De Belin backs suspension policy, Hayne could lose Dally M honors, Sharks star out for three months

Jack de Belin feared St George Illawarra teammate Talatau Amone would miss the entire season under the same rule he once challenged in the Federal Court, but says he now understands the need for the NRL’s policy.

Amone made his NRL return in the Dragons’ win against the Dolphins on Saturday, finding his groove at five-eighth after being accused of assault in the off-season.

The 20-year-old was initially charged with charges that carried up to 14 years in prison.

However, his ban was lifted when his case was brought down to the Local Court, reducing his maximum sentence to five years and bringing it below the NRL’s suspension threshold.

De Belin remains the most high-profile case to be dismissed under the no-fault policy after he missed two-and-a-half years following sexual assault allegations in late 2018.

Jack De Bell

Jack de Belin (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

The former NSW lock took the NRL to the Federal Court in 2019 and argued the rule was illegal, before the NRL successfully argued off-field issues had jeopardized their commercial interests.

De Belin returned to action in June 2021 after he was acquitted of one count of sexual assault and four other related charges were dropped by two hung juries. A trial date has not yet been set for Amon, and de Belin said he feared he too could leave his career in limbo.

“As soon as I saw him come out, I honestly didn’t think he was going to play footy this year,” de Belin said. “You don’t want to see someone sitting next to you with something sitting on top of you.

“You have the presumption of innocence, so he obviously has that on his side. He is such a young kid, these are the most important years of his career. You don’t want to press charges.

“But the NRL, they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do. They need to protect their brand. I understand that, it was like that for me. It’s nothing personal.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 20: Talatau Amon of the Dragons runs the ball during the NRL trial match between the Parramatta Eels and the St George Illawarra Dragons at CommBank Stadium on February 20, 2022 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Junior Amon. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

De Belin said he had not spoken to Amon about how to deal with the setback because the youngster was already well supported.

“Junior was absolutely killing it at practice and he always came in a good mood. That’s all you can do,” de Belin said. “It was great for me to have a routine. With the whole legal situation you never know how long it will take, there will always be bumps in the road.

“As soon as I couldn’t practice first class and was in reserve class, I went and joined a jiu jitsu club and made sure I was busy. I was studying. Do you need that routine? You need a purpose in your life, because if you’re not doing anything, it can feel pretty empty.”

De Belin is not under contract this year but has a contract with the Dragons until 2024. .

“I’m still fresh, I’ve pretty much missed three years of the game. I have always taken care of my body,” she said. “The club has been loyal to me and I have been loyal to the club. It’s a two-way street and we’ve both been good to each other. I’d like to think that will continue in the future.”

Disgraceful Hein may lose Dally M rewards

The NRL will consider stripping Jarryd Hayne of his two Dally M medals after pleading guilty to raping a woman on the night of the 2018 grand final.

One of the biggest names in rugby league in the 21st century, Hayne is now awaiting trial on two counts of sexual assault.

After pleading guilty in 2021 and spending nine months behind bars, Hein successfully won the right to a retrial next year ahead of Tuesday’s sentencing.

His next sentencing will probably take place in the meeting hall of the HOC commission. Hayne is a two-time Daly M medallist, taking home the NRL premiership gong in 2009 and 2014.

Jarryd Hayne

Jarryd Hayne (Photo by Mark Colby/Getty Images)

He was also the NRL’s winger of the year in 2007, before being named the game’s best winger twice. Any decision on whether the 35-year-old will be stripped of those awards will be made after the avenue of appeal is closed after Hayne maintained his innocence on Tuesday and indicated an appeal could follow.

If so, it would mark the first time the NRL has taken titles away from an individual.

They’ve done it team-wise before, with Melbourne’s 2007 and 2009 premierships stripped after defrauding the salary cap.

At Parramatta, they are likely to follow the NRL’s lead.

Hayne is a two-time winner of the Eels’ distinguished Ken Thornett Medal, while he also won the Jack Gibson Coach’s Award in 2009 and was the club’s Rookie of the Year in 2006.

The fullback has largely been absent in recent years after being one of the NRL’s most popular players.

He was a standout in Parramatta’s run to the 2009 grand final, producing one of the most dominant runs in memory to help the Eels to their first decider in eight years.

He was also the man behind NSW’s drought-ridden State of Origin success in 2014, starring in the I Game and then running the ball dead to end the series in Sydney.

In total he scored 121 tries in 214 NRL games, represented NSW 23 times and Australia and Fiji combined in 21 games.

He was also never far from the headlines after being the target of a shooting at Kings Cross in 2008 and shocked the NRL in late 2014 by deciding to pursue a career in the NFL.

By the time Hayne was charged, he had returned to the NRL but his best playing days were behind him. His final year at Parramatta was handed the wooden spoon and Hayne was set to enter the 2019 pre-season unsigned.

After his previous achievements, it was likely that he would still earn a contract. But in November 2018, 20 days into the official rugby league year, he was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in Newcastle.

After four-and-a-half years of unsuccessfully fighting those charges, Hine’s rugby league achievements could be stripped of his latest punishment.

Rudolph is sidelined long-term with a toe injury

Cronulla’s depth will be significantly tested with the Sharks announcing prop Toby Rudolph will be out for the next three months.

Rudolph suffered a big toe injury in Sunday’s 32-30 loss to the Warriors and underwent surgery on Tuesday.

The forward has become a staple of Craig Fitzgibbon’s side and his absence will be sorely missed.

Toby Rudolph. (Photo by Brandon Thorne/Getty Images)

Rudolph’s injury could not have come at a worse time, with lock Dale Finucane suspended for the next three weeks.

The Sharks have a bye in round six before taking on the Sydney Roosters at home, where Fitzgibbon will join Oregon Kaufusi and Wade Graham on deck.

Cronulla have started the season with two wins from their first five games.

Gilbert steps up for a showdown with old cowboy friends

Respect for his opponents and teammates around him will have Dolphins lock Tom Gilbert firing when he returns to Townsville to play for his former club North Queensland.

The 22-year-old will lock horns with close friend and Cowboys prop Reuben Cotter in Friday night’s round six NRL clash.

Gilbert just wants to walk off the field with a win and his head held high.

C:CLICK HERE! for a seven-day free trial of your favorite sport on KAYO

“You can’t be emotional about games like this. It’s selfish if you think it’s about you and going back to the big house,” Gilbert told AAP. “It’s about doing your job. It’s black and white for me.

“I always wanted to make sure that when I went up there, it wasn’t about me, it was about my team, the Dolphins. The Cowboys did a lot for me and I just want to play a game that is a product of the player they helped me become.

“They’ve played a big part in my journey since I was 15. I’m still in touch with a lot of the guys there and I want to make sure the guys who put a lot of effort into me don’t waste their time. »

Gilbert signed with the Cowboys as a 15-year-old, made his NRL debut there and established himself as one of the game’s best young forwards last year when the team reached the preliminary final.

After making his Maroons debut in 2022, Gilbert signed with the Dolphins to be closer to his extended Brisbane family and play alongside a group of tough forwards such as Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Feliz Kaufusi and Mark Nicholls.

He hasn’t forgotten the influence of Cowboys prop Cotter. “Ruben was a great teacher to me and a huge role model, as well as one of my best friends,” Gilbert said. “He made me believe in what I could become as a footy player and helped me get to the next level. I watched him, admired him and wanted to have his back.”

No quarter is given when Gilbert crosses the white line, and he knows Cotter will have the same approach Friday night. “That’s something Ruben instilled in me. It’s always about giving your best,” Gilbert said.

“No doubt after the game we’ll both want to share a moment together after knowing we’ve both done our jobs for our team.”

The Dolphins have lost two straight after winning their first three. “It’s all about getting back to what we’re good at,” Gilbert said. “It’s a high finish and making sure that every individual is doing their job from the first start to the end. It all comes down to effort, hard work and a lot of energy.”

Source link