Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
During the week, Waratahs' coach Bob Dwyer said he would talk to Dragons coach Nathan Brown about Nathan Blacklock's NSWRU contract - but not before the Super 12s Rugby Union competition is done with.
In 2002, 'Tingha' Blacklock left the Dragons and the National Rugby League, signing with the New South Wales Waratahs until 2004. But the Kangaroo winger has since asked for a release so he can return to Rugby League and St George.
Last night, the Waratahs were defeated 42-26 by the Hurricanes and their Super 12 season is all but over. NSW were out-paced and out-classed and now have to win their next three matches to make the S12s semis:
Apr 18: Brumbies v Waratahs* May 3: Highlanders v Waratahs* May 10: Waratahs v Chiefs (*Away matches).
While SOTV can only wish fellow New South Welshmen the best of luck, it does appear unlikely that Waratahs will be able to win all three matches and their season should end after the Chiefs match in Sydney.
Assuming Bob Dwyer will stand by his statements to the press, it looks likely that a meeting between the St George Illawarra Dragons RLFC and the NSWRU will take place soon after May 10th.
But there's still a lot of requirements to consider. In particular: contract payouts, the salary cap, the NSWRU's position, the Dragons and Blacklock himself.
One story doing the rounds suggests that the Dragons' financial committment to Blacklock will only be $10,000 for the remainder of 2003. This being part of Blacklock's income to compliment his other earnings from Rugby Union. That being the case, the salary cap suddenly becomes less of an issue and St George have an unbeatable monetary incentive to secure Tingha's services.
There are a lot of 'ifs'. But all things being equal, the NRL's top try scorer for three years running could be returning home and training with Saints as early as next month.