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Elliott avoids ‘love triangle’ apology, but teammates know the score

“It’s a private matter and out of all due respect to everyone involved I want to keep it that way,” Elliott said. “I’m really lucky that I’ve got a really supportive club, really supportive teammates and a good supportive system around me that I was able to focus on the job I’m here to do for this club.

“I’m a Bulldogs man through and through – and I love this place – and if I can keep that at the forefront of my mind that’s going to remain my focus moving forward.”

Adam Elliott and Michael Lichaa.

Adam Elliott and Michael Lichaa. Credit:Getty, NRL Imagery

We might never know Elliott’s version of events from that house party gone wrong, or he might feel free to speak about it at a time further down the line. If and when he speaks, it will be completely up to him given the sensitivities involved.

Clearly in his own mind the time was not during a full squad media session before round one (although a previous club statement included a three-line apology from Elliott, which he hasn’t felt yet compelled to repeat on camera).

But what is clear is he quickly set the record straight with his teammates.

According to some, Elliott apologised to the group swiftly for the negative attention it had brought to the club – even if he was guilty of no crime. The apology was accepted and in the eyes of one, “everyone moved on”.

I’m a Bulldogs man through and through – and I love this place

Adam Elliott

The club was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

There was no clear breach of a code of conduct, and instead it insisted Elliott – a tireless charity and community advocate who has previously been nominated for the Ken Stephen Medal – undertake “professional help in regards to issues with alcohol”.

But what are his teammates supposed to think of his actions?

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Bulldogs sources insist there will be no issue between the back-rower and teammates, and judging by his first hitout of the year, in which he scored a try against the Sharks, it’s hard to disbelieve them.

Elliott said he had a sleepless night on Saturday, but it was nothing to do with the antics of the week before – and rather a throbbing shoulder which kept him out for most of last season and not used to the rigours of the NRL.

One of the first moves new coach Trent Barrett made after he arrived at Belmore was to switch captain Josh Jackson and Elliott, who will now menacingly roam an edge. Like most of Barrett’s decisions so far, it looks spot on.

“It’s going to be really hard to change this place,” Elliott said. “It’s been around for a long time and it’s a very proud club. We’re community driven and fan driven because of the great support we receive as a club.

“[But] he’s certainly added to the expertise and professionalism. The change that happened was going to bring excitement for us boys who have been here for a while.

“I think every decision he’s made so far … collectively and the senior playing group has [supported it]. He’s been open and honest with us from day one and we’re really buying into that.”

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