Inside the NRL: Cronulla domination and the future of Jarryd Hayne
By Jenna Brooks | @JennaBrooks
Last Updated: 25/07/16 10:57am
Jenna Brooks wraps up all the big stories coming out of the NRL, as Parramatta's salary cap issues come to a head, Cronulla continue their domination, plus an update on the future of Jarryd Hayne.
Salford is not the only rugby league club found guilty of breaching the salary cap. Parramatta have been docked 12 points, fined one million Australian dollars, had five key officials banned and were stripped of their Auckland Nines title, after being found guilty of a range of salary cap breaches.
The punishment means the Eels drop from fourth to 14th, leaving the club eight points outside the top eight.
In another blow for the club, Semi Radradra is set to spend the next six weeks on the sidelines. The star winger suffered a knee injury early in the Eels 22-18 win over the Roosters on Friday night.
Last Tuesday, Radradra made a brief appearance at court, pleading not guilty to three counts of domestic violence. The matter has been adjourned until August.
Parramatta could receive a boost before the end of the season. Reports continue to link Jarryd Hayne with a return to his former side.
Hayne was left out of Fiji's sevens rugby union squad for the Rio Olympics. The former Eels star broke the news in a Facebook post, thanking coach, Ben Ryan and the Fiji squad. "Last Friday I had a meeting with Ben to discuss my future with the team and I was informed that my time had ended. As much as I would have loved to go to Rio, I too knew I wasn't ready yet."
Hayne, who has been linked with a return to the Eels since he retired from the NFL in May, is not subject to the NRL's June 30 deadline on player signings because he is not a registered rugby league player.
Cronulla remain at the top of the ladder after winning a club-record 13th game in a row. They beat Zak Hardaker's Panthers 26-10 on Sunday.
The Sharks, who became just the fifth NRL team to win 13 consecutive games, went into the match without five of their key players. Captain, Paul Gallen, Wade Graham, Jack Bird, James Maloney, and Andrew Fifta, who were absent due to Wednesday's State of Origin.
It was Hardaker's second game for his new team, but he was unable to stop his opposite number Ben Barba from scoring two first-half tries. The win means Cronulla remain at the top of the ladder, two points clear of Melbourne.
Meanwhile, off-contract Cronulla forward Chris Heighington has been linked with a move to Wakefield. The Wildcats recently signed Sharks prop David Fifita.
If the former England International does make the move he would also be joining former Cronulla teammates Anthony Tupou and Tinirau Arona.
State of Origin
State of Origin III is on Wednesday in Sydney. The series is over after Queensland took the first two games, but NSW will try to salvage some pride and avoid a whitewash.
The Maroons are boosted by the return of prop Nate Myles, who missed Origin II with a knee injury. Dane Gagai, who scored a hat-trick in State of Origin II, has also been cleared to play.
Wednesday marks Corey Parker's final game for Queensland, while New South Wales bid farewell to their captain Paul Gallen. If Gallen is switched to his preferred position of lock, the pair could go head-to-head for the final time in representative football.
We understand Luke Burgess could be on the move to Salford. The Manly prop, older brother of Sam, Tom and George, has been with the Sea Eagles since 2015. Prior to Manly, Burgess spent four seasons with South Sydney, playing alongside his three brothers.
The forward began his career in 2007 with former Super League side Harlequins and then the Leeds Rhinos. He moved to the NRL in 2011.
Burgess would be a huge boost to the Red Devils, who last week lost their appeal against a six-point deduction.