Dragons skipper Ben Hunt denies there is a ‘snitch’ at the embattled club…as the NRL outfit continue to court drama off the field
Skipper Ben Hunt insists there is no culture problem at the embattled Dragons and denies there is snitch in their ranks following a furious tirade from former captain James Graham.
The merger club is limping into the 2023 NRL season with a shocking list of off-field incidents that began when just three players – including Hunt – showed up to the end of season awards night.
The club was then pumped to the tune of 42-24 in the Charity Shield by the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Turning a headache into a migraine, teammates Mikaele Ravalawa and Zane Musgrove had a massive argument at the team hotel at 6am after a night on the drink.
Adding to the team’s woes, forward Francis Molo recently appeared in court and admitted to a charge of domestic-related intimidation from December.
Mikaele Ravalawa and Zane Musgrove had a blow-up at the team hotel in the early hours of the morning after a night of drinking
Francis Molo has pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic-related intimidation from December
The NRL’s integrity unit is now investigating the matter and will make a decision on any punishment following the court hearing scheduled for March 22.
The team has already been forced to stand down five-eighth Talatau Amone, who is currently awaiting trial next month on a charge of reckless grievous bodily harm in company relating to an alleged hammer attack.
But Hunt dismisses any criticism of the culture of the club.
‘I really don’t have a problem with the culture here,’ the skipper told Channel 9.
‘There’s obviously something that happened with a couple of individuals that the club is working on and working with those guys to help them out. On a whole, I don’t think there’s a culture problem.
Hunt doesn’t believe there is a a cultural issue at the Dragons despite a range of off-field incidents and an on-field thumping
Talatau Amone of the Dragons has been stood down under the NRL’s no-fault stand down policy
‘There’s a great bunch of fellas here and everyone is working hard every day to be better. Everyone wants to win so I don’t have any issues.
‘We had a discussion just as a playing group about the incident and what had happened. We addressed it and said it’s time to move on and focus on rugby league. (We said) that stuff doesn’t happen here anymore and that it’s all about the footy.
‘The start of the season couldn’t come quicker for us. We need to get out there and play some games. If we start playing games and winning games then that stuff doesn’t matter.’
Hunt also played down suggestions from Graham that there was a ‘snitch’ in the ranks.
‘Everything seems to get out these days. It doesn’t matter what happens – you can’t keep it quiet,’ he said.
‘I don’t think there’s a mole in the group. I don’t think there’s anyone that’s intentionally gone out and ratted the club out. It’s just something that happens these days.’
The disastrous off-season has the Dragons equal with the New Zealand Warriors on $6.50 to record the least number of wins this season, with only the Newcastle Knights and new franchise the Dolphins boasting shorter odds.
It has also piled on the pressure on coach Anthony Griffin.
Former Dragons skipper James Graham blew up on his radio spot saying there was a snitch in the ranks at the club
Hunt and Griffin have plenty of work to do ahead of the club’s round 2 season-opener against the Gold Coast Titans
Fortunately for the Dragons the club has a bye in week one and Hunt said that time would be used to address what happened in the Charity Shield week in Mudgee.
‘What we did out in Mudgee wasn’t great for us, but we believe that’s not what we’re about. I definitely think we’ve got a lot more to offer than what we showed out there,’ the halfback said.
‘Through the pre-season, we’ve been building to something really well, so in a way, I’m kind of happy that happened down there. We probably got that game out of our system and know we need to be better now.
‘It’s a bit of a wakeup call that games are here now and we need to be better than what we were out there.’