Storm Delays Offer For Andrew Fifita

Cronulla - David FifitaBy STEVE MASCORD

MELBOURNE Storm have delayed making an offer to David Fifita but will be pressing on with their bid to sign the giant twin brother of NSW forward Andrew.

The 100kg-plus Fifita was at Sunday’s game between his brother’s Cronulla Sharks and the Storm as a spectator and shared coffee with coach Craig Bellamy and football manager Frank Ponissi a few hours before kick-off.

The NRL champions resolved to offer Fifita, who has just returned from playing with French club Lezignan, a contract for the rest of the year with an option on next season.

But Ponissi said: “We haven’t put the offer to him yet. There will be an offer but we’re still working through it.”

The Storm see Fifita, who in his school days once fought his own team-mates when they attacked Andrew who was playing for a rival team, as a possible replacement for the retiring Jason Ryles.

Cronulla are interested in the Fifita brothers teaming up in blue, black and white but despite the bonds between the brothers, the Storm are favourites.

Meanwhile, Storm coach Craig Bellamy said the sport was sending “mixed messages” after Sydney Roosters back rower Boyd Cordner escaped a striking charge on Wednesday night, because the force of his punches was not judged to be severe enough.

“Without getting too deep into it, it does appear there are some mixed messages there,” he said.

“Hopefully in the future, everything will be a lot clearer and we’ll see what’s allowable and what’s not.”

The coach said his advice to players on the matter would be “keep your hands down”.

“I think Nate Myles (in Origin) probably had that mentality. Subconsciously he didn’t think he was going to get hit, but he did,” Bellamy commented.

“It’s a thing they’re obviously looking to stamp out of the game but as we were saying, it is a bit confusing for some people … whether they (punches) have to land or how much damage they have to do.

“Hopefully we’re not going down that path but I’ll leave it up to the NRL to sort that out.”

Bellamy he wouldn’t be surprised to see new Newcastle signing Craig Gower play some role in Sunday’s game at AAMI Park despite not being named.

“I’ve been involved in a couple of sides with him and the one thing is, he’s real competitior,” said Bellamy.

“He loves competing and he really loves working hard for his team-mates. He looks very excited about being back and playing with Newcastle.

“I’d imagine Wayne (Bennett) will play him this week but I’m not sure where or what time of the game he’ll use him.

“I know he’s 35 and most guys are finished by then but he’s a pretty competitive person and I’m sure he’ll give the Knights a lift.”

It’s Old Boys Day for the Storm on Sunday, with former players invited back from far and wide. The Storm have never lost a game on those occasions.

Bellamy said there “seems to be a bit of a buzz around the joint – it was missing there for a while”


Filed for: THE AGE

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