The axe has fallen more frequently in the NRL this week than it did at the very height of the French Revolution with another high profile player having his contract torn up for behaving badly – this after the axing of an even higher profile coach and his assistant.

And the axe is likely to get a further workout at the Cronulla Sharks, and maybe even the Souths Rabbitohs, when their inglorious season ends this weekend.

Overnight the New Zealand Warriors tore up the contract of backrower, Sione Faumuina, apparently after (another) alcohol fuelled incident after the Warriors trounced the Roosters in Auckland on Sunday.

That inconsequential match has made its mark on rugby league history – the Roosters coach, Ricky Stuart, got the chop the day after, and his assistant, Shane Flannigan, was shown the door barely 24 hours later!

Like the Broncos’ Neville Costigan and Brett Seymour, who had their contracts torn up a couple of weeks ago, Faumuina had “form” when it came to behaving badly off the field.

Until he broke his hand a month ago, Faumuina was a key Warriors player. He has represented New Zealand twice, and has been a regular Warriors first grader since 2002. He previously played for the Canberra Raiders.

The Broncos have set a benchmark other clubs will have difficulty ignoring – players with “form” when it comes to misbehaviour can expect to have their contracts torn up.

But whether the message is getting through to the right “destination” remains highly questionable.

On the coaching front, don’t be at all surprised if the Sharks’ coach, Stuart Raper, gets the chop in the coming weeks as well. Yesterday he failed to get even a muted, let alone, ringing, endorsement from the Sharks President.

Peter Fray

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