The Cost of the Wighton Incident


Just when they thought it was safe to start thinking about the 2023 rugby league season, Jack Wighton has found himself arrested and charged with fighting in a public place and failure to comply with an exclusion direction.

To make it clear, the reports are that Jack and Latrell Mitchell got into a tet-a-tet with each other at 3.45am in Civic on Saturday night celebrating Jack’s 30th. Buzz Rothfield’s initial report suggested it was nothing more than a friendly wrestle. We’ll leave any assessment of the situation for the legal system and the NRL integrity unit, both of whom will be conducting an investigation.

Regardless of whether further action is pursued by the legal system or the NRL integrity unit it’s still frustrating to hear. Jack is now the carrier of the annual Raiders off-season incident tradition. Curtis Scott, Tom Starling, Corey Horsburgh, Corey Harawira-Naera and Jordan Rapana are all recent holders. Maybe we’ll give it a name (the Raiders Ruckus? the Raiders Run-in? Leave it in the comments) We had been hopeful that Canberra would make it through the off-season with a clean record for once, but yet here we are.

Given we don’t know much more of the details at this point we will hope that the investigation reveals Jack has done no wrong and that the claims of a friendly wrestle gone wrong are proven. Shit anyone with not enough brain cells (like me) has found themselves in similar situations (minus the cops obviously). After all, the Raiders have been here a few times in recent years and found that much of the hand-wringing was premature. Regardless, it is frustrating that he’s in this mess.

If it does impact his time on the field it’s likely to be for the All-Star match first rather than the Raiders season. That’s sad for the spectacle. It will also be sad if Wighton misses the opportunity to celebrate his culture in what is generally an incredible event. If he does miss games for the Raiders they have backups waiting to get a shot, and I suspect people like Brad Schneider and Matt Frawley will be spending more time in the next few weeks training with the top line squad. Schneider would be our preference – he looked the part last season in limited time, and when he returned to NSW Cup he looked a step above. He’s not a natural left side player, so Frawley may still be the preferred option. In my view that would be a missed development opportunity for Schneider.

But now we play the waiting game. Hopefully the outcome of this investigation is prompt.

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One comment

  1. I just hope that Jack got the last one In. Can’t be to bad cons9dering there both playing on the same team foe the indigenous all stars.

    Maybe they can have another crack on the bus lol


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