The NRL's public image is hurting after what has already been a dramatic, scandal-filled preseason.
Ben Barba is the latest NRL player to face censure for allegedly assaulting his partner.
The month before Dylan Napa was embroiled in a sex tape scandal, and in the same month the entire Cronulla Sharks team was banned from a local sailing club for an alleged incident of bad behaviour.
In a recent press conference, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg called this year's preseason a "complete train wreck".
"We have run out of patience and tolerance for misbehaviour off the field."
Maroons legend Billy Moore said Barba had lowered an already low bar.
"Rugby league is a lie. We lie about women's round and (the charity of) White Ribbon," Moore told ABC radio.
"I'm sad because I know how great our game is on the field. Off field we've reached a breach point where this cannot continue.
"The force of the game has to come down. Just because you're a great player isn't an excuse."
League legend Peter Sterling described the raft of incidents as "terrible" and said "there's just no excuses".
"What really I don't understand is that they can't get through their heads what they're jeopardising," he told WWOS.
"They live a charmed life in being involved in what they do and to risk throwing that all away for some misdemeanour that could be totally avoided…
"I do believe in second chances to a degree, but when it starts to become more than just one offence … I think the game has possibly been over-accommodating in the past and we're getting to a stage now where that line in the sand has got to be even tighter."
But the big picture reveals an even more disturbing image of the NRL and its problem with off-field drama.
Since the beginning of 2015, the Australian media has reported on 66 separate allegations of rugby league players behaving badly.
The figure excludes on-field drama and only includes scandals involving players who were employed by an NRL club at the time.
The timeline shows 2018 was particularly controversial compared with previous years.
In 2015, there were 15 allegations of misbehaviour reported by the Australian media.
In 2016, that number dipped to 14 before it lowered to 13 in 2017.
But in 2018, the number of scandals skyrocketed to 21 — almost two every month.
Of the 66 scandals, 21 were allegations of assault. In 11 of those allegations, the alleged victim was a woman. There were six cases of drink-driving and 17 cases of drug-related offences.
The club with the most off-field offenders was Parramatta. The Eels had 13 players involved in incidents of off-field drama.
The next highest was the Roosters, with eight.
The team with the least misdemeanours was the Melbourne Storm, with just one.
There have been 12 incidents of off-field player drama this preseason alone.
It should be noted many of the implicated players deny wrongdoing. Jack de Belin, Jarryd Hayne and Dylan Walker have denied recent allegations of sexual assault. These men, like everyone else, are innocent until proven guilty.
There have been cases when NRL players have successfully fought allegations of wrongdoing.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall was found not guilty of domestic violence charges, and Semi Radradra's domestic violence charges were dropped.
But even in those cases the accusation still has an effect, fuelling the narrative prior to the actual determination by the courts.
Uncertainty regarding culpability did not stop Kenny-Dowall or Radradra from becoming the poster boys of rugby league misbehaviour at the time.
Certainly, the frequency with which the NRL is associated with drugs, assault and domestic violence remains a problem for the game and its fans.
Media discussion often focuses more on off-field drama than the sport.
In 2016, footage was leaked of Mitchell Pearce mimicking humping a dog at a party on Australia Day.
Pearce wasn't just the most Googled NRL player of that year but the most Googled Australian.
Between 2015 and 2018, an NRL player was implicated in an off-field scandal every 22 days. The frequency of these scandals encourages the idea rugby league is a game played by thugs and boofheads.
A total of 12 accusations of violence against women in four years is harmful to the NRL's reputation and, more importantly, to the women of Australia.
It should be noted, however, the overwhelming majority of NRL players stay out of trouble.
Each of the 16 NRL teams have a 30-man squad, meaning there are 480 registered first grade players in the NRL. If 25 players were involved in off-field misbehaviour in 2018, 455 were not.
In many cases, players express remorse and try their hardest to make up for their past indiscretions.
Josh Dugan touched on this in a tearful press conference last year, revealing his frustrations after his history of off-field dramas.
"Everyone's going to have their opinion of me ever since then and it's never going to change. It doesn't matter how much stuff I do outside of footy … it doesn't help when negativity sells papers more than a (feel-good) story would," Dugan said.
THE 66 NRL SCANDALS SINCE 2015
January 2015: Jacob Loko (Bulldogs)
On January 2, Bulldogs player Jacob Loko was arrested and charged with high-range drink-driving. He recorded a blood-alcohol limit of 0.189. He pleaded guilty and was punished with an 18-month driving ban.
January 2015: Addin Fonua-Blake (Sea Eagles)
On January 19, Fonua-Blake was charged with assaulting his girlfriend and was stood down by the Dragons. He was sacked by the Dragons in June after pleading guilty to the charge.
February 2015: John Sutton and Luke Burgess (Rabbitohs)
In February 2015, it was revealed that Rabbitohs captain John Sutton and player Luke Burgess were arrested in Arizona on November 30. A bouncer allegedly told Sutton to leave an Arizona bar. Sutton allegedly became restless and Burgess got into a fight with the bouncer. Images were released of the pair handcuffed. The bouncer eventually dropped all charges after reaching an agreement with the two players.
February 2015: Kenny Edwards and Kaysa Pritchard (Eels)
On February 24, Kenny Edwards provided a urine sample on behalf of teammate Kaysa Pritchard for a pre-season drug test. Edwards missed the entire 2015 season as a result.
March 2015: Martin Kennedy (Roosters)
On March 18, the NRL announced it had issued Martin Kennedy with an infraction notice alleging a breach of the NRL's Anti-Doping policy. In January of 2016, the NRL Anti-Doping Tribunal suspended Kennedy two years.
March 2015: Jacob Loko and Jorge Taufua (Eels and Sea Eagles)
On March 21, Bulldogs player Jacob Loko and Sea Eagles winger Jorge Taufua got into a fight outside a Sydney bar. The pair had to be separated by security staff. They were both fined by police, and Loko was suspended for four matches.
March 2015: Dane Nielson (Dragons)
In March, a woman made a complaint to the Dragons alleging that an intoxicated Dane Nielson bit her on the leg on a night out on March 22. The club launched an inquiry into the complaint, and on May 5, announced their decision to terminate Nielson's contract. Police were not involved.
April 2015: Willis Meehan (Roosters)
On April 7, promising youngster Willis Meehan was stood down by the Roosters after he was charged with robbery in company and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. On April 4, Meehan allegedly headbutted a man and stole his watch. He was placed on a good behaviour bond without conviction.
May 2015: Zane Tetevano (Knights)
On May 14, Zane Tetevano's contract was terminated by the Newcastle Knights after accusations of domestic violence came to light. Later in the year, he pleaded guilty to eight charges of attacks on his former girlfriend. His contract with the Manly Sea Eagles was terminated on November 28.
June 2015: Michael Jennings (Roosters)
On June 19, Michael Jennings was arrested and charged with offensive behaviour after a drunken incident in Parramatta. On June 22, Jennings was issued with a $20,000 fine by the Roosters and the NRL. On December 14, he pleaded guilty to the charge and was given a 12-month good behaviour bond.
July 2015: Andrew Fifita and David Fifita (Sharks)
Andrew Fifita reportedly told a junior referee "I'll smash you" at a junior rugby league match on July 25. The referee said Fifita had to be held back to prevent him from taking the phone belonging to the referee, who had been recording Fifita. The brothers were banned for six weeks and fined $30,000 for the incident.
September 2015: Dylan Walker and Arron Gray (Rabbitohs)
On September 22, South Sydney Rabbitohs pair Dylan Walker and Aaron Gray were hospitalised after the two friends overdosed on prescription drugs. The pair were placed in induced comas at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney. Later that year, Walker was released from his contract with the Rabbitohs and left to sign with the Manly Sea Eagles.
October 2015: Jacob Loko (Bulldogs)
On October 3 Jacob Loko was arrested while being in possession of ecstasy. In January 2016, Loko pleaded guilty to drug possession charges and received a good behaviour bond.
October 2015: Matt Lodge (Tigers)
On October 16, Matt Lodge was arrested in New York over a drunken home invasion. In the video of the incident, Lodge was seen punching a hole in the wall and shouting abuse. Lodge's contract with the Tigers was terminated on October 18. Lodge spent two weeks in jail after being released to serve community service.
October 2015: Junior Paulo (Eels)
In October 2016, Junior Paulo pleaded guilty to a road-rage incident in October 2015. The young prop's licence was suspended for 12 months and fined $1300.
January 2016: Mitchell Pearce (Roosters)
On January 27, a video was released of Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce attempting an unwanted kiss on a woman and simulating a sex act on a dog. Pearce was admitted to rehabilitation for an alcohol problem.
March 2016: Liam Knight (Sea Eagles)
On March 16, Liam Knight was stood down by the Manly Sea Eagles after he was arrested for DUI and speeding. Knight was driving at 137km/h in a 70km/h zone and was three times over the alcohol limit. He pleaded guilty and was given an 18-month good behaviour bond.
May 2016: Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino, Bodene Thompson, Sam Lisone, and Albert Vete (Warriors)
On May 2, the New Zealand Herald reported five players were stood down from an international test match for mixing prescription drugs with energy drinks on a night out — a recipe that can emulate the effect of illicit drugs.
May 2016: Corey Norman, James Segeyaro and Junior Paulo (Panthers and Eels)
Junior Paulo posted a photo on Instagram dining with senior bikie Paulie Younan. Corey Norman and James Segeyaro were also pictured in the photograph. NRL CEO Todd Greenberg called the image a "bad look for the game".
May 2016: Corey Norman (Eels)
On May 25, news broke that Corey Norman was charged with drug possession after capsules of MDMA and prescription drug Antenex were seized from him at Sydney's Star Casino. Norman pleaded guilty to the charges. He was later suspended by the NRL for eight rounds.
July 2016: Kirisome Auva'a (Rabbitohs)
On July 14, the Rabbitohs announced they had terminated the contract of Kirisome Auva'a for contravening the rules of the NRL's illicit drug policy.
July 2016: Tim Lafai and Siliva Havili (Dragons)
On July 24, Tim Lafai and Siliva Havili were arrested after brawling in the street outside a nightclub. The alleged victim claimed Havili "coward's punched" him. The pair were charged with common assault and offensive behaviour, but escaped conviction with a guilty plea.
August 2016: Dave Taylor (Titans)
On August 11, Dave Taylor pleaded guilty to cocaine possession charges. In November, the ex-Queensland representative was fined $1000.
August 2016: James Roberts (Broncos)
On August 24, the Brisbane Broncos fined James Roberts $20,000 for an alleged incident that occurred on August 14. Roberts allegedly abused a woman and had to be restrained by security guards on a drunken night out at a Brisbane hotel. No charges were laid and police were not involved.
September 2016: Karl Lawton (Titans)
On September 12, Karl Lawton was arrested and charged with assault and destruction of property over an alleged family dispute. The charges were later dropped.
September 2016: Greg Bird (Titans)
On September 17, Greg Bird refused to leave a pub after being heavily intoxicated. He allegedly got into a drunken physical altercation with pub staff. He was fined $550 by police.
November 2016: Ben Barba (Sharks)
After winning the Grand Final with the Sharks, former Dally M medallist Ben Barba tested positive to cocaine use. On the November 8, the Sharks granted Barba an immediate release.
December 2016: Kenny Edwards (Eels)
On December 12, Kenny Edwards was charged with common assault and intimidation for an event that occurred the day earlier. Edwards poured alcohol over his girlfriend during an argument. He pleaded guilty in February and was fined $60,000 by the Eels.
December 2016: Vai Toutai (Eels)
On January 1, the Eels terminated the contract of Vai Toutai after it was found he smashed a glass over the head of a bikie on a night out in December. Police were called but the victim refused to press charges.
January 2017: Josh Papalii (Raiders)
Papalii pleaded guilty to a drink-driving incident on January 15. He was banned from driving for eight months and fined $1000. Papalii reported his own misdemeanour to the police himself.
January 2017: James Roberts (Broncos)
On January 16, the Courier Mail reported James Roberts was accused of violently pulling the hair of a young woman at a Gold Coast nightclub. No charges were laid and police were not involved.
January 2017: Jarrod Mullen (Knights)
On January 17, Knights playmaker Jarrod Mullen was suspended by the NRL for violating the game's Anti-Doping policy. On May 3, Mullen was banned for four years from the NRL.
March 2017: Tim Simona (Tigers)
On March 10, the NRL released a statement announcing Tigers centre Tim Simona was deregistered due to a series of betting scandals. Simona bet against his own team and sold jerseys meant for charities but kept the proceeds meant for himself.
May 2017: Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor (Storm)
New Zealand representatives Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor were caught snorting cocaine outside a Canberra nightclub on May 5 after the Anzac Day Test. Bromwich was stripped of his captaincy of the NZ test team.
May 2017: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters)
On May 5, Roosters winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall was arrested for cocaine possession. Kenny-Dowall was charged with drug possession after being caught with 0.29 grams of cocaine at The Ivy nightclub in Sydney. On June 20, he pleaded guilty to the charges and was stood down by the Roosters.
May 2017: Paul Carter (Roosters)
On October 4, Paul Carter pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine to Roosters teammate Shaun Kenny-Dowall on May 5. On January 9, 2018, Carter was placed on a good behaviour bond for the incident.
May 2017: Jesse Savage (Sharks)
On May 6, Sharks junior Jesse Savage was caught by police in possession of cocaine. In June, he pleaded guilty to drug possession charges.
September 2017: Bodene Thompson (Warriors)
On September 11, news broke that Bodene Thompson's former partner, stripper Belinda Medlyn, alleged she had group sex sessions with Thompson and his teammates. The allegations arose during a dispute over finances to raise their child. Thompson accused Medlyn of threatening to expose the story unless he gave her $50,000. Medlyn said she was forced to ask for money after a financial agreement between the pair broke down.
October 2017: Paul Carter (Roosters)
On October 11, a drunken Paul Carter falsely alleged to police that his teammate Blake Ferguson had drugged one of his own children. Police arrived at Ferguson's home at 5am to find that the allegations weren't true.
December 2017: Jayden Nikorima (Roosters)
On December 14, Jayden Nikorima's contract with the Roosters was terminated after he twice failed drug tests.
December 2017: Kyle Lovett (Tigers)
On December 23, Kyle Lovett was caught in possession of cocaine. He pleaded guilty in February and received a good behaviour bond.
January 2018: Tony Williams (Eels)
On January 25, Eels player Tony Williams fronted court regarding a drink-driving incident the previous month. On February 14, Williams was fined $1000 and given a one-year driving suspension.
February 2018: Josh Dugan (Sharks)
In mid-February, Josh Dugan was allegedly thrown out of an RSL for poor behaviour. According to the RSL president, Dugan was swearing and disturbing other RSL members.
March 2018: Dylan Phythian (Knights)
On March 27, the Newcastle Knights terminated the contract of Dylan Phythian after he failed a drug test for the second time.
April 2018: Jack Wighton (Raiders)
On April 3, news broke police were investigating Jack Wighton over an incident outside a Canberra nightclub. On June 28, Wighton was stood down by the Canberra Raiders after the young fullback pleaded guilty to assault and public urination. Wighton was later suspended for 10 matches.
April 2018: Jackson Hastings and Daly Cherry Evans (Sea Eagles)
After breaking curfew in Gladstone after Manly's loss to the Titans on April 8, Jackson Hastings and Daly Cherry Evans had a verbal fight at a hotel. After the incident, coach Trent Barrett refused to pick Hastings for the rest of the season, leading to his eventual release from the club.
April 2018: Taane Milne (Tigers)
On April 6, the Wests Tigers terminated the contract of Taane Milne after he failed a second drug test.
April 2018: Kenny Edwards (Eels)
On April 19, Eels second-rower Kenny Edwards allegedly ran from police after being caught driving on a suspended licence. Edwards was charged and pleaded guilty. On May 19, Edwards was released by the Eels after the club's internal investigation.
May 2018: Scott Bolton (Cowboys)
On May 6, Scott Bolton was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman in a Sydney bar the day earlier. On January 7, after the charge was downgraded to assault, the Cowboys front-rower pleaded guilty, escaping conviction.
July 2018: Manase Fainu (Sea Eagles)
In July, news broke that Sea Eagles youngster Manase Fainu was charged with filming a sex act without consent. Fainu pleaded guilty to the incident in September but avoided conviction.
August 2018: Andrew Fifita and Josh Dugan (Sharks)
In a podcast hosted by two UFC fighters, Cronulla Sharks teammates Josh Dugan and Andrew Fifita went on a swear-laden rant against a Sydney journalist. The pair were handed an official warning by the club.
September 2018: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (Bulldogs)
The Bulldogs were hit with a $250,000 fine after players Adam Elliot and teammates were caught drunk, naked and dancing in public. Winger Marcelo Montoya vomited on the street. The incident occurred on September 3 as part of the Bulldogs' Mad Monday celebrations.
September 2018: Zane Musgrove (Rabbitohs)
On September 19, Zane Musgrove pleaded guilty to a charge of intentionally or recklessly destroy/damage property. Musgrove broke a gate off its hinges after an argument with his girlfriend. He was fined $1100 and paid $500 in compensation.
September 2018: Tony Williams and Nathan Davis (Eels)
On September 25, the Eels terminated the contract of Tony Williams after he failed a drug test for the second time. Nathan Davis also failed a drug test and was punished with a fine and a 12-match ban.
October 2018: Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)
On October 1, Greg Inglis, the newly appointed Kangaroos captain, was charged with drink-driving and speeding. Inglis missed two games for the Kangaroos as punishment for the incident. He pleaded guilty in November but escaped conviction.
November 2018: Jarryd Hayne (Eels)
In November 2018, news broke police were investigating Hayne over an allegation of sexual assault allegedly occurring on September 30. He was charged with "aggravated sexual assault inflict actual bodily harm on victim". Hayne will plead not guilty to the charge.
November 2018: Zane Musgrove and Liam Coleman (Rabbitohs, Panthers)
On December 5, Liam Coleman and Zane Musgrove were charged with aggravated indecent assault. The event allegedly occurred on November 24. Musgrove allegedly assaulted a 22-year-old woman in November at a licensed venue in Coogee. The pair pleaded not guilty to all charges in January.
December 2018: Jacob Saifiti (Knights)
On December 2, Jacob Saifiti was left unconscious and broke his leg after a physical altercation with Dane Cordner, the brother of NSW captain Boyd Cordner. Saifiti was cleared by police of any wrongdoing, but was hit with a $50,000 fine by the Knights for being involved in the incident.
December 2018: Dylan Walker (Sea Eagles)
Dylan Walker was charged with assault on his partner, Miss Universe Australia contestant Alexandra Ivkovic. The incident allegedly occurred on December 6. Walker pleaded not guilty and his wife issued a retraction statement. Police are still pursuing the assault charges.
December 2018: Jack de Belin (Dragons)
On December 13, NSW Representative Jack de Belin was charged with sexual assault. De Belin allegedly assaulted a 19-year old in Wollongong on December 9. De Belin has denied the allegations.
December 2018: Tautau Moga (Knights)
Knights centre Tautau Moga was charged with common assault and is due to face court in March. Moga allegedly slapped a tax driver twice on December 26.
December 2018: Michael Chee Kam (Tigers)
Wests Tigers back-rower Michael Chee Kam was charged with assault, which was alleged to have occurred on December 30. Chee Kam is alleged to have punched a ride-share driver through the window of his car.
January 2019: Dylan Napa (Bulldogs)
On January 11, a sex video involving Dylan Napa was released to the internet without Napa's permission. Two more videos were released after the first one. Napa is pursuing legal action.
January 2019: Cronulla Sharks (Sharks)
The Cronulla Sailing Club banned the entire Cronulla Sharks team after an alleged incident that became physical on December 21.
January 2019: Jaeman Salmon (Eels)
On January 17, Eels youngster Jaeman Salmon was convicted of low-range drink-driving after a car accident on October 13. Salmon flipped his vehicle after it crashed into three parked cars.
February 2019: Ben Barba (Cowboys)
On February 1, Ben Barba was sacked by the Cowboys over an incident at a Townsville Casino on Australia Day. There is supposedly CCTV footage of the incident, which is alleged to have involved Barba's wife.