1. Cartwright fires up
Gold Coast coach John Cartwright says referees only have themselves to blame for the surge in dissent, an offence for which Chris Sandow and Nate Myles were sent to the sin bin on Sunday. “If they’re going to start sin-binning blokes for abusing referees, we’re not going to have many players left on the field, are we?” Cartwright said after his side’s 19-18 loss to St George Illawarra.
Dragons edge Titans in race to the line
NRL: Police raid player agents' offices
Hasler remains, Mortimer resigns
Greg Bird quits Titans
Steve Mascord's Set of Six: Super League final
Meninga explains his vision
Fifita and Radradra left out of Kangaroos
Michael Ennis can't describe Fifita's try
Dragons edge Titans in race to the line
A field goal eight minutes from time proved vital when a late try brought the Titans to within a point of the Dragons.
He then told Triple M: “The referees have let it get to this stage where players talk to them the way they do. I don’t know what the answer is.” Myles, who dropped the F bomb in his initial comments to Gerard Sutton, kept going after being told he was being given a spell. Dragons players were oblivious to the drama. “I sent a message out saying they were down to 12,” coach Paul McGregor said.
2. It's too quiet
One shudders to think what the attendance would have been at CBUS Super Stadium yesterday had Gold Coast’s opponents not been the ever-popular St George Illawarra. The Dragons accounted for a huge chunk of the 12,189 crowd. The Titans are losing the battle with the AFL’s Suns by a fair margin. “The boys warmed up out there but I didn’t go out,” said Dragons coach Paul McGregor.
“I walked into the box and [looking around] I thought it was a home game for a minute. I think we had more supporters than them, to be honest, and in really big bunches. Those people are what the game needs and what we need as a club.”
3. Shaking up Origin
In 1980, when the interstate series was a dead rubber, they played an experimental game for the third match. State of Origin was born. So why don’t we do the opposite this year and play game three under residential rules?
Here are some teams: Queensland: Barba; Hoffman, Hodges, Reed, Mead; Thurston, Hunt; Tamou, McCullough, Scott, Bird, Myles, Thaiday.
NSW: Hayne, Tupou, Jennings, Morris, Morris; Reynolds, Hodkinson, Woods, Farah, Gallen, Scott, Watmough, Lewis. Do these teams prove that Origin itself is redundant?
4. Lions may be welcome
Players are having second thoughts about blocking next year’s proposed Great Britain Lions tour of Australia. As we have previously reported, the ARL Commission have so far refused to host Great Britain’s first games since 2007 because the RLPA is demanding the spring off.
But an itinerary that includes old-fashioned midweek matches and stops in rural areas for the tourists is tugging at the heart-strings of some of the game’s stars and they may yet acquiesce. We are also hearing whispers of an Indigenous All Stars v Maori game in September.
5. Fanning the flames
Have Canberra signed Hull KR hooker Josh Hodgson or not? Hodgson actually helped spread the rumour by denying it on Twitter late last week, saying: “Hull loves a rumour haha keen to play in oz one day but focusing on playing for Hull KR and captaining the team”.
The Hull Daily Mail reported at the weekend that the Robins would demand a “six-figure” release fee if Hodgson – under contact for two more years – was to head to the ACT. Remember when Hull FC winger Tom Briscoe was “nailed on” for Cronulla? He went to Leeds instead.
6. Jamal back in action
It remains to be seen whether Jamal Idris did enough in his return for Penrith’s NSW Cup team on Sunday to convince Panthers coach Ivan Cleary to include him in the team for next weekend’s match against the Warriors. Cleary was on hand at North Sydney Oval to watch Idris help Penrith to a 32-28 win over the Bears in his first match since being stood down last month by the Panthers to help him deal with personal issues.
While he had some strong carries, Idris never threatened to break the line and made several errors, including a dropped ball and a wayward offload but he was happy to play the full 80 minutes.