The news first broke late-Wednesday afternoon.

One of Australia’s best-known rugby league players, Mitchell Pearce, had done the unthinkable. Even by the NRL’s standards, this was a serious off-field controversy.

Oh, no. What the fuck’s happened this time?

Just four short years after former Canberra Raider Joel Monaghan was caught on camera “simulating a lewd act (i.e. fellatio)” with a dog during the team’s Mad Monday festivities, we are now seeing history repeat itself, ever so elegantly.

On ‘Australia Day’, Mitchell Pearce was filmed “simulating a lewd act” (there’s that fucking phrase again) with a dog. This time, the dog in question was a Maltese Terrier; a smaller species to the Labrador that Monaghan was alleged to be cavorting with. And the simulated lewd act in this recent instance was, well, full-blown sex, albeit brief, aggressively mimed, and lacking any tenderness whatsoever.

dog

One thing’s for sure: people are talking about rugby league again.

It’s been a very slow pre-season for rugby league, with much of the media’s attention focused on sideshow issues like the Robbie Farah/Jason Taylor feud, TV deals, and Jarryd Hayne’s progress in the NFL.

Adding to that, has been the AFL drug scandal, which finally reached its outcome earlier this month, and is still soaking up many of the prized column inches that rugby league sorely needs.

But now, people will talk league. Oh yes, they will be discussing rugby league matters. Not just here in Australia, but overseas, too. This will be on Fox News and CNN in the states. Foreign breakfast TV anchors will giggle about it, you best believe.

If all goes well, that weird Taiwanese animation company might make a video out of it, too, just like they did for the Monaghan incident. Suddenly, the NRL is being talking about in the U.S. and in Asia. Pearce’s faux penetration leads to global penetration for the NRL. Result.

dog2

My TPA colleague Ben Shine says that this is a “perfectly timed story,” which leads me to wonder whether it was all pre-planned by the NRL? Is Pearce an NRL patsy? Is this a high-level strategy aimed at bringing the fans back to the game?

“Let’s get back to what we do best. Too many eyeballs on the AFL. We need a dog fucking scandal.”

“But… didn’t we do this four years ago?”

“Yeah, doesn’t matter. It’s a winner. Push the go button.”

To tweak that famous journalistic aphorism slightly: Dog fucks man isn’t a story*. Man fucks dog, however, is a story.

We are now talking rugby league. The context is irrelevant.

Well played, rugby league.

By staff writers

* Dog fucks man is definitely a story