Toovey's comments about Inglis raise three questions

EIGHTEEN months ago I had lens replacement surgery, and after comments he made following Friday night's classic between the Rabbitohs and Sea Eagles, I suggest Geoff Toovey should visit my mates at Laser Sight.

The assertion by the Manly coach that Greg Inglis was twice tipped on his shoulder and not his head in what was one of the best games of the season raises three queries.

Does Toovey actually need eye surgery; does he condone players being placed in a dangerous position on the field; or does he simply have a wry sense of humour?

But when he suggested that maybe Inglis - because he has now been pile driven three times inside a month - needs to adjust the way in which he runs with and carries the ball, Toovey was showing little respect for player welfare.

And sadly, that is fairly typical of the arrogance that has emanated from Brookvale for years now, but even more so since Des Hasler took charge back in 2004.

The snarly attitude towards the media by Hasler and now Toovey, the continual sniping at authority - particularly referees - when things don't go their way, and the persistent air of simmering irritation aimed at anyone who does not wear maroon and white has become exceedingly boring.

Manly is a terrific footy team. Since Hasler took the coaching helm it has missed the finals just once - in his first year - has played in three grand finals and won two premierships.

But as much as the general footy populous admires these achievements, anyone but a died-in-the-wool Sea Eagles supporter finds it difficult to like them.

And while the dual brain explosion by Richie Fa'aoso was without doubt the most talked-about episode to come from what was a brutal yet totally-captivating contest, an incident involving Brett Stewart was probably the most telling.

Deliberately clipping the jaw of an opposing player with a raised elbow as he innocently runs past is a low act and takes our game back to the 70s.

But it comes as no surprise that Stewart was the perpetrator.

He and his brother Glenn might well be the nicest blokes in the world off the field, but nothing they do on it exposes those personality traits.

Even though the NRL is now a massive business and no longer just a sport, surely those involved on and off the field can show the fans they actually enjoy what they are doing - and for which they are being extremely well paid.

But I do agree with one statement Geoff Toovey made after Friday's blockbuster - luck was the difference between the two teams.

On that form both will be cracking the whip come finals time.