When it comes to footballers with any genuine credibility amongst rugby league fans, notorious peanuts Andrew Fifita and Josh Dugan are pretty low down the pecking order. The pair have a long and storied history of brain-dead off-field incidents and questionable on-field decisions, but they struck a chord with many rugby league fans this week when they took at aim at Daily Telegraph scribe Phil Rothfield.
Rothfield, better known by the moniker 'Buzz,' has long held the ire of rugby league fans across the spectrum for his biased, one-sided reporting, seemingly drunk appearances on national television platforms where he struggles to form coherent streams of consciousness and his fairly ironic 'no dickhead policy' which often sees him shut down conflict or genuine discussion alike on Twitter while sticking to a faithful doctrine of retweeting sycophants and suckups.
The podcast that started it all
Fifita and Dugan appeared on 'The Halfcast' podcast this week in the wake of Fifita's shocking post-try display for Cronulla on the weekend. The pair appeared alongside UFC stars Tai Tuivasa and Tyson Pedro.
The big prop forward, who has been at the wrong end of a blast from Rothfield in the past, did not hold back.
“I just don’t know how they (football writers) are all on TV, and they can talk on football,” he said after being asked about the rugby league media. “Excuse my French, but (Rothfield) is a complete f***wit.”
Dugan, himself the target of Rothfield pieces in the past, also weighed into the verbal stoush, discussing a piece Rothfield had cobbled together earlier this season about an incident between the former representative centre and teammate Paul Gallen.
Rothfield suggested the pair had come together after a jibe from Gallen that Dugan had never won a Premiership.
“Old Buzz Rothfield got on it and tried to make out Gal and I were full-on serious (saying) we were trying to punch up in the middle of the park,” Dugan said before taking a shot at the Telegraph's 'editor-at-large.'
“He’s old, weathered (and) baldheaded.”
To Twitter for Buzz
Rothfield, a famous long-time Cronulla fan who has allowed his fandom to seep into his work in the past did not take kindly to the bagging from two players from his own club, taking to Twitter to unleash a series of tweets in which he tried to sound like he found the brouhaha amusing while clearly coming across hurt.
Overall, the donnybrook has seemingly amused fans across a wide spectrum on social media, with many enjoying the chance to take swipes at three idiots who have each repeatedly brought the game down with actions and words in the past.
There are no real winners in this mock battle, only two players with long rap-sheets full of stupid, reckless and mindless behaviour and a bitter old scribe more interested in his own self-image than the game itself.
Rugby league is fast running out of room for all three of these blokes, and the quicker we're not subjected to their behaviour and the consistent anti-football agenda of the Telegraph and Rothfield, the better.
What'd your take on the growing feud between Rothfield, Fifita and Dugan? Let us know in the comments below.