How did South Sydney slip through Joseph Suaalii’s fingers?

They courted him and his mother Russell Crowe‘s Farm, asked the NRL to bend the rules so he could play next season even though he is only 17, and also played Dirty Pool by throwing out wrong numbers about what Rugby Australia was offering him.

Souths still hasn’t got her husband. If you’re a Rabbitohs member you have the right to ask … how?

South Sydney boss Blake Solly appears to see himself as the future NRL CEO.Recognition:Gregg Porteous / NRL Photos

Until recently, Suaalii’s name was featured prominently on a whiteboard in the Redfern Oval.

The whiteboard belonged to the former soccer boss Shane Richardson and previewed South Sydney’s future squad goals for years to come.

Due to the nature of the salary cap, the smart clubs work years in advance to secure their talent over the long term.

No one in rugby league should ever write anything in a permanent marker, but Suaalii has long been considered the Souths defender since 2022.

South Sydney had Joseph Suaalii on their mind even when they signed Latrell Mitchell.Recognition:Getty Images

Even the surprising signing of Latrell Mitchell has not shaken the Rabbitohs from this belief.

This is one of the reasons Mitchell only signed a one-year contract with the option for a second in favor of the club.

Why Suaalii went cold in the south is not entirely clear, but it was a sure sign he wasn’t serious when he asked for a five-year deal with release clauses.

We were told that the Suaalii family felt like they were being tragically played by a colorful art dealer and Souths Steve Nasteskiwho the poor kid has been shopping everywhere in the past few months.

Solly thought he had reached the inside of Suaalii because he is close to redeemed Nasteski, but things turned dramatically earlier this month when the teen’s family turned to the taps.

The Roosters denied interest when it first appeared in the Herold and stay caged over the problem.

They are awaiting release from Souths before signing Suaalii for a development contract. After that, they’ll sign him for an NRL contract, but the first year will have the minimum wage of an expected three-year contract as it’s no secret that the club is under pressure from the salary cap.

The taps remain hopeful however, they don’t have to throw players off or pay players like Angus Crichton less to secure Suaalii.

Both the Wests Tigers and the Broncos have been snooping around the teen, but he wants to join the Roosters because he’s a fan of people like James German and Luke Kearyand respects trainers Trent Robinson.

Trent Robinson after beating the Raiders in the grand final last year.
Trent Robinson after beating the Raiders in the grand final last year.Recognition:Peter Rae

It’s also no surprise that the Suaalii family, who do charity work in the Penrith area, were also interested in the roosters The AustralianInvestigation of the alleged gimmicks of the former captain Sam Burgess it has come to light.

That brings us back to Solly, who considers himself the future head of the NRL if his constant snooping at board meetings about how the game went is any clue.

We wait with interest to see what the NRL Integrity Unit reveals in relation to Phoebe Burgess‘On allegations about her ex-husband. Who knew what at Souths?

It was quite worrying how Solly, who has since denied any knowledge of the allegations, took cover afterwards The AustralianThe thread fell off.

A strong executive would have chaired a media conference and answered some tough questions. I mean, all of this apparently happened on his watch.

Instead, Solly made a statement and News Corp. made some prosaic remarks.

The culture of silence in the south around Burgess is an indication of Solly’s media strategy.


He has pushed for less access to players at CEO meetings.

Earlier this year, the club tried to cancel at the last minute Herold Interview with Cody Walker for indigenous people. Standing firm in Walker’s favor, he told a lovely story about how his sons helped him reconnect with his culture.

Solly also came up with the idea of ​​denying the channels Nine (which publishes this legal notice) and Fox Sports access to the dressing room after the games so that they cannot show the singing of the team song.

That “content”, Solly told the NRL, belongs to the club.

It actually belongs to the players. To the fans. To the game. And no matter what hundreds of millions of dollars the broadcasters bring into play.

Perhaps Solly and others at Souths should focus on the things that really matter – like securing a player like Joseph Suaalii.

Let it go Queensland, Keary is a real blue

Talk about the pot that names the kettle maroon.

The Queensland Rugby League is – as they say in the rugby league – Deluxe blown up Luke Keary When he starred on this year’s Origin series for NSW and quoted that he was born in Ipswich, he grew up an idol Allan Langer and met with the NRL eight years ago to want to play for the Maroons.

It doesn’t matter that Keary is qualified for the blues according to the six-question criteria agreed by QRL and NSWRL in 2013.

It doesn’t matter that Keary himself changed his mind and brought this issue to bed last year when he said, “I’ve talked to the right people, they know I’m NSW, and if I ever play State of Origin, it will be for NSW ”.

A hot run with injuries has so far prevented Luke Keary from playing State of Origin.
A hot run with injuries has so far prevented Luke Keary from playing State of Origin.Recognition:NRL-Photos

If Keary wants to play for NSW, why can’t he? It was enough for the Kempsey born, Macksville raised man Greg Ingliswho wanted to play for Queensland.

In those early years when Inglis played for the Maroons, some NSWRL officials considered taking the matter to court to make sure he was playing for his birth condition.

But they let it go. Now you have to let it go too, QRL. To let. It. Go.


Sturmkapitän Cameron Smith sent social media to collapse on Monday when he announced his autobiography would be released on November 16.

Cameron Smith will be releasing his book at Suncorp Stadium next month.
Cameron Smith will be releasing his book at Suncorp Stadium next month.Recognition:Getty Images

People have misunderstood it as a sure sign that he is retiring.

That may be the case – and the smart money retires after the Storm’s grand final win over Penrith – but publishers Allen and Unwin, like the Storm, remain in the dark about its future.

There is a misconception that writing a book means a gamer is about to retire.

Former shark captain Paul Gallen finished his book three years before he played his last game with ghostwriting David Riccio Add a chapter with each season.

Smith will publish his book on November 16 at Suncorp Stadium. Perhaps then he will announce his future plans.

Midnight marathon

Twelve young indigenous athletes were scheduled to run in the New York Marathon this weekend.


Instead, due to COVID-19, this year’s squad will be from Robert of CastileThe Indigenous Marathon Foundation will run under a full moon on Saturday at midnight in Alice Springs.

De Castella established the foundation a decade ago after the filmmaker Matt Long came up with the idea of ​​plucking four indigenous athletes from isolated communities to see if they have the natural talent to keep up with the dominance of Africans in long-distance running.

Since then, each of the 96 athletes handpicked by De Castella and his staff has completed marathons in New York, Boston, Tokyo, London, Paris and Berlin.

One of this year’s Victoria runners went to Darwin for two weeks for isolation before heading to Alice Springs that weekend to run her marathon.

You can follow the progress of this year’s roster at

“He’s the best young player since then Ricky Ponting. He’s our next superstar. “- Former test captain Greg Chappell put no pressure on the Western Australian all-rounder Cameron Green.

Richmonds Dustin Martin showed another performance in the big final win against Geelong on Saturday night, which won the match.
Richmonds Dustin Martin showed another performance in the big final win against Geelong on Saturday night, which won the match.Recognition:Getty Images

Three-time Norm Smith medalist Dustin Martin sounds like a ripper. “He’s actually putting Norm Smith away so he won’t show it because he’s a pure team man,” said Richmond teammate Jack Riewoldt revealed after the great final win against Geelong.

Wayne Bennett spreads the rugby league gospel in ways few people see without wanting recognition, but his decision to hit back a behind-the-scenes documentary about the country of origin is a narrow-minded one.

It’s a big weekend for … them Chris Waller-Trained Funstar after drawing the parking lot for the $ 7.5 million Golden Eagle (1,500 m) in a damp Rosehill Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Good luck, Funstar.

It’s an even bigger weekend for … the Wallabies, who will be trying to recover from their Eden Park two weeks ago when they meet the All Blacks at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night. Good luck, wallabies.

Twitter: @ awebster1975


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Andrew Webster ist Chief Sports Writer des Sydney Morning Herald.

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