Furious Dragons consider more penalties

·3-min read

Furious St George Illawarra boss Ryan Webb has slammed the arrogance of the Dragons' dirty 13, refusing to rule out further sanctions beyond the 20 games in bans and big fines from the NRL.

The NRL came down hard on the 13 players who broke stay-at-home orders to party at Paul Vaughan's barbeque on Saturday, fining them a combined $305,000.

Host Vaughan's regular NRL season is also over after he was handed an eight-game ban to go with a $50,000 fine.

All other players involved have been issued with one-game suspensions and varying fines, with the bans to be served over the next month.

The punishment also took into account players' histories and claims information was withheld from the NRL after it emerged only on Monday that Jack de Belin also attended the party.

But that could only be the start of it, with a Dragons board meeting on Tuesday to determine potential further punishments.

"The 13 players' arrogance and ignorance to both the NRL biosecurity protocols and the state government's public health order is upsetting and infuriating," Webb said.

"Every member of the club's Apollo register were communicated their responsibilities ... on numerous occasions.

"All 13 players have let the rest of their teammates, the entirety of our hard-working staff, their families, the wider community and most importantly our Red V members, partners and fans, down.

"The entire club and our stakeholders will now be punished as a result of the combined 20-week suspension."

In a bid to save the club from fielding a reserve grade team, each of the players' one-game bans will be split between up to four rounds.

Nevertheless, it will have a significant impact on their finals run with Josh McGuire, Jack Bird, Matt Dufty and Zac Lomax among other high-profile players involved.

It comes as NRL bosses attempt to keep the game going despite coronavirus outbreaks across the country closing state borders.

"They chose to risk the continuity of our competition." NRL boss Andrew Abdo said.

"On the information we have, the players understood the protocols and deliberately chose to ignore them.

"In our view the actions of the players were deliberate and some of the players withheld key information from the integrity unit.

"The sanctions handed down today puts every player in the game on notice - particularly repeat offenders - this sort of conduct will not be tolerated."

The fines come on top of the $1000 already issued by NSW Police on Sunday.

Criticism of the players on Monday spanned from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to their own Rugby League Players' Association' chief Clint Newton.

"This incident doesn't meet our expectations given what is at stake," Newton said.

"It is disappointing for the clear majority of players who have done, and are continuing to do, a tremendous job adhering to strict biosecurity protocols."

LIST OF ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA PLAYER FINES

Paul Vaughan - $50,000

Corey Norman - $50,000

Jack de Belin - $42,000

Zac Lomax - $31,000

Jack Bird - $25,000

Matt Dufty - $23,000

Blake Lawry - $20,000

Josh Kerry - $18,000

Daniel Alvaro - $15,000

Josh McGuire - $12,000

Tyrell Fuimaono - $12,000

Kaide Ellis - $5000

Gerard Beale - $2000

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