NRL News: ‘It could turn out to be very unpleasant’
Warriors caretaker coach Stacey Jones said he was “baffled” by the NRL Match Review Committee’s decision not to charge Nelson Asofa-Solomona with making elbow contact with Wayde Egan’s jaw.
Egan had to leave the pitch after the tackle in Friday night’s game which left his teeth loose, but the match review committee chose not to penalize the Storm striker.
Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was charged as a freshman for a similar offense in Round 20, but Match Review Committee official Luke Patten said the panel concluded that Asofa -Solomona had only had “minor contact” with Egan.
Egan was able to return to the pitch and will line up for the Warriors against South Sydney this weekend, but Jones wondered what kind of message the NRL had sent by choosing not to charge Asofa-Solomona.
“That’s not a good message,” Jones said, “It confused me a bit, like everyone else.
“We all want to protect our players. The game is so hard and physical. Wayde was really shaken. It could have been worse, but I thought (Asofa-Solomona) could have at least been charged.
Jones said the NRL’s duty of care extended to the tackler, as well as the ball carrier.
Asofa-Solomona has faced four match review committee charges this season, three for high tackles and one for making dangerous contact with a defender using his forearm. He escaped with fines on all four occasions.
Jones suggested punishing Asofa-Solomona more seriously could help deter him from similar incidents in the future that could have the potential to hurt.
“It’s also about protecting Nelson, one way or another,” he said. “He plays a physical game and the size of his body and the damage he could do to someone, that could turn out to be very nasty. I’m sure Nelson doesn’t want to have that on him.
Egan’s team-mate Marcelo Montoya says the NRL set a precedent by choosing not to charge Asofa-Solomona.
“If that’s the position the NRL wants to take, then that’s the position they’re going to take,” he said. “I think maybe he should have been charged at least. Nelson plays very physically but I’m sure he’s not going there to try to hurt the players.
“(But) it can be dangerous. It’s something he probably shouldn’t have done. »
Collins takes time
Sydney Roosters mainstay Lindsay Collins will take a break from the NRL after suffering concussions in two consecutive games.
The Queenslander suffered a blow to the head in State of Origin III before sustaining a concussion in last week’s NRL win over Manly for the Roosters.
Collins has not been named in the Roosters’ squad which will face Brisbane at SCG on Thursday.
“It will be in a few weeks,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.
“It’s difficult because science doesn’t know what the answer is.
“We saw that when we gave the guys a few weeks off, they came back better.”
Sharks battle to host the final
The NRL could deny Cronulla the right to host a home semi-final if the Sharks secure a top-two berth for the first time since 1999 due to outdated PointsBet Stadium facilities.
Finishing their season with games against the last eight fighters St George Illawarra, Wests Tigers, Manly, Canterbury and Newcastle, the Sharks will have chances of a top two finish under impressive first-year manager Craig Fitzgibbon.
The Sharks have managed to turn their field into a graveyard for rival teams this season.
Third-placed Cronulla is 7-1 on the floor and only a Round 12 loss to the Sydney Roosters kept the Sharks undefeated at PointsBet.
But in previous years, when Cronulla won a final game at home, he had to move games to the old Sydney Football Stadium.
Broadcast, corporate and parking facilities play a role in the NRL’s consideration of granting clubs a final match at home, with the league to advise clubs of their needs to stage final matches at the next month.
“If we gain home advantage, we’d like to play at home,” Sharks general manager Dino Mezzatesta told AAP after his club last held a Finals home game at PointsBet Stadium. in 2008.
“It’s our starting point and given that we are a bit apart, we will continue to engage with the NRL. We had no problems selling our games, regardless of the timeslot.
The PointsBet stadium is operating at a capacity of 11,500 due to renovations, but NRL head of football Graham Annesley said that would not be a determining factor. Last year, the NRL hosted the finals at the 12,000 capacity BB Print Stadium in Mackay.
“There’s no specific number (crowd) because it’s a combination of not just capacity but reserved seating,” Annesley told AAP. “The long and the short of it is that the NRL has to approve the venue.
“We have not concluded that we would move the Sharks if they qualified for a semi-final at home. We have to go through the process with them and all the other clubs.
The Sharks’ alternative preference would likely be the newly built Sydney Football Stadium, although if they were to face another Sydney club they would surrender the advantage gained by their final position on the ladder.
The Sharks are hoping to bring the PointsBet stadium back to around 17,000 seats by July, but are among clubs who were expecting to receive funding from the NSW government for an upgrade to their facilities.
Cronulla have an NRLW team entering the competition next year but, as it stands, will not be able to run men’s and women’s double headers due to infrastructure.
On the signing front, the Sharks have extended youngster Kade Dykes’ tenure, with the 20-year-old local junior re-signing until the end of the 2024 season.
With Will Kennedy’s ankle injury, Dykes was promoted to make his NRL debut this Saturday against the Dragons, in front of a sold-out crowd on the Sharks’ ‘Old Boys’ day with more than 100 former players. expected Sharks. presence.
His father Adam and grandfather John also played for the Sharks, making Dykes the second person in Premiership history to be a third-generation player at the only club after Zac Fulton achieved the feat at Manly last week.
Adam, who was the Sharks’ 300th freshman who made his debut as an 18-year-old in 1995, played 183 games in the club’s top tier, while John (No. 112 on the all-time roster times) was a member of the team in the mid-1970s before becoming a lower-level coach.
Martin moves to the Warriors
Broncos utility Te Maire Martin’s wellness story of the year got even better with the 26-year-old signing a three-year contract with the Warriors, starting in 2023.
The former Panthers and Cowboys star has made a remarkable comeback to the NRL this year after a brain haemorrhage forced the Kiwi international to retire from playing in 2019.
“Te Maire’s return to the game has been outstanding and we are delighted to have been able to bring him home to New Zealand,” Warriors CEO Cameron George said. “He’s another quality player who will further strengthen our squad for 2023. With his ability to play back and into the halves, he will be a real asset to us.”
The Warriors have been active in the player market following the mid-season losses of prop Matt Lodge and five-eighth Kodi Nikorima with fullback Reece Walsh (Broncos) and second rower Euan Aitken (Dolphins) signed elsewhere the next year and the utility Chanel Harris-Tavita taking a year off from the sport.
They also signed Knights veteran Mitchell Barnett, Sharks playmaker Luke Metcalf, Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Eels forward Marata Niukore and Manly utility Dylan Walker while Ronald Volkman and Freddy Lussick joined the Sydney Roosters mid-season.
Panthers assistant Andrew Webster takes over as coach after club legend Stacey Jones completed her interim at the end of the season following the abrupt departure of Nathan Brown.