WHILE the scandal surrounding Sydney Roosters captain Mitchell Pearce has sent shockwaves through the NRL and the sporting world, the turmoil has also impacted on the club’s odds for round one.
Our friends at online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au have been forced to react to the remarkable video broken on a current affairs show last night by dramatically changing its market for the Roosters’ round 1 clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Roosters have blown out from being the $1.55 favourites to knock over the Rabbitohs in the season opener, to $1.90 equal favourites.
The Rabbitohs have been firmed in hard from from $2.45 as a result of the revelations that Pearce was filmed on a drunken escapade inside a house.
All other markets affecting the Roosters, including premiership betting, will be updated either tonight or tomorrow morning, so please check out www.sportsbet.com.au for the latest prices.
Pearce was caught on tape in a drunken stupor, swearing and performing lewd acts, before being thrown out of a home.
Pearce had been on an Australia Day bender. The footage created a social media storm, with many decrying his acts, some supporting the gun five eighth and others making fun of the whole situation with the usual selection of memes.
His future is now in serious doubt, with the NRL issuing this statement in the wake of the video’s emergence last night.
“The NRL has asked the Sydney Roosters for a report into an incident involving Mitchell Pearce.”
A spokesman said the Integrity Unit was aware of the matter, aired on Channel 9 tonight, and has asked the Roosters to investigate.
“The Integrity Unit will work with the Roosters to ensure the matter is dealt with appropriately,” the spokesman said.
The Roosters also issued a statement on their website, with an investigation into Pearce set to commence.
“The Sydney Roosters are aware of an incident involving Mitchell Pearce,” the statement read.
“The club has advised the NRL’s Integrity Unit.
“The club will conduct an internal investigation and will be making no further comment at this time.”
The New South Wales Origin star – who has had other indiscretions in the past – is just 26, but his career is now at a crossroads.
ABC Grandstand’s senior rugby league commentator Andrew Moore could not hid his anger at seeing yet another rugby league player make headlines for all the wrong reasons.
“I’m sick to death of idiotic drunken bums ruining the reputation of this great sport, year in, year out,” Moore said on radio last night.
“It is only one or two of them, it doesn’t matter.
“It is one or two too many constantly.
“He has had issues with the drink for far too long and won’t address it.
“I’ve seen it on social media, ‘Isn’t this what drunken boys do?’
“Well no, it’s not.”
In 2014, Pearce made headlines after he was suspended and fined $20,000 for allegedly groping a woman – and dumped from the State of Origin team.
Recent good behaviour had given some hope he had turned things around, even making it back into the origin squad. But those hopes appear to have been dashed.
The Roosters are still rated the $7 second favourites with the bookie to take out the title, but that could all change when the odds are updated.
Last week, there was speculation that if Jarryd Hayne’s San Francisco 49ers NFL experiment comes to an end, they have the cap space – and the will – to sign the former Paramatta Eels star.
They did float out from $6.50 to $7 when gun Michael Jennings defected to the Eels, but that big money move created the cap space for a run at Hayne, should he return home.
“Should the Hayne Plane land in Bondi, Sportsbet.com.au would immediately make the Roosters the new premiership favourites at $5, forcing current $4.75 top pick Brisbane back to the second line of betting,” the bookie’s Christian Jantzen said, last week.
“As it stands, the Eels have firmed from $19 into $17 due to the signing of Jennings to go alongside other key recruits Kieran Foran, Beau Scott and Michael Gordon.
“The Eels will have that smile wiped off their face if the Jennings signing enables the Roosters to get their man Hayne.
“We’d have the Roosters as the clear team to beat should Hayne end up there.”
Those hopes of signing Hayne could have been dashed by Pearce’s alleged indiscretion.
NRL Title odds
Brisbane Broncos ($4.50)
Sydney Roosters ($6.50)
North Queensland Cowboys ($8)
Manly Waringah Sea Eagles ($9)
New Zealand Warriors ($9)
South Sydney Rabbitohs ($13)
Melbourne Storm ($13)
Canterbury Bulldogs ($13)
Cronulla Sharks ($17)
Penrith Panthers ($17)
Parramatta Eels ($19)
Canberra Raiders ($26)
St George Illawarra Dragons ($34)
Newcastle Knights ($67)
Wests TIgers ($101)
Gold Coast Titans ($251)
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