April 22, 2010 will forever be etched into the minds of every NRL fan. One of the competition frontrunners, Melbourne, the team who had won the title in 2007 and 2009 got hit with the largest ever penalty in Australian sporting history. Over a period of five years, they managed to conceal over A$1.7 million worth of payments to the players, breaching the salary cap.
Their punishment for this was that they were stripped of both titles, their minor premier status (winning the most points before the playoffs start) from 2006-2008, all their points in this current season and can't win any points for the rest of the year, fined A$500,000 and forced to repay over A$1 million in prize money.
At this stage, the NRL are pointing the finger at the officials, not the players.
Where this now leaves the club that has had to fight its way into peoples hearts given the fact that it's the AFL, not the NRL, that Melbourne gears up for remains unknown as there are talks the team will fold in the light of these revelations.