The Cronulla Sharks, apparently learning a once-bitten-twice-shy lesson from prior experience, extended the contract of their young gun hooker Jayden Brailey for another two years even before debuting the youngster in round one of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership.
Just 20 and with huge upside potential, the Sharks closed the door on any clubs who thought to see Brailey play a bit before pursuing his services.
Canterbury Bulldogs swooped in and successfully lured the last hooker the Sharks trotted out, but the new deal between Brailey and the Sharks will keep last year’s Dally M Holden Cup Player of the Year plying his trade for the Sharks until 2019 at least, during which time they can also see if their expectations for and assessment of Brailey deserves further consideration.
An NRL team with similar, perhaps more worrisome issues, is the Wests Tigers, whose big four are off-contract, but they do not seem willing to stand aside and let any of the four be poached.
The Parramatta Eels had been making overtures in the direction of David Nofoaluma as a way of finding someone to fill the role of departed flyer Semi Radradra.
The Tigers declared that poaching would not be tolerated, tabling a new three-year offer for Nofoaluma to make the Eels take pause and notice.