Sia Soliola supports strict NRL stance on player behaviour

Drew Darbyshire

Canberra forward Sia Soliola has backed the NRL’s tough action regarding anti-social off-field behaviour.

Speaking in the wake of Ben Barba’s deregistration from the NRL, Soliola admitted that players in the past had felt ‘frustrated’ when the game’s ruling body seemingly did not give the right punishment out in certain cases.

Although Soliola revealed that rugby league is losing a great talent in Barba, he admitted that players have got to learn how to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

He said: “I guess Benny Barba is an example of what we were warned about before Christmas.

“We were told that there would be repercussions for our actions especially after the incidents before Christmas that the NRL was going to come down hard and it seems like they’re going to stick to their word.

“It’s the only way people learn, what boundries there are. We just hope the player’s okay but first and foremost for us collectively, we’ve got to protect the game.

“That’s where the mindset should be, the game comes first.

“We lose a quality player and the game misses out, that’s why we [players] need to switch our mindset and just think about what we’re hurting.”

The Raiders kick off their NRL campaign on March 17 with an away trip to Gold Coast Titans.