Departing Bateman overcome with emotion after season-ending loss to Melbourne


John Bateman was public enemy No.1 with Raiders fans during his messy contract saga with the club but the Englishman exhibited raw emotion over the club’s NRL exit.

The Storm outclassed Canberra to qualify for their fourth grand final in five years, putting on a clinical first half performance to run out winners 30-10.

Bateman was overcome by the moment in a post-match interview, knowing a grand final appearance would have been the best way to celebrate his last game in the NRL before he links back up with Wigan in the English Super League.

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The Englishman has been one of the club’s best players during his 34 appearances for Canberra and was named Dally M second-rower of the year last season as Ricky Stuart’s men fell one game short of their ultimate goal in 2019.

The forward was trying to hold back tears during his post-match interview with Fox League as it finally dawned on him his time in Australia had come to an end.

“Bit all over the place,” he said.

“Tough to take, really tough to take.

Bateman then broke up, struggling to answer questions.

No hard feelings against Bateman: Raiders

“Ah f–k, sorry. It’s going to be tough,” he said.

“I just want to say thank you for having me it has been a pleasure.”

Speaking on Fox League post-game, Michael Ennis who is part of the Raiders staff, said Bateman had a huge impact on the club.

“Sad to see him go, he’s made such a difference to the Canberra Raiders,” he said.

“A great person to work with and a fantastic individual, a ferocious competitor.

“That will hurt him. He wanted to go out with a grand-final win. Last year’s pain of losing to the Roosters has never left him. Just hard to watch.

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