NRL boss Todd Greenberg has conceded the game is still playing catch-up on the threat posed by match-fixing and should have done more to ensure the integrity of the game sooner.
NSW police have launched an investigation into suspicious betting activity over a third NRL match, between Manly and Parramatta this year.
The organised crime squad have expanded their probe which was launched to investigate concerns raised about two matches involving the Sea Eagles, earlier in the year.
Greenberg reiterated his threat that anyone found guilty trying to rig a match would be banned for life and promised to provide assistance to police.
However he admitted that the game had been caught off-guard by the spectre of match-fixing and that they were now being forced to make up ground.
“Reality tells you that the integrity unit of the NRL has only been around for three years,” Greenberg told Triple M on Saturday.
“I spent six years as a club (Canterbury) CEO and during my entire time as a CEO, which is relatively recently, there was no integrity unit.
“If there was ever a problem off the field at a club, we used to just ring the media manager, John Brady, who juggled three or four different portfolios at the time.
“I think it is a fair assessment to say that there is a lot work that we have done in order to maintain the position where we’re at now.
“There’s no doubt we need to learn more but I don’t think that’s particularly specific to rugby league.”
Police are looking into an $18,000 bet wagered on Parramatta to win their round seven clash against Manly by more than five points and links between controversial gambling identity Eddie Hayson and ex-Eels playmaker Kieran Foran and his brother Liam.
It’s been reported Hayson and an associate Frank Farrugia won $41,000 on the match, which was only won by the Eels 22-10 after scoring three tries in the final five minutes.
It is believed the dividend was then re-laid on a winning horse called Brazen, with part of those winnings deposited into Kieran’s TAB account by Liam.
Kieran, who last week was granted a release from his lucrative four-year playing contract with the Eels to address personal issues, denied any wrongdoing.
“The money he put into my account was from our winnings on Brazen,” Kieran told News Corp.
The Eels-Sea Eagles game in April was one of nine appearances made by Kieran in the blue-and-gold this year, however Hayson sneered at suggestions he, or the Forans, had fixed the game.
“This is an absolute wild goose chase that is going nowhere, like the other (match-fixing allegations). It’s absolutely laughable (to suggest we fixed a game),” Hayson told News Corp.
Speaking after his side’s 10-9 win over Manly on Friday night, Eels coach Brad Arthur denied any knowledge of the latest match-fixing claim to rock the club.
Asked whether he was aware of any irregularities around the match, he said: “No.”