Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
The NRL has followed through on its promise to crack down on grapple tackles by charging two players with the controversial technique from this weekend's matches.
St George Illawarra's Jason Ryles and Wests Tigers' lock Liam Fulton have been slapped with contrary conduct charges for grapple tackles and are among eight players cited by the NRL's match review committee.
Ryles faces a one-match ban if found guilty while Liam Fulton will escape a suspension with an early guilty plea. Melbourne's Michael Crocker, Parramatta's Timana Tahu, the Sharks' Reece Williams, Brisbane's Brad Thorn and the Bulldogs' Corey Hughes were all hit with careless high tackle charges but will escape suspension with early guilty pleas.
Brisbane's Sam Thaiday was charged with a dangerous throw but can also avoid missing any games with an early guilty plea.
Meanwhile, Manly halfback Matt Orford has been ruled out of tonight's match with South Sydney at Telstra Stadium due to a thigh injury. The Sea Eagles had given Orford until late this afternoon to prove his fitness but have opted not to risk their key playmaker.
Michael Monaghan will shift from hooker to halfback with Matt Ballin promoted from the bench to start at dummy half. Orford's injury blow is a boost for Souths, who can move into the competition's top eight with a win tonight.
The match kicks off at 7pm AEST.