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NRL round 8: Untold stories from Monday's press conferences

Sporting News logo Sporting News 29/06/2020 Sporting News
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Another weekend of NRL is in the books and we're wrapping up everything from round seven and looking ahead to round eight. 

This week, there will be talk of coaches under pressure, player movement and a couple of mouth-watering clashes. 

Read on for all the stories you may have missed from Monday's press conferences. 

What Cameron Smith told the Warriors after heavy defeat 

Warriors back Patrick Herbert says the side appreciated Cameron Smith's post-match gesture, but says he doesn't want it to dwell on others feeling sorry for them. 

Smith was spotted on camera speaking to a dejected Warriors side after Friday's 50-6 hammering. On Monday, Herbert revealed what was spoken about. 

"The gist of it was Cam was saying he can imagine how hard it is for us leaving our families and the sacrifices that we made," Herbert said. 

"He pretty much just tipped his hat to us. 

The Warriors have been based in Australia for nearly two months, with no timeframe yet given about how long it will be before they can return home or see their families. 

Since the season restart, every opposition club has offered post-match words of encouragement and support to the Warriors.

Without their sacrifice the season wouldn't have been possible, but Herbert doesn't want the Warriors stuck in a negative mindset. 

"Obviously we appreciate it, but we don't want to hold on to those emotions of people feeling sorry for us," he said. 

"We just want to let it go and get the job done and do better on game day. We need better results." 

- Brendan Bradford 

Warriors reportedly find their next coach - if he wants the job

The decision to sack Stephen Kearney as head coach has divided opinion - but now, the Warriors are looking forward.

And the man they are hoping will take over the reins is current Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon.

Senior reporter Danny Weidler revealed the club have identified him as the man they want, and the ball is seemingly in his court.

Fitzgibbon was a staple of the Roosters, NSW and Kangaroos lineup during the mid-2000s, and is working under the best coach in the NRL today in Trent Robinson.

It would be a huge get for the Warriors, but whether it eventuates remains to be seen.

Liam O'Loughlin

James Tamou reveals discussion with Warriors-bound Jack Hetherington 

Penrith Panthers prop Jack Hetherington will move to the Warriors on a loan deal after the Roosters recalled Poasa Faamausili following a horror run of injuries. 

It's another reminder of the different circumstances we're all operating in this season, but Hetherington was reportedly hesitant to take up the offer, not wanting to let his Panthers teammates down. 

It took a chat with veteran James Tamou to ease his concerns. 

"It'll be massive for him. Just to get that game time. He's such a talent. He's one of the fastest at the club and one of the most powerful. He'll thrive," Tamou told media on Monday.

"Having a chat, he was a bit reluctant and didn't want to let the boys down. But it's not about that, it's about you this is your dream and what you want to do. Showing everyone what you can do.

"Especially in these times with NSW boys not getting exposure.

"It was more that he didn't want ot let any of us boys down. That's the kind of guy Jack is. He didn't want anyone to have any ill-will towards him. 

"I just said 'no one's going to think that about you. This is something you have to do and no one's going to think anything different.' 

- Brendan Bradford 

Panthers building on culture and hard work 

Panthers youngster Brian To'o says Penrith is slowly building on the back of hard work and strong culture. 

Currently second on the ladder, Penrith are coming off a win over Souths in round seven and will play Wests Tigers this weekend. 

"It's pretty rock solid, we're building our foundation on culture and trust and it's growing each day," he said on Monday. 

"Just coming in every day and putting in the work, coming together as a team and building a foundation.

"There's always new things to work on and learn from the weekend."

A key element in that is halfback Nathan Cleary, who played through illness and a head knock to claim three Dally M points against the Bunnies. 

"He's always been a soldier. Coming from the hospital to the game and doing what he did is great for the team," he said. 

"I always had faith in him. I always thought he'd come through and we came up with the result."

NRL Judiciary report

There's more trouble for the Broncos and Warriors at the judiciary this week, with each side facing the suspension of a high-profile star. 

Meanwhile, Corey Oates has been fined for spraying the ref and Jordan Rapana will be forced to pull out the checkbook as well. 

Check out all the latest NRL Judiciary news right here. 

Dally M Leaderboard Update 

Jason Taumalolo has reclaimed outright top spot on the Dally M ladder, while a young tyro is hot on his heels. 

A couple of Origin stars are lying in wait, while two wiley veterans are slowly lurking around the top 10. 

Check out the full Dally M results from round seven and the full table here. 

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