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Police launch NRL match-fixing probe

NZN 2/06/2016

The NRL has been shocked by confirmation that NSW Police are investigating alleged match fixing in the code.

At least two 2015 games are reportedly being looked at by the organised crime squad, with Manly's round 16, 20-8 loss to South Sydney, and their 20-16 loss to Parramatta in round 24 said to be under the microscope.

"The Organised Crime Squad is in the early stages of examining information relating to alleged match fixing in the NRL," a police spokeswoman said.

The NRL has also confirmed it is cooperating with authorities, and the investigation is understood to have been ongoing for several months.

"The NRL is treating this as a serious matter and will take any action necessary to protect the integrity of the game," an NRL spokesman said.

Souths players were surprised when told one of their matches was reportedly involved, and winger Bryson Goodwin said he hadn't noticed anything untoward about the match.

"Manly were playing hard, we were playing hard and we're both doing our best to win the game," Goodwin said.

The Australian Crime Commission warned in its February 2013 "darkest day in Australian sport" press conference that criminal figures were possibly infiltrating sporting clubs, with the danger that they could manipulate results.

The current investigation comes just two weeks after three players - Corey Norman, Junior Paulo and James Segeyaro - were officially warned against consorting with criminal figures.

There is no suggestion the current investigation is linked to their warning.

Detective Inspector Wayne Walpole, in charge of the state's charter against organised crime infiltrating sport, told News Corp Australia on Thursday such infiltration had already begun at clubs.

"I'm not saying corruption or match fixing has happened, but I'm saying the infiltration is there and that infiltration can lead to the compromise of the sports of the athlete," he said.

The NRL was last hit by fixing allegations in 2010 when Ryan Tandy was convicted of trying to fix the early stages of a match between his Canterbury team and North Queensland.

Former Manly winger David Williams was among five players banned for the second-half of the 2014 season after he was caught placing multiple bets on NRL matches, including several which he was involved in.

There was no suggestion of match fixing in Williams' case.

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