Once were teammates: Manly’s Steve Matai (middle row, second from right) and Sydney Roosters Sonny Bill Williams (front row, centre) were chuffed in this team photo of Mount Albert Grammar School rugby league side in Auckland in 2001. Photo: SuppliedSydney Roosters officials have been assured they have nothing to fear after a member of St George Illawarra chief executive Peter Doust’s staff successfully bid for a lunch with Sonny Bill Williams at a charity event. Williams donated the lunch date to help raise funds for St George Hospital’s Cancer Care Centre at last Saturday night’s Hurstville City Council Mayoral Ball, of which the Dragons were a sponsor. However, she insists the lunch is for her brother and father, who are big Roosters fans, and no one will attempt to persuade the dual international to join the Red V.
Reddy for Queensland?Just weeks after representing City, Wests Tigers centre Joel Reddy wants to play for Queensland under the new father-son rule. Reddy, who also played for City in 2010, grew up in South Australia but had always been considered eligible for NSW as he was born in Sydney. However, his father Rod played for Queensland in the inaugural State of Origin match in 1980 and Joel now wants to follow suit if he gets the opportunity.Carney in Kogarah
Dragons officials were as surprised as anyone by Todd Carney’s appearance at Jubilee Oval last Monday night for their match against Manly and had given up on signing the Sharks five-eighth some time ago. Instead, their focus is on finding a halfback who can join them this season after being unable to finalise a deal with Castleford to release Rangi Chase. Warriors back-rower Feleti Mateo is also on a list of other possible signings in St George Illawarra’s sights. The Dragons were interested in Carney before signing Melbourne five-eighth Gareth Widdop but were unable to compete with big money offers from the Warriors and Penrith. Sin Bin was told Carney only attended the match because his manager David Riolo was going to watch the under-20s game and he had arranged to go out for dinner nearby. Carney sat with Riolo while the Holden Cup clash was on but left before the NRL game to go to a restaurant.Rumour mill in overdrive
Officials at a non-Sydney club are rumoured to be getting tired of constant reports about one of their rising stars out nightclubbing. If the player in question can’t stay at home, Sin Bin has been told that he should at least change venues as the club is aware every time he goes to his regular haunt.Rodwell backs himself
It’s not often that a match official phones a radio station to defend his decisions, as Matthew Rodwell did last Monday. Rodwell, who was the video referee in last Saturday night’s Melbourne-Canberra match, phoned Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast program after hearing Terry Kennedy and Michael Slater discuss a controversial decision to award a try to Billy Slater, despite what appeared to be obstruction by Storm teammate Jason Ryles. Rodwell said that Shaun Fensom had planted his feet and dropped his shoulder so the Canberra second-rower was already committed to tackling Ryles and therefore had not been impeded. While it was refreshing to hear a match official publicly explain a ruling, Sin Bin understands that not everyone in the NRL refereeing ranks agreed it was the right call and if the Raiders hadn’t won the match Rodwell’s decision would have come in for far more scrutiny.Lazarus’ bizarre bid
Former Wests Tigers halfback Blake Lazarus has made a unusual bid to return to the NRL club by tweeting a YouTube compilation of his career highlights and telling coach Mick Potter, “ill play for free #ifneeded”. However, the problem for Lazarus, who plays for Calliope Roosters in Rockhampton with Steve Southern and Josh Cordoba, is that the Tigers’ huge injury toll has put the club over the second-tier salary cap and they have to shed players to use anyone else.
Saad stands up
Joe Saad, who campaigned alongside Roy Spagnolo when the 3P ticket swept to power at Parramatta in 2009, will stand as an independent in Saturday’s leagues club elections. Saad is said to have been on the outer with the 3P directors for some time, and resigned from that ticket. He sent flyers out that read: “While I am very proud of what has been achieved with the current board, there comes a time when people’s ideas and visions differ. Given this, I now feel that I can best serve our club as an independent member of the board should I be re-elected. This will allow me to drive successful and strategic initiatives that better our beloved club today and into the future.” Saad was believed to have been angered by the decision to sack coach Stephen Kearney without his input last year. He confirmed to Fairfax Media that he was standing as an independent.Support in Wellington
The last league match in Wellington was the 2010 Four Nations Test between New Zealand and England, in which Bulldogs props Greg Eastwood and James Graham wore the No.8 jerseys for their respective countries. On Saturday night, they will pack down alongside each other against the Warriors. A crowd of about 25,000 is expected.
with Glenn Jackson
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