Cameron Smith cools talk of Cameron Munster captaining Queensland in State of Origin


Jahrome Hughes will likely be ruled out of the Storm’s clash against the Tigers under the NRL’s concussion protocols because the Storm have a five-day turnaround after Magic Round. The fullback left the field after being collected high by Eels winger Maika Sivo on Saturday night, but given Melbourne play again on Thursday he will be long odds to play. There’s no set timeframe in which a player can return to the field after failing a head injury assessment, but five days is generally considered a bridge too far to pass the required tests. Sivo, who was sin binned for the hit, was slugged with a grade three careless high tackle charge by the match review committee. He will miss one game with an early guilty plea.

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Posts not a winner

Six Again has been told Dragons players were fuming with the social media posts from some media organisations after St George Illawarra No.7 Ben Hunt fumbled a drop-out in the loss to the Warriors on Saturday night. One post particularly irked teammates of Hunt, who last year acknowledged he had sought help from a psychologist to help with pressures associated with the NRL and his transition away from family in Sydney. One media outlet’s account quickly drew a curt response from Hunt’s fellow NRL players when it described his mistake as “deja vu … all over again” referencing the 2015 golden point mistake. Andrew Fifita, Josh McGuire and Clint Gutherson were quick to slam the post, which was later deleted. Hunt met all media requests straight after the game and discussed the incident. Dragons co-captain Cameron McInnes was particularly vocal about the online treatment of Hunt on Sunday.

Mary not contrary

Speaking of the Dragons, coach Paul McGregor had every right to be fuming in his box immediately after his side surrendered 20 unanswered points in a second-half collapse against the Warriors. But there were more than a couple of people spreading a nice story which unfolded thereafter with a young boy crying over the result. “I had noticed a young boy in front of the coaches box in a Dragons jersey throughout the game who had been happy and cheering and then I saw him at the end of the game and he was upset,” McGregor said. “His dad was looking to see if he could get a photo so we brought him in through the window of the box next door and we had a bit of a chat to him. He got to meet Gareth [Widdop] and get a photo which cheered him up a bit.”

Storm front of jersey stays

The Storm won’t have to find a major sponsor for the rest of the season despite its primary backer, British-based property startup Purplebricks, announcing it will quit the Australian market after less than three years of operation. Melbourne, who have played in the last three grand finals, are on the sponsorship hunt again having only signed Purplebricks to single-year deal just days out from the start of this NRL season. An affidavit tendered by Storm chairman Bart Campbell in the Jack de Belin Federal Court case claims the agreement was 40 per cent less than what the Storm received from Crown Resorts, who were their long-time major sponsor until 2018, due to the ramifications of bad player behaviour across the NRL over last off season.



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