Australian Rugby Scandal: Group Sex, Debauchery and Mayhem

May 14, 2009

Australian National Rugby League (NRL) was hit by another sex scandal when a New Zealand woman alleged on national television that she was involved in a group sex incident with at least six NRL players while they visited a school in Christchurch in 2002.

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The allegations were made on the Monday night episode of ABC’s Four Corners. The woman, whose identity has been kept closed, was 19 years old when the hideous act was committed.

She gave a very graphic description of the incident on TV, saying that she worked as a waitress at the hotel where the players were staying. At least two players were named, Matthew Johns and Brett Firman, both played for the Cronulla Sharks at the time. The woman alleged that she had sex with at least six men while another six watched.

“They were massive, like big rugby players. I felt that I just had no idea what to do. There was always hands on me,” she said. “I thought I was worthless, and I thought I was nothing. I think I was in shock. I didn’t scream. They used a lot of mental power over me and belittled me.”

“If I had a gun, I’d shoot them right now,” she said. “I hate them. They’re disgusting.”

After the incident, she did complain to the local authorities but the players and the staff were not charged as they alleged that it was consensual. She has now come out of the shell because ‘she wants the wives and girlfriends of the players to know what they did.’

Matthew Johns, who was one of the most popular rugby players in the league at that time, gave a press conference a week ago in response to the allegations made by the woman.

“Any trauma and embarrassment she has gone through as the result of this incident I am extremely sorry for,” Johns told the Nine Network. “At no point did she object to what was going on, at no stage was she under any distress.”

Johns was immediately fired from his current job as a sports newscaster and an assistant rugby coach.

Although the men involved have still maintained they are ‘not guilty, but sorry’ stance, the NRL on its behalf, did apologize for the inappropriate behavior of their players.

“Violence against women is abhorrent, and sexual assault and the degradation of women is just that,” said David Gallop, the NRL’s chief executive. “So much of what we saw [during Monday night’s program] was fundamentally indefensible. And if anyone in the game today is ignoring the importance of that message, then frankly they will need to find another career.”

In the light of this being not the first time that Australian rugby players have been involved in a sex scandal, the NRL also claimed that they are already working on programs to improve women’s image in rugby and to counter-attack crimes like rape.

Photos: Richard Naude

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3 Responses to “Australian Rugby Scandal: Group Sex, Debauchery and Mayhem”

  1. 1
    Samantha Jones Says:

    There’s a scandal in New Zealand rugby league circles because players like to gangbang with groupies? How very quaint!

    As I describe in my book My Life In The Great Sexual Window, here in Canada partying with hockey players is a rite of passage for teenage girls.

    The players roared into town in their team buses and groups of us girls hung out around their hotels looking eager until one of them asked if we’d like to party. We said yes, they said Ok, and smuggled us into one of their rooms.

    The players called us Puck Bunnies when they were being polite and Dirty Girls, sometimes to our faces, when they weren’t. Depended mostly on whether they were about to screw us or had already screwed us. That’s the level of respect they had.

    Hockey players aren’t romantic. I remember one night three of us groupies slipped into their hotel through a back door and ended up in a room with nine guys. They gave us beers in plastic cups, pulled our clothes off, lined us up next to each other on the bed and screwed us. They wouldn’t let us leave until just before curfew or the last guy couldn’t get it up any more. Whichever came first. Didn’t even ask our names.

    Most hockey players are crude and uneducated. I soon realized that apart from their hard bodies and fame — which gave us boasting rights with girlfriends — there was nothing to recommend them.

    In fact, you haven’t lived until you wake up with half a dozen snoring hockey goons who don’t shower regularly and you look over at the night table and see six sets of false teeth grinning at you from water glasses.

    Maybe this is what athletes really mean when they say they play as a team. Like Alexandre Dumas’s truly sexy musketeers — one for all, all for one.

    As I say, a rite of passage. It was exciting and dangerous and would have really pissed off our parents if they’d known. But we grew up and out of it without any harm and went on to hunt the individual rather than the team.

  2. 2
    Reg Regan Says:

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that it is a rival station ABC bringing up something that occurred 7 years ago and was put to bed (so to speak!) I wonder how much this Kiwi girl got for dishing the dirt again. It is quite sad really, her friends at work said she was showing off about it for 5 days afterwards and was quite proud of herself. Even in the video she refers to Matthew Johns as ‘Matty Johns’ Gosh, she can’t be that angry with him, she is relating to him as if she knows him well and he is a mate. Hardly someone you want to get a gun out and shoot. This is just a media beatup by a rival station to get ratings and try and destroy the career of an extremely talented and funny man that I enjoyed watching on the Footy Show (and I am a rugby fan!) As a fellow Kiwi, it pisses me off that this white trailor trash has to bring out these allegations now to try and make a buck. She knew what she was doing back then. She was quite happy to walk to the room with a couple of star league players in their athletic prime. A lot of girls are – she was even proud of it after the event. This girl should have just kept her mouth shut, gone seen a shrink, moved on with her life rather than reliving an event that she stupidly partook in as a young, naieve girl. It is just like the young groupie hanging around the rockstars. Yes girls, you grow up, but you don’t have to take people down with you 7 years later just because you suddenly realise you were an idiot!

  3. 3
    Gill Bates Says:

    No doubt the rugby players went way too far.

    But is this woman innocent?
    She went to their room, they did not drag her.
    If she is so easily swayed by the awesome intellectual power of… RUGBY players maybe she should just stay home.

    Then she says “If I had a gun, I’d shoot them right now,” – maybe she should turn that (thought) on herself.

    This is a classic case of a woman’s regret and changing her mind.