Steve Bennett rounds up the latest NRL news including a broken jaw for Cameron Munster and trouble for Sam Thaiday.
STORM PAY HEAVY PRICE FOR WIN OVER THE BRONCOS
Melbourne’s last minute win over the Brisbane Broncos came at a cost with the news that five-eight Cameron Munster suffered a broken jaw and will be out of action for at least 4 weeks. He sustained the injury after an accidental head clash with Broncos winger Corey Oates.
The 14-12 victory kept the Storm unbeaten this season but will now have to re-group to fill the hole left by Munster.
More bad news for the Victorian based side was the news that their flying Fijian winger Suliasi Vunivalu has also been sidelined with a dislocated shoulder and will be out of action for a month as well.
On the better side of things, veteran fullback Billy Slater made a successful return to the game after more than a year out of football with his shoulder complaint. Shades of the old Slater were there as he continually caused headaches for the Broncos defence with his trademark style running.
THAIDAY CHARGED WITH CONTRARY CONDUCT
Brisbane Broncos forward Sam Thaiday has been charged with contrary conduct after an ugly incident involving Melbourne Storm front rower Jesse Bromwich.
Video replays show Thaiday as third man into a tackle on Bromwich, wrenching at his heavily bandaged hand resulting from a dislocated thumb he suffered in round one.
The NRL has issued Thaiday with a grade one contrary conduct charge. If he pleads guilty he will be fined $1,550 or should he fight the charge and lose, the fine will total $2,100.
SEGEYARO CLOSE TO SIGNING WITH THE SHARKS
James Segeyaro is almost at the final hurdle in signing a new deal with the Cronulla Sharks and has been cleared to train with the premiers.
The club are hopeful of signing the zippy utility player in the very near future, however, his contractual arrangements with his current English Super League club Leeds continues to lag on.
Reports are in the wind that a suitable settlement isn’t far away with Sharks coach Shane Flanagan already putting a plan in place for the 26-year-old.
“He looks healthy and strong but it’s a little bit different to being healthy and strong enough to play in the NRL,” Flanagan said.
“He’ll start back next week (training) and we’ll see where he’s at.”
The Sharks are looking forward to Segeyaro joining the ranks as he will be rushed into the hooking role to fill the gap left by the retired Michael Innes.
KNIGHTS MAKE A BID FOR JACK BIRD
The Newcastle Knights have opened their cheque book up and thrown a big temptation to the Cronulla Sharks acting fullback Jack Bird.
Channel Seven reported that the offer is worth $2.7 million and they want the utility to play five-eight. This works in well with Bird’s future plans as he also has designs on continuing his career in the pivot position.
Channel Seven also report that Bird travelled up the freeway during the off-season to inspect the facilities on offer in Newcastle.
In contrast, the Sharks see Bird’s future in the forwards and want him to train as a long term lock-forward. The Sharks’ offer to Bird is also $200,000 less than the Newcastle bid.
TALKS BETWEEN DUGAN AND THE DRAGONS ARE HALTED
St George Illawarra Dragons fullback/centre Josh Dugan has halted talks on renewing his contract with the club over a dispute on where his future on the field will lie.
Currently the club see him as a potential centre while Dugan believes he is better served in the fullback role. Due the dispute over his place in the team, he has contacted several cashed-up rugby clubs suggesting that a code switch is not out of the question.
“I won’t rule it out (move to rugby), it is obviously an option and I’ve spoken to certain overseas clubs but my first goal is to stay in the NRL,” Dugan told the media on Thursday.
The Dragons have offered Dugan $700,000 a season with the condition that he focus on becoming a full-time centre.
Negotiations are continuing.