The weather’s now getting cooler but the footy’s heating up – here’s what you need to know heading into round 2 this weekend:
1. It’s all about Jarryd Hayne on the Gold Coast this week. The Titans had a lacklustre first-up loss last weekend and the former NFL running back has since grabbed the headline for all the wrong reasons. Fairfax Media reported that Hayne was fined for missing a training session, with the fullback firing back on Twitter that he had permission from the captains to fly to Sydney “for treatment” — but then throwing the coach under the bus by naming him as the one who handed down the penalty. Then coach Neil Henry walked out of a press conference after questions were raised about his relationship with Hayne.
2. Greg Inglis played almost an entire game last weekend with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. One of the most painful and serious knee injuries for professional athletes was not picked up by South Sydney medical staff during Friday’s game against the Wests Tigers, and now Inglis will miss the entire season with reconstructive surgery. Yikes.
There is a theory that Inglis’ other knee has been so bad in recent years that the pain from the new injury did not ring any special alarm bells for the superstar nor the medicos.
3. Penrith were hailed as specials for the 2017 season by many last week, but got pumped in their season opener against the Dragons. But that wasn’t the end of the scrutiny – a sensational story was leaked this week that forward Bryce Cartwright had paid, via an intermediary, $50,000 to a woman to induce her to have an abortion. The Panthers are now considering not playing Cartwright in this weekend’s match, with concerns for his mental wellbeing.
4. Tim Simona’s troubles continue. He was already facing a substantial ban for allegedly gambling against his own performance in games and admitted some harsh truths about his demons in front of NRL investigators this week. Then on Wednesday night, the Nine Network reported that he is also accused of not passing on fundraising proceeds to a charity.
5. Parramatta Stadium is being demolished to make way for a brand new western Sydney home for the NRL’s Eels and the A-League’s Wanderers. News Corp published spectacular drone footage of the demolition that may provoke a nostalgic tear or two from older footy fans.
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