Cleary’s TikTok antics put Blues spot ‘in jeopardy’, says Fittler


“Origin is on November 4, that’s the first game, and there’s a long time between May 13 and November 4,” Fittler said. “When you do things like that you put things in jeopardy. When you pick a team you consider everything. We’ve always spoken about on and off the field and the role we play as a State of Origin team.

“No decisions will be made now. I always quote Gus [Phil Gould] in saying you don’t pick the Origin team until the night you have to because you never know what will happen.

“The biggest thing to come out of it is he tried to take a short cut and got penalised for it.

The fallout from Nathan Cleary’s notorious Tik Tok video continues.

“At the end of the day, he got penalised for it and took responsibility for the penalty and is now ready to move on.

“I’m sure he’s learned a valuable lesson out of what’s happened.”

As revealed by the Herald, Addo-Carr is contesting his $1000 public health order fine for breaching coronavirus protocols during a trip to Latrell Mitchell’s farm in Taree last month. The Storm star has engaged high-profile lawyer Elias Tabchouri to challenge the matter and respond to the NRL’s breach notice.

The NRL proposed a $50,000 fine each for Addo-Carr and Mitchell for breaching self-isolation protocols, although 60 per cent of the fine – and a one-match ban – have been suspended for the remainder of the season. The fine is five times more than that originally proposed for Cleary for his social-distancing breach.

“It’s ridiculous. Our view has always been that the penalty is way over the top,” Tabchouri said.

“The basis for our position is twofold. No.1, that penalty represents the maximum penalty they can give. Therefore, that assumes that his actions represent the worst-case scenario of player behaviour. We don’t see that at all, we feel that is totally implausible.

“Further, the second aspect of it is the comparison with others who have been dealt with and primarily that person is Mr Cleary, who [originally] received a $10,000 fine for a breach of COVID.

“As far as parity goes, clearly our penalty is way over the top.”

Addo-Carr was travelling from Sydney to Kempsey last month to be with his partner, who was having complications with her pregnancy. At the time, he was informed that a cousin was distressed after breaking up with a long-term partner. Knowing that Mitchell needed help on his farm to repair damage from the bushfires, he invited his cousin and a relative to help out in the belief it would assist with his mental health.

“The legislation allows for people to move where they have reasonable excuse,” Tabchouri said.

“The aspects of the gathering of more than two people relate to a public place. On the basis of what we have been told, there is a defence available for him.

“Clearly there are matters in relation to compassionate grounds, mental health and also his partner.

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“The NRL shouldn’t be sanctioning people in relation to breaches of the law until the legal issue has been determined. They should wait until that happens before they decide what to do with people.”

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