WELCOME to The Mole’s Monday Scoops! Here’s the highly accurate rodent’s best work this week . . .
Hunting for a big man
The Titans and Dragons are still on the lookout for an experienced front-rower and could find their man in Knights enforcer Korbin Sims.
I am hearing that the Knights are prepared to release Sims, who at 24 is one of the most experienced forwards on their roster, due to salary cap issues.
Sims’ brother Tariq left the club midway through last season and there is every chance Korbin could also be on the move before the new season if a deal can be struck.
Big and strong, Sims is a forward opposition packs don’t like to play against and he would be a big loss for the struggling Knights.
But coach Nathan Brown is happy with the way the young brigade at the club is progressing and believes they will be better players for the tough experiences of 2016.
Gus on the lookout
Panthers boss Gus Gould always has an eye for a bargain and could find a couple of cheap, experienced forwards in Nathan Green and Anthony Tupou for next season.
Green has not been re-signed by Manly for 2017, while Tupou is on the move from English club Wakefield after just one season.
Tupou is 33 but still has something to offer and could prove handy in the young Panthers pack.
Christmas season in full swing
Being the Christmas season, I thought I’d finish with a couple of stories that reflect the goodwill and kindness in the league community.
Firstly in Newcastle, Knights star Sione Mata’utia took on the role of Santa last week, delivering a huge swag of boots and playing gear to young players from Samoa. The much-needed clothing was purchased by the foundation set up by the four Mata’utia brothers – Sione, Peter, Pat and Chanel.
The brothers hope to continue to contribute a part of their wages to help worthy causes in the game – great stuff boys.
Then up in Townsville, former Cowboy Shaun Valentine is doing his best to help out the struggling Brothers club.
Valentine is raising money to send three Brothers junior teams to the Gold Coast for games against local teams on the holiday strip.
Valentine is organising events to raise money and has also asked clubs and NRL stars for gear to auction.
“Scott Prince has given me some stuff, as have Nene McDonald (Dragons), the Cowboys and Frank Ponissi from the Storm,” Valentine says.
“But the more we can get, the better.”