Dragons centre Zac Lomax can consider himself lucky the NRL has driven punching out of the game after his celebration on Tyson Frizell.
The Storm will add a veteran backrower to their side for 2023, but could move sooner.
The Panthers and Rabbitohs have huge contract decisions to make, while Tom Trbojevic has taken the first steps towards a first grade return.
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Newcastle enforcer Tyson Frizell plays the game as hard as any backrower of the last decade.
Which is why Dragons centre Zac Lomax is lucky the NRL has taken throwing punches out of the equation – otherwise we’re tipping the Red V lair would have worn a couple from Frizell.
Once teammates at St George Illawarra, Lomax attempted to contact Frizell this week to smooth over his brain snap try-celebration but the response from the champion Newcastle forward has been the brush.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin had a sit-down with Lomax earlier this week to explain how that’s not the type of club St George Illawarra wants to be.
Lomax can also count himself lucky the ex-NSW and Australian frontrower David Klemmer only gave him a gobful after the game.
An old-school front row forward, Klemmer was having none of Lomax’s carry-on.
Especially to a forward who has played for NSW and Australia like Frizell and is respected as one of the genuine tough players in the competition.
There’s plenty of ways to celebrate in rugby league without disrespecting an opponent by jumping on his back from the blindside.
We’re all for players showing personality and swagger as long as it’s done with a degree of humility.
We’d be interested to see where Lomax sits in the NSW State of Origin pecking order given the list of gun Blues centres.
Incumbents Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell are both guaranteed Blues jumpers provided they’re fit and available for selection.
We’ve heard the pecking order behind them then line-ups Stephen Crichton, Kotoni Staggs, Campbell Graham, Jesse Ramien and then the likes of Lomax and Bradman Best.
The best thing Lomax can do is let his form do his talking and drop off the smart arse celebrations.
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Dally M Medal winner Tommy Turbo Trbojevic has resumed running at Manly training this week and is on target for a round nine return to the NRL.
It’s great news for the Sea Eagles and the NSW Blues with the champion fullback having recovered well from MCL surgery on his right knee.
The Sea Eagles have done an outstanding job to win the club’s last two matches without Tommy but face a major litmus test on Thursday when they meet the Sharks to open round seven of the NRL.
The other big out for the Sea Eagles against Cronulla is front row forward Josh Aloiai who has an AC joint injury.
Aloiai had been the Sea Eagles best front row forward since missing the opening three games through suspension but sustained the injury against the Gold Coast and will now be missing for at least the next fortnight.
The other huge in for the Sea Eagles over the course of the next fortnight will be the return of young gun backrower Josh Schuster.
Schuster sustained a syndesmosis injury during pre-season but is back flying at training and will add another dimension to Manly’s attack.
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STORM’S POTENTIAL VETERAN PLAY
Will the Melbourne Storm make a mid-season play to try and land NSW State of Origin backrower Tariq Sims from the Red V?
The Storm will bid farewell to Kiwi Test internationals Jesse Bromwich (276 NRL matches), Kenny Bromwich (197 NRL matches), Queensland and Australian backrower Felise Kaufusi (158 NRL matches) and Kiwi forward Brandon Smith (91 NRL matches) at the end of this season.
Throw in Dale Finucane (218 NRL matches prior to leaving the Storm) and collectively the Storm will have lost 940 games plus the remainder of this season of NRL experience for 2023.
Sims will definitely be joining the Storm for next year to add some much-needed fire power and experience to Melbourne’s forward pack but there’s a big watch on what happens for the remainder of this year.
The Dragons have gone on the record saying they won’t be releasing Sims this year but as we know rugby league can move in mysterious ways.
THE South Sydney Rabbitohs are in talks to outlay $1 million to secure one of the best emerging front-rowers in the NRL in Dave Moale until the end of 2025.
A red and green local junior, the teenager has blown good judges away in his four NRL appearances and is clearly on the way to becoming a staple of the South Sydney forward pack.
Moale, 19, is already signed until the end of next year but given his early signs in the NRL and his attitude at training the Rabbitohs are keen to retain the front row forward long-term.
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PANTHER’S BIG SQUEEZE
Premiers Penrith scored the $10 million coup of retaining captain Nathan Cleary and coach Ivan Cleary until the end of 2027 but the Panthers have still got some major decisions in terms of the club’s roster rolling forward.
The Panthers have young gun winger Taylan May, who has scored seven tries in four NRL games, and unsung prop forward Matt Eisenhuth off contract at the end of this year.
Next season is where it will become a real balancing act with more than $2.5 million in talent off contract including NSW State of Origin winger Brian To’o, star centre Stephen Crichton, NSW Origin backrower Liam Martin, gun prop Spencer Leniu , emerging centre Izack Tago, backrower Scott Sorensen and winger Charlie Staines all free to talk with rival clubs from November 1.
The interesting thing about the rise of Tago is he actually came through the Panthers junior system at St Marys as a backrower.
Tago played six NRL games last season and was given an opportunity this year after the departures of Matt Burton and Paul Momorovski.
Even though they’re both rookies, the Panthers left-edge combination of Tago and May has proven lethal over the course of the last moth since To’o was ruled out with an MCL injury.