The Curtis Scott Incident

BY DAN

Because we can’t have one weekend off from pain, the Canberra Times has revealed that footage has emerged of Curtis Scott in what can politely be described as an alleged incident in the Kokomo night club.

As per usual Scott should be afforded the presumption of innocence but the fact we’re all ready with that line should tell you something. Regardless, if there’s anything that the Raiders have learned in recent years it’s that not all footage is what it seems, and that the best thing at this stage is to allow the facts to emerge before acting. There will be an investigation by the NRL integrity unit, and until that investigation (or any subsequent) is conducted there should be no permanent decisions or judgements made. That doesn’t mean Scott won’t be stood down while an investigation is conducted but I suspect that will be a function of how long the investigation takes.

It doesn’t look good. I haven’t seen the footage, but the descriptions in the Canberra Times article were enough for the paper to suggest that his career will “hangs in the balance”. Ostensibly this is a first alleged offence for Curtis in Canberra, but I’m worried it won’t be treated as such.

One hopes Scott is getting appropriate support from the club and people who can ensure his welfare at this time. Curtis spoke of the mental toll his run in with NSW police in early 2020 took on him. This will be similarly stressful, and one hopes he gets the help he needs to get through this, however the investigation turns out. From a fan perspective I hope Scott isn’t subject to the same rancid behaviour captain Croker was confronted with earlier this year.

On-field it presents an intriguing situation. It’s such a shame for Scott personally because he’s been an increasingly big part of the attack in recent weeks, as the Raiders sought to utilise his mix of pace and power on the edge. He seemed to be finding his feet. And now here we are. Yet again Scott’s Canberra career faces an obstacle.

It’s manageable for the club if Scott is stood down pending investigation, or because of one. It opens the door for Jarrod Croker to return to the top line. The captain made his desire to play first grade known at the end of last week through a public announcement to say he’s fit to play. If Scott is out, the most logical outcome is that Kris shifts to right centre, and Croker comes back at the left spot. It also might mean more opportunities for Matt Timoko, who has been in and around the 21 person squad for sometime.

Off-field it’s just another broken spoke on the rapidly collapsing 2021 Green Machine. There’s been so much noise this year, and such heartbreaking collapses in recent weeks months one could have been forgiven for enjoying a weekend off from it all. Alas the Raiders couldn’t even manage that. Hello darkness my old friend.

It’s another brick in the wall of the argument that there’s something more problematic going with the off-field culture in Canberra. The leaks from the club, the public comments from players (and their wives), and the incidents in the off-season are all reflective of a troubled situation and it is manifesting in on-field results. No matter how much talking around it is done, there’s undoubtedly a problem. Until recently we hadn’t thought as much; Stuart has done so much to re-establish a winning culture at the club. But no one can point to what’s going on now as anything but a problem that needs fixing, and this alleged incident is just more evidence of that.

There is little that hasn’t gone wrong for Canberra this year, on-field, off-field and anywhere in between. I wouldn’t blame you if you thought this season was cursed. This is the darkest timeline and the Milk seem to find new ways each week to create problems for themselves. We couldn’t even get a week off.

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