Several of the game’s superstars were rumored to be switching teams ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline – but in the end, August 1 came and went with minimal fuss.
There is talk that the June 30 deadline will return, giving clubs one less month to finalize their rosters.
This seems like a logical step to take when you consider the COVID-19 related aspects of why the deadline was changed in the first place.
READMORE: Aussie weightlifter stripped of gold at Commonwealth Games
READMORE: NRL match review committee has fans scratching their heads
READMORE: F1 icon’s switch opens door for Aussie prodigy
Plenty have criticized the deadline being just a month before the end of the regular season, including Darren Lockyer and Phil Gould.
Three premiership hopefuls bolstered their squads for the final weeks of the season, with Matt Lodge signing until the end of the year with the Sydney Roosters and Oliver Gildart moving there on loan, just days after his Tigers teammate David Nofoaluma did likewise with the Melbourne Storm .
Daniel Suluka-Fifita completed a permanent move back to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, after the Roosters released him.
While the latter has already had an impact in the red and green, playing three first grade games (as has Lodge in the tricolours), we’ll have to wait to see what either Gildart or Nofoaluma do in their temporary homes.
Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now
The Roosters needed some depth after a season-ending knee injury to Billy Smith, and English international Gildart will likely challenge Paul Momirovski for the final spot in a backline that also includes James Tedesco, Joseph Manu, Daniel Tupou and Joseph Suaalii.
Melbourne’s outside back crisis has been well documented, and the arrival of Nofoaluma will help cover for the losses of Reimis Smith, George Jennings, and Ryan Papnhuyzen, all of whom won’t play again until 2023 – while Nick Meaney and Xavier Coates are nursing niggles as well.
Billy says Penrith can use Cleary ban as a positive
But it’s interesting to note some of the mooted transfers that didn’t get off the ground – some of which were far more high-profile.
Parramatta was hopeful of securing either David Klemmer or Martin Taupau before the deadline, and either potential move was somewhat eyebrow-raising given the Eels’ relatively clean bill of health, but both could have made an impact down the stretch.
Neither transfer eventuated, nor did the Storm’s rumored approaches for Reece Walsh, Josh Addo-Carr or Adam Doueihi – and when you consider the quality of those players, perhaps it’s better for the integrity of the competition that they didn’t.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!