the next level.

There are quiet moves to limit the amount of contact work NRL players can do at training – something coaches will be very angry about if it’s approved.

That information was uncovered after this column started investigating talk of growing disquiet in the Tigers ranks, where some players are unhappy with the hard-nosed ways of coach Michael Maguire.

The club is ready to deal with any issues within the playing group. To their credit, the Tigers have been proactive in setting up a hotline for players or staff to raise concerns about the way the club is run. They are the first NRL club to do so. I have been told there have been a raft of complaints about the club. The Tigers say just one message has been received on the hotline since its inception 12 months ago and that was investigated.

The club is also searching for someone to take up the role of head of people and culture. Surely, that’s the job of the coach?

The Rugby League Players Association has confirmed that senior Tigers players have had lengthy talks with the union about Maguire’s decision to train them through to the grand final. The players agreed to do so, knowing it meant they would have a shorter lead-up to the start of the season and less of the brutal contact work Maguire loves.

The very public dispute with Ryan Matterson is the latest issue at the club. There have been problems and disagreements with Josh Reynolds, Russell Packer and Ben Matulino, among others.

It has led to a stream of information about the inner workings of the club coming the way of this column.

I asked if I could meet Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe and Maguire to discuss these issues and get a response. After initially agreeing to meet, Pascoe decided he did not want to comment on the record.

The Matterson issue is not all about money. We’ve been told it relates to player welfare at the Tigers and how he feels he is treated compared to the Roosters. He has not asked for more money.

The welfare concerns are real. We have been told a story about a young player being knocked out at training and questions about the care he received, and another player being badly injured during a wrestling training session.

The club refused to confirm or deny the stories.

The Tigers say they have rigorous protocols in place to ensure the wellbeing of players. Those protocols have been successful in detecting injuries during the year and players have subsequently received top care. However, the club has moved on assistant coach Craig Sandercock, and long-time physio Peter Moussa has left. Both these departures have not pleased the players.

On top of all that, Tigers stalwart Chris Lawrence is still waiting for a new deal. The Tigers say he will get one.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/tiger-troubles-with-player-safety-could-change-the-game-20190928-p52vv4.html

That just looks like a whole lot of jabs and damaging accusations without any supporting evidence.

@WT2K It never ends does it. Sad to say I have a feeling this may not be far from the truth.

Written by Weedler… Not one quote from a concerned player, not one fact presented. Just a bunch of words and hearsay. The closest he came was to reference a hotline the club set up that has received one message in the past 12 months since its inception. I would agree that there is a culture problem though. That is that there are too many in and around the playing group that are soft between the ears. Look where that has gotten us.

last edited by BalmainJnr

If true then Madge has learned nothing from his time at souths, and we are in real deep poo

@BalmainJnr said in Tiger troubles with player safety:

Written by Weedler… Not one quote from a concerned player, not one fact presented. Just a bunch of words and hearsay. The closest he came was to reference a hotline the club set up that has received one message in the past 12 months since its inception. I would agree that there is a culture problem though. That is that there are too many in and around the playing group that are soft between the ears. Look where that has gotten us.

Reads like it’s a jab or two from Matterson camp. Given the press last week as pro tiger stance on his situation. I could be wrong though.

Sounds made up tbh… Matterson’s management probably pushing it. No sources, quotes, references, nothing…

Our players must be the biggest bunch of pussies if this is true. Perhaps they should go and spend a season or two under Bellamy or Stuart, then come back and see how good they actually have it.

Has to be a BS story though, no doubt stoked by Matterson’s dubious management team.

@Spud_Murphy said in Tiger troubles with player safety:

Our players must be the biggest bunch of pussies if this is true. Perhaps they should go and spend a season or two under Bellamy or Stuart, then come back and see how good they actually have it.

Has to be a BS story though, no doubt stoked by Matterson’s dubious management team.

Trouble is we don’t know… They quite cleay could be pussies… Most fans of other clubs don’t have that doubt tho

@Spud_Murphy sack em all start again just keep the coach!

Do other clubs do this? Air their dirty laundry through the press. This is clearly a tit for tat return serve by Matterson’s camp. The guy is going out the door for sure, just trying to save face here. But does this happen at other clubs? I mainly only read Wests Tigers stuff so I wouldn’t know. I’m not sure it’s professional, but maybe it’s just how things are done now.

Who’s maning the hotline? Batman?

Jeez I don’t think Maguire is near as strict as Bellamy is tbh, ours are complaining and the storm aren’t. I doubt this story has any sort of traction to it, confident it’s all Matterson’s and his manager stirring the pot.

On reading that again, gee that annoys me. Too much contact work at training? For real? Would they rather sit around a big circle and play duck duck goose? It’s a football team for crying out loud. Tackle football. Not touch football, not two-hand grab, “I grabbed you” “No you didn’t”, “I did so…” “Alright, I’ll come back…”

And oh no, did you see that, someone got hurt at training, Umm Aah… careful or I’m dobbing to the union…
And we have a problem with a few players? Packer, Reynolds and Matulino? Damn straight, problem is we are paying them a truckload of money and getting not enough in return. Big problem. Nothing to do with some rubbish story saying players want to play grab-ass with each other…

I hope the coach reads this story to the playing group, and they respond by the biggest macho testosterone filled training session where they all half kill each other just to prove they aren’t soft. There’s some team bonding…

last edited by JD Tiger

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