Newcastle Knights – Michmutters

Kalyn Ponga kicked out of toilet cubicle, video, Newcastle Knights, investigation, Kurt Mann

Knights superstar Kalyn Ponga looks set to be stripped of the captaincy after a video emerged of him being kicked out of a toilet cubicle with teammate Kurt Mann.

The video came to light on Monday morning, sparking Ponga’s dad, Andre to claim the 24-year-old was “sick in the toilet and his mate went in to help him” while out celebrating “an exciting house purchase.”

Although, Fox League’s James Hooper suggested that wasn’t the real story, telling NRL 360: “You might have to get Pinocchio out again, we aren’t believing that fairytale are we?”

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Newly signed football manager Peter Parr will front the media on Tuesday and News Corp Journalist Phil Rothfield believes it could be the end of Ponga’s reign as captain.

“I think it’s a really, really bad look and I know the Knights are really concerned about the PR side of it and the culture side of it,” he told NRL 360.

“Do you know how serious I think it is, I think he will be stripped of the captaincy over this.”

Ponga was announced as co-captain alongside Jayden Brailey in February, however with the latter missing for a lot of the season Ponga carried the responsibility himself for the first 16 rounds.

Hooper agreed that “it’s a bad scene” and urged the Knights to come down hard on Ponga given prop David Klemmer was stood down for an on-field incident involving a trainer.

“If he’s had concussions, commonsense tells you he should be (on an alcohol ban), certainly Kurt Mann (who is injured) is supposed to be on an alcohol ban,” he said.

Put asked to leave toilet cubicle | 00:16

“They tore strips off David Klemmer for swearing at a trainer on the field, I’d argue that this is far more detrimental in terms of negative headlines for the club and if they’re fair dinkum they’ll read the Riot Act tomorrow morning , Peter Parr will front the media and he will say ‘enough is enough, this is the line in the sand moment, we’re not going to tolerate this sort of jibber anymore.’

“Off the back of that I think both of them are going to have to be issued breach notices and fines. Because if they’re going to breach David Klemmer and fine him for something that was trivial on the field with a trainer, you can’t cop this.”


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However Paul Kent fears stripping the captaincy could have the opposite effect and believes the club should “demand” Put “lifts his standards.”

“I would say to him ‘you’re the only guy at this club that can lead us out of trouble and we’ve paid you the money you deserve, you’re a senior player and an Origin start…’ and I would oblige him to start leading them out of the woods,” he said.

“If you’re going to spend that money on a player you’ve got to get a return out of him. The way to get the best out of Kalyn is not to banish him, not to sack him from the captaincy.

“I’m not excusing it, I would bring him in and give him the Riot Act but I’d say to him ‘you’re the guy mate’ and I would demand that he starts lifting his standards and he takes his teammates with him.

“If he’s got any sense of decency inside of him as a player from a football point of view he will respond to that.”

Lowly Titans embarrass meek Manly | 02:18

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Braith Anasta agreed.

“As much as he’s taken the mickey, this guy holds the key to success… you’ve got to get this blokes in your hip pocket,” he said.

“Kick him in the ass but say ‘this is it mate, this is your last chance.’ They should do some in-house stuff over the next 24 hours, teach him a lesson, scare the you know what out of him and go ‘c’mon mate.’

“If you just sack him as captain you start to lose your key player.”



Kalyn Ponga video, toilet cubicle footage, Newcastle Knights investigation, security guard escorts Kalyn Ponga and Kurt Mann out of toilet

The Knights have launched an investigation after footage emerged of star fullback Kalyn Ponga and utility Kurt Mann being escorted out of a toilet cubicle.

In the vision which has been circulating in the last 24 hours, security from the venue can be seen directing Ponga and Mann away from the toilets

According to The Daily Telegraph, Newcastle learned of the video on Monday morning and have since questioned Put over the footage.

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It is currently unclear when the video was captured or why Ponga and Mann were in the cubicle together.

The 24-year-old has been ruled out for the season after failing his third HIA of the season in Round 19.

Ponga revealed to Triple M on Sunday he could have returned for the final round of the season claiming “there’s nothing wrong with me” but the club are taking a cautious approach.

Ponga’s dad Andre has since given an excuse as to why the Maroons gun was in the cubicle with Mann.

“He made an exciting house purchase Saturday and celebrated with a few mates drinking. Sick in the toilet and his mate went in to help him, ”Andre Ponga said to The Daily Telegraph.


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The Knights marquee man signed a mega five-year $5-million contract in April to remain in the Hunter until at least the end of 2027.

Mann has also spent an extended period sidelined with a quad injury.

Adam O’Brien’s side are currently struggling in 14th place on the ladder, suffering a 28-10 loss at the hands of the Broncos in Round 22.

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Raiders Dragons finish, Matt Feagai, Corey Harawira-Naera, penalty, no call, referee Andrew Gee, Round 22, Round 16

Rugby league has a funny way of balancing itself out.

The Dragons and Raiders have now been handed wins against each other this season in “almost identical” controversial fashion.

Canberra led 24-22 on Sunday afternoon when St George Illawarra winger Matt Feagai made a 70-metre break with just 10 seconds left in the game.

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Feagai was tackled 15 meters out from the Raiders’ line when Corey Harawira-Naera laid on top of him as time expired.

“They’re told to get up, penalty brewing, but referee (Adam Gee) says that will do us, oh it’s almost identical,” Brenton Speed ​​said on Fox League.

“Round 16 all over again in reverse. The Dragons are thinking ‘where’s our penalty’ that the Raiders did not get in Wollongong but Adam Gee says that is full-time and Canberra’s season is still alive and the Dragons are done.”

Back in July, the Raiders were robbed of an opportunity to kick a penalty goal to send their clash with the Dragons to golden point.

Canberra had the ball in front of the goalposts on the fifth tackle, when Ben Hunt and Jack Bird intentionally slowed the play-the-ball.

The Raiders were awarded a six again before Hunt charged from market to tackle dummy-half Tom Starling — a play which NRL head of football Graham Annesley later admitted should have been awarded a penalty.

Annesley also conceded a penalty could have been awarded for the flop and an off-side call in the lead-up to the fifth tackle.

Broncos make light work of Knights | 02:15


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The scenes reversed on Sunday afternoon as a stunned Dragons coach Anthony Griffin looked on in disbelief.

“He should have been penalized at the very least for a professional foul,” Braith Anasta said on Fox League.

“There was just one last shove from (Harawira-Naera), because as Feagai was getting tackled the clock was ticking down… but there was a little shove,” Greg Alexander said.

“It’s incredible that we’ve had both teams win games in very similar circumstances.”

But speaking in the post-game press conference, Griffin wasn’t too upset about what he had played out — he even conceded it was “a little bit ironic” given what had happened in Round 16.

Asked if I found the ending frustrating Griffin said: “Nah, it’s probably a little bit ironic compared to the first game.

“We just ran out of time, it was a fantastic linebreak at that time of the game and the captain did everything he could with his kicking game to get us into field position and put Matty away,” he added.

“We just needed one more play the ball but that’s the way the world works.”



Cameron Ciraldo to coach Canterbury Bulldogs, contract, how many years, Penrith Panthers, latest, updates

Cameron Ciraldo has landed his first NRL head coaching gig as he reportedly inked a five-year deal to take over the Canterbury Bulldogs from 2023.

Ciraldo, considered one of the brightest coaching minds in the game, has spent several years as Ivan Cleary’s understudy at the Penrith Panthers.

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He has also turned down a number of approaches from other teams for a head coaching position previously, including one from the Wests Tigers in June.

Ciraldo had been heavily linked with the vacancy at Belmore after Trent Barrett left the role earlier this season.

The 38-year-old, who will also become the youngest head coach in the NRL next season, is no stranger to Bulldogs GM of football Phil Gould as the duo worked together at the Panthers.

According to The Daily Telegraphan emotional Ciraldo broke the news to the Panthers playing group at training on Sunday.

speaking on Fox League’s broadcast, Michael Ennis and Greg Alexander, two figures who have connections to the Bulldogs and Panthers respectively, spoke glowingly of Ciraldo’s credentials.

“It’s exciting times for them (Bulldogs),” Ennis said.

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“Cameron’s very much where Craig Fitzgibbon was 12 months ago where he’s done a wonderful apprenticeship in a really good system.

“He’s had some previous experience when Anthony Griffin was moved on, did a great job at the back end of the season with the Panthers.

“So many of those young superstars that are now dominating at the top level, not just in club football but at Origin level, have such a wonderful wrap on him.”

While Alexander was upset to see Ciraldo move on from the Panthers, he believes it’s a sign that the club will continue to catapult assistant coaches into first grade gigs in the future.

“I’m excited for Cameron. It’s disappointing, but assistant coaches, everyone knows they’re about to move on. There’s been three moving on in the last two years.

“Trent Barrett left Penrith and went to the Dogs, Andrew Webster’s going to the Warriors and Cameron Ciraldo is going to the Dogs.

“Penrith’s assistant coaches, in terms of getting first grade jobs, have been pretty good.”

The hire of Ciraldo is also likely to keep five-eighth star Matt Burton at the club in a major boost to the club’s playing squad.

Ciraldo will take over a resurgent Bulldogs outfit thanks to interim coach Mick Potter’s efforts.

His departure is no doubt a massive blow to the Panthers, as Cleary must now search for two new assistans for next season following the looming exits of Ciraldo and Andrew Webster, who will take over the New Zealand Warriors in 2023.



Brisbane Broncos vs Newcastle Knights, result, tries, highlights, SuperCoach scores, videos, Adam Reynolds, Anthony Milford

The Broncos have beaten the Knights 28-10 on the back of brilliant displays from Te Maire Martin and Ezra Mam and a hat-trick to Selwyn Cobbo.

Martin’s return from injury gave the Broncos an edge in attack and Cobbo cashed in with a brilliant three-try performance as the Knights’ edges were blown apart.

MATCH CENTER: Broncos vs Knights teams, SuperCoach scores, videos, updates

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Cobbo opened the scoring in the corner after some brilliant lead-up work from Adam Reynolds and Martin.

Corey Oates crossed in the opposite corner for his 19th try of the season after a questionable last pass from Delouise Hoeter was cleared.

Mam and Martin combined for one of the long-range tries of the season to push the Broncos out to a commanding 18-0 lead.

Daniel Saifiti barged over from close range to give the Knights a chance at a late comeback.

Bradman Best dived over to cut the deficit to eight points and set up a grandstand finish.

However, Cobbo snuffed out the comeback after securing his double to seal an important win for the Broncos.

Cobbo sealed his hat-trick when Reynolds put the ball on a dime for him to score in the corner and put the icing on the cake.

Here are the key takeaways from the match.


Te Maire Martin returned for his first game since Round 16 and showed the Broncos exactly what they have been missing in a masterful display.

Martin is a five-eighth turned fullback and his playing ability adds another dimension to the Broncos attack.

Corey Parker believes Martin’s inclusion ensured the Broncos looked far more cohesive in attack and it took the pressure of his halves and allowed them to play their games.

“They look more in sync with Martin back,” Parker said.

“He has got a real nice slight of hand. Not your traditional fullback in regards to getting lots of run meters, but he had two try assists in the first half.

“He alleviated a lot of pressure off the halves just by his ability to be able to ball play and Cobbo and Mam were the beneficiaries of that.”

Michael Ennis credited Martin with getting the Broncos out of their funk in terms of their attack over their two game losing run.

“What a game from Te Maire Martin,” Ennis said.

“Coming into the side after being out since Round 16, boy he made a difference just with his composure and his control.

“He has ignited the Brisbane attack.”


The Broncos were not at their best but with the brilliant running game of Ezra Mam providing the perfect foil for Adam Reynolds’ organisation, Brisbane took the game by the scruff of the neck in the key moments.

As long as the Broncos can get their defense in order, with Mam and Reynolds driving the ship and Selwyn Cobbo finishing in the corner, they can create more than enough points to make a deep run in the finals.

Cooper Cronk noted that the Broncos were not at the peak of their powers against the Knights, but Reynolds and Mam were able to ice the try-scoring opportunities.

“The Broncos did it in second gear,” Cronk said.

“They had the tools to break open the game at any stage with the likes of Adam Reynolds with some craft to sell the dummy for the Oates try.

“This was the attempt of the first half from Ezra Mam.

“He scored with five minutes to go and it set the tone for the rest of the game for the Broncos.”

Michael Ennis marveled at Mam’s ability to break the game open out of nothing at such a young age and with a long career ahead of him.

“Mam was electric,” Ennis said.

“19 years of age. Boy isn’t he an excitement machine.

“The Broncos have now jumped the Eels into sixth and have a healthy points differential lead over them.”

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The Knights had enough ball and field position to win easily against the Broncos, but a combination of their soft defense and inept attack gave them no chance at Suncorp Stadium.

Cooper Cronk lamented the Knights’ inability to create any real try-scoring opportunities despite a mountain of possession in the first half.

“It was a strange first half because statistically the Knights were the better team,” Cronk said.

“They had more ball and more possession but to be honest they didn’t look like scoring a try.

“Their centers Bradman Best and Dane Gagai were under immense pressure.

“They carved up Dane Gagai on the right edge for the Knights.

“The Knights didn’t look like firing a shot.

“When they get down the other end they are just not engaging that Brisbane defensive line at all.”

Corey Parker slammed the Knights’ horror attack, which failed to put the Broncos under any sustained scoreboard pressure.

“25 times the Knights were tackled inside the Broncos 20 without even looking like scoring,” Parker said.

“The only time they were able to mount any sort of pressure was off a couple of repeat sets.

“They were awful with their attack the Knights.

“The Knights are in all sorts at the moment.”

Michael Ennis was at a loss as to why the Knights haven’t been able to be more competitive with the roster they have at their disposal. in 2022.

“You just watch that Newcastle side come out and you see the Saifiti brothers, Dane Gagai and Tyson Frizell who are absolute weapons and great leaders at different stages throughout their careers and I find it hard to fathom that Newcastle are sitting where they are this year with the roster they have,” Ennis said.


The Brisbane Broncos host the Newcastle Knights in a clash at Suncorp Stadium.

Te Maire Martin returns at fullback for the Broncos, while Delouise Hoeter replaces Brenko Lee in the centers after his hamstring injury.

Ryan James starts at lockout, with Kobe Hetherington switching to the bench.

The Knights have lost David Klemmer to injury, with Jacob Saifiti to start and Sauaso Sue joining the bench.

Adam Clune returns to the No.7 jumper with Jake Clifford out with a fractured arm.

The seventh place Broncos desperately need to avoid a third straight loss to keep their slim top four hopes alive, while the Knights are playing for pride as they look for their second straight win.




South Sydney Rabbitohs, Latrell Mitchell, Matty Johns, premiership race, rugby league, New South Wales, Parramatta Eels, top four race

Matty Johns believes that South Sydney can “come from nowhere” to win the NRL premiership this season, but only if they address a potentially decisive part of their game.

South Sydney can move up to fifth on the ladder if they beat Parramatta in a crunch clash at CommBank Stadium on Friday night.

Both teams will be looking to keep their top four hopes alive with a win in the blockbuster, while the loser could risk dropping down the ladder.

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The Rabbitohs began their impressive run of form against Parramatta early last month, recording the first of four consecutive wins.

After wins over the struggling Newcastle Knights and Bulldogs, Souths made a statement with a 12-point win over the Melbourne Storm.

While they lost in golden point the week after against the Sharks, they bounced back with an emphatic win over the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast.

But not everyone is sold on their recent successes, with Matty Johns comparing the team to a “nice Sunday drive.”

“South Sydney, their recent performances remind me of someone taking a nice Sunday drive, and I mean that both in praise and criticism,” Johns said on SEN’s Morning Glory.

“Watching South Sydney, and I think it’s a bad practice, it’s something they’ve got to be really careful of, they’re lifting the intensity only when they think they need to.

“That’s a concern because intensity and focus and poise under pressure is not something you just reach for out of the kit bag and say ‘alright we’re gonna do it now’.

“Last week I was expecting a real statement game against the Warriors, and they delivered in the first-half. Their intent and their blueprint (on) how they played their best football was the evidence.

Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell has been in some sensational form for the Rabbitohs since returning from injury. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“But the second-half there was just no intensity in the contest… and I’m probably knit-picking a little bit because I do like to see coaches showing a range of emotions, but in that second-half when they were really wiping the floor with the Warriors, whenever they cut up to the coaches box the whole coaching staff were really pissing themselves laughing.

“That’s almost a little bit symbolic of where Souths are. It’s got to start tonight, they’ve got to start to lift and they’ve got to start to play with finals intensity football.”

Latrell Mitchell has been in sensational form for the Rabbitohs, after returning from an almost three month absence against the Eels.

Mitchell has had nine try assists since returning just over one month ago, as well as 33 tackle breaks and four tries.

While the Rabbitohs have largely reaped the rewards since he returned, although Johns issued the team with a warning.

“Latrell plays his best football when he’s relaxed. He’s come back from the States really relaxed, and his touch from him, the way he’s playing is just superb, but it does n’t mean that the rest of the side play their best relaxed, ”he added.

“At the moment there’s a reliance on ‘Trell will get it done’. When you’ve got players like Latrell Mitchell in your football side, they are the icing on the cake. They’re the one who can actually get it done for you.

“But you can’t rely on them. Even with Andrew Johns in our side, our forwards were tearing heads off, hitting the line that hard… If suddenly we went out there and say ‘Joey will get us home’, it just doesn’t happen.”

Storm sizzle poor Panthers | 02:01

Despite a tough run home, in which they play the Eels, Panthers, Cowboys and Roosters, Johns believes they can go all the way.

“The way they’re playing, that relaxed style, and the fact they’re playing within themselves and winning, well done to you boys. But they’re in a position, in my opinion, they can win this competition.

“They can come from nowhere and win this competition but they will not win it with the way they’re playing at the moment.

“It’s nothing about talent or anything like that, they’ve just got to develop, in the next few weeks, a really hard edge, and tonight’s a perfect opportunity.”



Isaiah Papali’i Wests Tigers backflip; Tim Sheens, Benji Marshall, team news, 2023 roster, Luke Brooks future

The Wests Tigers have been told to “win the war” over star recruit Isaiah Papali’i as the club faces a “massive moment” in its history.

The Eels enforcer was seen as a major coup when he inked a three-year $1.9 million deal in November.

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But the 23-year-old is reportedly weighing up his future after the Tigers parted ways with premiership winning coach Michael Maguire.

It is the first major challenge for the Tigers new coaching group of Tim Sheens, Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah, one that could shape the immediate future of the embattled club.

Speaking on NRL360, the Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield said it was vital that the club made sure Papali’i honored his lucrative contract.

“It’s no good the Wests Tigers having the new Sheens-Benji combination at the head of the club if they’re going to back down on something like this,” Rothfield said on Wednesday.

“It’s a crunch signing for them, as important as Api (Koroisau). They’ve got to stay strong.”

Papali’i was widely seen as one of the best new buys in the competition in 2021, as he was included in the Dally M Team of the Year after a stellar first season in blue and gold.

The talented forward played 25-games for the Eels last season, having scored seven tries, averaged 150 running meters per game, and made more than 800 tackles.

What’s more, his signature saw the Tigers part ways with the likes of Luke Garner and Luciano Leilua.

Isaiah Papali'i could backflip on his Tigers deal.
Isaiah Papali’i could backflip on his Tigers deal.Source: Getty Images

NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent said the saga surrounding Papali’i had seen the club reach a crossroads.

“It’s a massive moment in the club and the new future of the club, given the new appointment of the coaches,” he said.

Kent then questioned the re-signing of Brent Naden after the club announced this week he had inked an extension until the end of the 2025 season.

“If you’re going to go out and sell your club, Brent Naden is not the guy you’re going to go ‘look who we’ve just signed, come and play with us’,” Kent said.

“They’ve got to win the war of Papali’i first.”

Co-host Braith Anasta was also surprised by the Naden announcement and the club needed to identify what a Wests Tigers player represents.

“They’ve got the opportunity here, the Wests Tigers, and you see it with the Bulldogs at the moment, to start from the bottom up again,” Anasta said.

“They’ve got Sheens, they’ve got Marshall, great look, you want to attract players. You want to attract the right players from the start, set the tone.

“What sort of personality are you looking for? What sort of player do you want to be a Wests Tigers player? That’s what I’m talking about.”

Brent Naden signed an extension with the Tigers this week.Source: Getty Images

The Australian’s Brent Read said the Naden announcement, at a time where there is uncertainty surrounding a host of big-name Tigers stars, was not what fans wanted to see.

“He’s a tell me a dozen,” he said on NRL360.

“You know what the Wests Tigers fans want to hear about? They want to hear about (Adam) Doueihi, they want to hear about (Daine) Laurie, they want to hear about (Jackson) Hastings, they want to hear about (Luke) Brooks,” Read said.

“That’s what they care about. Brent Naden they can give or take, due respect to Brent Naden, but they want to hear what’s going on with those four blokes.”

Rothfield, however, said the club was right to lock Naden down.

“I think you’re being really unfair on that young fella, I really do,” he said.

“I think he’s a handy player,” Rothfield said. “You don’t let players go alright and handy players, you don’t not sign them.”

The drama surrounding the Tigers roster is unlikely to begin and end with Papali’i.

Luke Brooks has repeatedly been linked with a move to Newcastle despite denying he wants out.

Rumors about Luke Brooks’ future at the Tigers won’t go away.Source: Supplied

Fellow half Jackson Hastings’ future is also up in the air. The Sydney Morning Herald reported last month that Hastings, who has been playing lock, could be axed as part of a roster overhaul.

This report claimed there are people within the club who believe Hastings has had a negative influence on the playing group.

This week Rothfield then revealed another rumor surrounding Brooks which will do little to quell the feeling of uncertainty at Concord.

“There’s been all sorts of rumours,” he said.

“There was a strong one (Tuesday) that Luke Brooks was going to N and Frizell was coming to Wests Tigers as a swap. As an edge forward.

“Tim Sheens said it’s not happening but a lot of people saw it as insurance if Papali’i doesn’t come.”

Wests have also reportedly inquired about former Raiders second rower John Bateman, who is currently plying his trade back in England with Wigan.

The inquiry, as reported by Fox Sports’ James Hooper, is believed to be “unrelated to Isaiah Papali’i” and his contract drama.

“Tim’s got something going on cause I spoke to him this week, I asked him about Papali’i and he said ‘he’s coming and don’t worry there’s other stuff happening,” Read added.

“Edge backrower is an area that they need to address. He’d be a really handy one for them.”



Wests Tigers transfer news; Isaiah Papali’i future, Parramatta Eels, Brisbane Broncos, transfer rumours, David Klemmer, Corey Oates, Ben Hunt, Liam Martin, Martin Taupau, Tyson Frizell, Victor Radley

The Wests Tigers have been urged to “move on” from new recruit Isaiah Papali’i and use his $1.9 million contract to make a splash in the transfer market.

The Eels enforcer Isaiah had agreed to a three-year deal with the Tigers, but the star recruit is considering a backflip which could leave the club in a tough spot.

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The 23-year-old revealed his concerns after the Tigers parted ways with premiership winning coach Michael Maguire, and has since been linked with a return to the Warriors.

Papalii inked the big-money deal last November, but told 9 News that his future is still far from certain.

“Obviously people ask me about it, just even on the street or family and friends are hitting me up but that’s kind of for my manager look after and even if I don’t stay here or I do go next year, I want to make sure that this year has no regrets,” Papalii said.

“I reckon somewhere in the off-season because this is distracting me at the moment.

“We have a massive opportunity and I don’t want to leave any stone unturned this year and look back on it and think ‘I shouldn’t have left that stuff get in the way’.”

Tom Trbojevic reveals World Cup doubts | 01:12

The Daily Telegraph’s David Riccio and NRL360 co-host Paul Kent said the Tigers could not afford to wait until the end of the season for Papali’i to make a decision.

“They have a salary cap to manage, they can’t sit back and wait for this guy,” Kent said.

“That’s why they the Tigers should move on now, move on and use the money before it’s too late,” Riccio added.

“Don’t wait until November. If they do there will be no market for them,” Kent replied.

Should Tigers hear the message and cut ties with Papali’i, it leaves them with two clear options.

Spend the money now and bring in a player to bolster the side for next season or save it up and make a play for one of the big-name stars off-contract from 2023 who can begin negotiating with rivals from November 1.


Age: 32

Club: St George Dragons

Position: half-back

Current contract: expires at the end of 2023

While the Dragons are reportedly leading the race for Hunt’s signature, the Tigers should do everything they can to ensure he’s wearing their colors in the future.

Hunt, who was leading the Dally M race before the count went behind closed doors, has begun negotiations with the Dragons over a two-year extension.

The Daily Telegraph have revealed that the playmaker’s management had met with the Dragons late last month.

Since then, however, the Dragons have hit turmoil.

James Hooper reported there had been a major blow-up at the Dragons following the treatment of hooker Andrew McCullough and the axing of assistant coaches Peter Gentle and Mat Head for next season.

Hunt is extremely close with McCullough, having played together at both the Dragons and Broncos as well as for Queensland. The development could provide an opening for rivals to make a move.

The Tigers, who would only be able to speak to Hunt since November 1, are in desperate need of a solution at halfback.

Jock Madden has been sporting the No. 7 jersey for the Tigers over the past couple of weeks, but with just 13 games of NRL experience to his name, the club could use a boost.

If Luke Brooks is allowed to leave it would free up plenty of money for the Tigers to make an all-in move.

Hunt is in high demand with a number of clubs interested in services, and he wouldn’t come cheap. But fresh off his Origin heroics, the Tigers should be willing to move mountains if that’s what it takes to lure the star half to the western suburbs.


Age: 27

Club: brisbane broncos

Position: wings

Current contract: expires at the end of the year

At just 27-years-old, there’s no reason why a club like the Tigers shouldn’t spend big money on a proven try scorer such as Corey Oates.

Oates, who has 188 NRL games to his name, equaled his record for most tries in a season with a double in Round 21 against the Roosters.

Corey Oats. Broncos V Storm. Picture: NRL ImagesSource: Supplied

Oates comes off contract at the end of this season with the Broncos, so he could become an immediate piece of the Tigers’ puzzle for next season.

He would also offer new coach Tim Sheens some versatility having experience playing in the back row.


Age: 28

Club: Newcastle Knights

Position: Prop

Current contract: expires at the end of 2023

Klemmer was reportedly close to having his contract torn up with the Knights after being issues with a breach notice for an on-field issue.

The former New South Wales prop is on a big-money contract with the Knights, but came under fire after he verbally abused trainer Hayden Knowles during a 14-point loss to the Bulldogs.

“A big overreaction’ Johns on Klemmer | 04:26

Parramatta were reportedly interested in signing the prop for the remainder of the 2022 season on loan before the incident.

While Klemmer has been among the Knights best players, the recent incident, and his hefty contract, could convince Newcastle to agree to release him early.


Age: 25

Club: Penrith Panthers

Position: second row

Current contract: expires at the end of 2023

Another player who comes off contract at the end of next season, Martin would be an incredible signing for the Tigers who could approach him from November 1.

Martin has been a key part of the Panthers’ dominance over the last few seasons and has reaped the rewards after cementing his place in the Blues Origin fold.

Liam Martin is among a list of big names who can talk with rivals since November 1.Source: Getty Images

The Panthers still need to lock down fellow Origin stars Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton which could mean Martin is gettable.

He would be a more than handy replacement for Papali’i if the Tigers can convince him to make the switch.


Age: 32

Club: Manly Sea Eagles

Position: second row

Current contract: expires at the end of the year

Sea Eagles enforcer Taupau reportedly requested an immediate release to join the Eels before the August 1 deadline.

It appears as if he wants out of Brookvale, and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, it’ll be interesting to see which colors he dons next season.

The former Kiwi international played for the Tigers for two seasons before moving to Manly for the 2016 season.

With plenty of power to throw around the field, Taupau can be an asset to any team when he’s in-form.


Age: 30

Club: Newcastle Knights

Position: second row

Current contract: expires at the end of 2023

It wasn’t too long ago that Tyson Frizell was a regular for both the New South Wales Blues and Kangaroos teams.

Frizell made his name with the Dragons before securing a lucrative deal to sign with the Knights, where he’s played the last two seasons.

Tyson FrizellSource: Getty Images

While he still has one more year to run on that contract, Frizell could potentially be lured to the Tigers on a smaller deal than what he’s on now.

What’s more, his name has been mentioned as part of a potential swap deal for Luke Brooks.

While it was denied by Tim Sheens, there is clearly some movement around Frizell.


Age: 24

Club: sydney roosters

Position: Lock

Current contract: expires at the end of 2023

Hypothetically speaking, Roosters lock Victor Radley has the potential to be an incredible signing for the Tigers.

The 24-year-old, who has sworn his international allegiance to England ahead of the World Cup, has premiership winning experience and 93 NRL games to his name.

What’s more, Phil Rothfield revealed on NRL360 that the Roosters are facing a cap crunch with seven players commanding more than half their salary cap.

It could open the door for the Tigers to swoop.



John Bateman to Wests Tigers, Wigan, Canberra Raiders, Super League, Jimmy Brings, James Hooper

The Wests Tigers have made an inquiry with Wigan about the prospect of bringing 2019 Dally M Backrower of the Year John Bateman back to the NRL in 2023.

In a move unrelated to Isaiah Papali’i having second thoughts about switching from Parramatta to Concord next year, Tigers director of football Tim Sheens has confirmed the club has made the approach.

The catch is going to be Bateman is under contract with Wigan until at least the end of 2024 and for now the Warriors have blocked the Tigers move.

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Bateman was one of the standout backrowers in the NRL the year the Canberra Raiders made the grand finale in 2019 before his tenure in the national capital sourced over a contract stalemate with the Green Machine.

Bateman then returned home to the UK at the end of the 2020 NRL season after inking a four-year deal with Wigan through until the end of 2024.

The Raiders were forced to pay a $250,000 transfer fee to Bradford to bring Bateman to the NRL the first time around but the one bonus with transfer fees to English clubs is they aren’t included in the NRL clubs salary cap.


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The Tigers have made a play for former Raiders star John Bateman.Source: Getty Images

The Bateman approach is creative thinking from Sheens trying to look outside the square and devise recruitment ploys aimed at overhauling the Wests Tigers roster.

The Tigers have made some recruitment moves this week by re-signing Brent Naden, Asu Kepoa and Starford To’a but the real recruitment space where they need to get busy is the re-signing of Adam Doueihi.

Doueihi is easily the Tigers best player, a local junior and the type of leader the Wests Tigers need to build the club around.

With Sheens and Benji Marshall now having control of the steering wheel at least it won’t be left to dithering management types to make another misguided mistake.

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‘He gets angry at some weird things’ | 01:13

The issue with Doueihi is he’s going to be a free agent as of November 1 and you can guarantee rival clubs are going to be getting the queue to try and convince the five-eighth to switch allegiances.

The Tigers need to sharpen their pencil and try and get a long-term deal done now prior to the stronger clubs being able to table a deal.

The Melbourne Storm have already had one crack at getting Doueihi on loan for the remainder of this year and with uncertainty surrounding the future of Cameron Munster the Tigers five-eighth would make an ideal replacement.



David Klemmer stood down, Newcastle Knights vs Wests Tigers, Adam O’Brien, press conference, video, when David Klemmer will return

Knights coach Adam O’Brien has conceded that Sunday’s 14-10 win over the Tigers was a “relief for everyone” after what’s been a “tough” week for the club.

The Knights have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week after star prop David Klemmer was stood down for over disciplinary matter.

Klemmer sprayed a trainer and refused to come off in the Knights’ Round 20 loss to the Bulldogs with the incident being elevated to HR.

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While being left out of the team for the Tigers clash, Klemmer was also handed a suspended fine.

The club copped criticism left, right and center in the lead-up to Sunday for its handling of a matter that happens often in the game.

Making matters worse, a report emerged earlier in the week alleging that a racist remark was made to a player by a staff member.

But the Knights put the horror week behind them and shot out a three-try lead on Sunday before surviving a comeback from the Tigers to seal the win.

Fox League analyst Michael Ennis said the squad looked “galvanised,” while Knights captain Jayden Brailey said after the game that the players used the turmoil as “a bit of motivation.”

“It was tough reading all the headlines and there was a lot of stuff that came out that we didn’t like and probably a lot of it wasn’t true,” he said.

“But I think in tough times you’ve got to stick together to pull yourself out of weeks like this.

“I think we probably did a really good job this week to block out the outside noise and use that as a bit of motivation to show who we really are… it was just a gritty performance tonight.”

“A big overreaction’ Johns on Klemmer | 04:26

O’Brien went through all the emotions in the coaches box during the game. The Knights shot out to a 14-nil lead at half time… but then the Tigers narrowed the scoreline to just four points to set up a grandstand finish.


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Asked if the win — which snapped a four-game losing streak — was a relief, O’Brien said: “Definitely a relief for everyone — players, staff, families.

“It was ugly but we don’t care, we got it done,” he added.

“It matters. Everyone is invested, it’s not just me, everyone from physios to players.

“It was a tough week, I’m really proud of the players, they rallied, we were really united and trained well. I’m really pleased for them.

“These boys, they certainly grabbed it.

“The leaders addressed some stuff — there was some stuff that needed to be addressed.

“There’s no doubt there’s been a lot of commentary on our club and how we run things. Some things are learnings for us and some things are completely inaccurate, but when you’re losing you open yourself up to that so I get it.

“We’ll take our medicine, we’ll look at the parts that we can control and do something about… and the rest we’ll forget.”

Salmon family calls for action on Stuart | 03:00

O’Brien also gave insight into his involvement in the incident.

“I just gave a statement in and around when it got to that level, which it has to escalate up,” he said.

“I just made a statement regarding it but I’ve been around footy long enough to know it’s pretty hard to get some guys off the field sometimes. I’ve been in that position, but it’s dealt with now.”

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He confirmed too that Klemmer will come straight back into the 17 for next week’s clash with the Broncos.

“Yep, it’s been dealt with,” O’Brien said when asked if Klemmer would return.

“There was a process it went through and sometimes when you go through a process you realize you can do it in a different way so you change it — so we’re better for going through that part.

“Big Klem accepted some accountability on some of his stuff, he has addressed the team and no doubt he’s dealt with now, he’s back in the team. He’s back at training now so I can pick him on Tuesday.”