NRL: Sharks' dangerman an occasional menace to society

Todd Carney. Photo / NZ Herald.
Todd Carney. Photo / NZ Herald.

Straight off a starring role in Wednesday's State of Origin match, Todd Carney shapes as one of the biggest impediments to a Warriors victory.

Life hasn't always been so sweet for the standoff. Here's six of the worst from No6.

He makes his debut for the Raiders just a couple of weeks after his 18th birthday in 2004 but by the time Carney is sacked in 2008 the club reportedly holds a dossier on him that details some 30 indiscretions. His first major brush with the law comes in December 2006. After a binge-drinking session, he drives through his home town of Goulburn, alternating between dropping burnouts and racing at speeds of up to 100km/h. He is apprehended and convicted of mid-range drink driving and reckless driving and banned from driving for five years.

Just four months after that conviction, Carney leads police on a high-speed car chase through Canberra's streets in Raiders teammate and fellow Raiders player Steve Irwin's (no, not that one) ute.

Carney eventually parks the car in a dead-end street and runs away on foot leaving Irwin, who tells the police Carney was the driver, behind. Carney is placed on a good-behaviour bond and sentenced to 200 hours of community service. Irwin is sacked by the Raiders. Carney isn't.

Carney's troubles aren't limited to vehicles. In July 2008 he is accused of urinating on a patron at the All Bar Nun nightclub in Canberra. Police investigate but the complaint, from a friend of teammate Dane Tilse, is eventually withdrawn. Not for the last time, Carney appears to be emulating famous hellraiser Julian O'Neill - the first player banished by league for urinating on a croupier at a casino in 1995.

After being turfed out of the Goulburn Workies, Carney reacts by jumping up and down on a parked car. He is convicted of offences that include smashing the glass door of a mobile phone store several months earlier. He receives a 12-month suspended jail sentence and is banned from Goulburn. The ban means he faces arrest if he sets foot in the town. That isn't a problem, however, as is is sacked by the Raiders and de-registered by the NRL. He spends the year in far north Queensland, playing park footy and working behind a bar.

In January 2010 Carney is back in the NRL with the Roosters. He celebrates by setting fire to a man's pants as a prank during New Year's Eve celebrations at Queensland's Airlie Beach. The man suffers burns to his buttock, scrotum and upper thighs but doesn't press charges. Once again, Carney is a mere pretender. In 2004 on a pre-season trip Down Under with Widnes, O'Neill attempts to set fire to a young boy in a dolphin suit on a team booze cruise (never a great idea) on the Hastings River. When accosted, O'Neill strips to his undies, jumps off the boat, swims to shore and hitchhikes back to the team's hotel.

With the 2011 pre-season almost over, Carney is pulled over by police on Coogee Bay Road at 7am on February 26, 2011. After drinking eight-to-ten Hahn Superdrys (freebies for the product placement to the Herald sports desk please) the night before, he fails a breath test and is charged with low-range drink driving. He escapes a threatened jail sentence and pledges to kick the bottle. "I'm off the booze, too. Man, I won't be touching the stuff for a long, long time." By that he means five months. In August a cab driver takes photos of Carney after he requests a lift between two pubs. He has been drinking with Roosters teammates Nate Myles and Frank-Paul Nu'uausala, and is sacked by the club. Steve Deane

- NZ Herald

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