Hoops: Gus’ Secret Conversations with Ciraldo, Pascoe’s Media Cheerleaders

The Wests Tigers are not the only club to have met Penrith’s waiting NRL coach, Cameron Ciraldo.

Canterbury-Bankstown kingpin Phil Gould also had a chat with the much sought-after Panthers assistant and his agent George Mimis.

While Ciraldo’s tour of the Wests Tigers Center of Excellence was made public within hours on Monday, Gould tries to keep his coaching candidate cards tightly wrapped so no one can see it.

It will be fascinating to see what kind of spider Gus tries to give the encounter with Ciraldo.

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Remember, these two have history with Gould who promoted Ciraldo to head coach of the Panthers in 2018 when he fired Anthony Griffin.

Ciraldo is also good buddies with ex-Bulldogs coach Trent Barrett, so he’ll be well-versed in how the landscape is shaped in Belmore.

Panthers supremo Brian Fletcher still believes Ciraldo may well choose to stay with the prime ministers for another season as an assistant coach in 2023.

As it stands, Ciraldo is the highest paid assistant coach in the game and rightly so given his football IQ.

Much has been said about the Wests Tigers willing to make Ciraldo a five-year offer, but in reality it is his agent Mimis who has presented those terms to the club.

Considering the way the Tigers have been cycled by Jason Taylor, Ivan Cleary and Michael Maguire over the past six seasons, it’s a smart move by Mimis.

Tigers to make Ciraldo 5-year offer | 00:54

PASCOE CHEERLEADERS JUST Embarrassing

Cast me a spell with the pelicans trying to defend the invisible CEO of Wests Tigers, Justin Pascoe, over Michael Maguire’s firing.

The reality is that it’s now been seven years since Pascoe reportedly drove the wheel in Concord – without a single finale.

In those seven years, the Tigers fired two coaches in Jason Taylor and Maguire and let Pascoe-led ill-fated Ivan Cleary play.

And don’t get us started on Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall’s treatment of club legends.

Making matters worse is the fact that Pascoe made headlines this year when he took a week of annual leave to go to the Northern Territory after Wests Tigers started the 0-5 season.

Leadership? Not so much.

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SENIOR CHOOKS REV UP PRIME ANGUS

The Sydney Roosters senior players led an honesty session with the NRL side leading up to the Round 14 showdown with arch-rivals Melbourne Storm.

One player who was particularly picked for strong rating in terms of form was backrower Angus Crichton.

While most of us thought Crichton’s return to form was more in line with trying to reclaim his NSW State of Origin jersey, the Roosters leadership group rating also seems to have played an important factor.

With NSW pursuers Tariq Sims and Ryan Matterson set to be rejected for Origin II in Perth, Crichton is now all the way back into the mix to force his way back into the Blues 17.

Souths captain Cameron Murray will replace Sims as the Blues starter on the left wing, but the Blues still need to find a backrower in front of the bench who can also spend time in the middle if needed.

Crichton fits right in and a strong game against the Eels on Saturday night could seal his return to the Origin arena.

Felise Kafusi acquitted by justice | 00:53

MADGE COURTS KIWIS IN CANBERRAI

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire has wasted no time tearing down his role as Kiwis coach for the upcoming Test match against Tonga in rep round.

Maguire was spotted in Canberra sipping coffee with the Green Machine’s Kiwi contingent, which included outstanding front rower Joe Tapine.

Tapine’s performance in a losing game to the Broncos in round 14 was out of this world and if the Raiders had gotten a little better leadership from older players they probably would have brought Brisbane’s winning streak of seven games to a halt.

Raiders stars Jordan Rapana and Corey Harawira-Naera are also expected to be on the Kiwi Test team.

Another unsung player who seems ready to force his way onto the Kiwi squad is Penrith’s hard-working backrower Scott Sorensen.

The grand final winning attacker flies under the radar by making headlines every week, but was a brilliant find for the prime ministers.

It’s a nice touch given the family history with his uncles Dane and Kurt, two of New Zealand’s strongest attackers in the 1970s and 1980s.

TIGERS JUMP THE GUN AT LEILUA RELEASE

The suggestion that the North Queensland Cowboys are locked up because of the margin for a salary cap, which jeopardizes the deal with Luciano Leilua, is untrue.

The truth is, the Tigers called the Cowboys on Tuesday to see if they were still interested in releasing Leilua early.

The Cowboys crunched the numbers and called the Tigers back to confirm they were in and would be happy to take over the backrower immediately.

The Tigers were a bit happy with the media release then – the Cowboys caught off guard as they still had to dot the i’s and cross the T’s on all the necessary paperwork.

Anyway, the deal goes through.

If the Cowboys can get Leilua to show his best form, that would be a great mid-season pick for North Queensland.

Especially considering the young shooter Heilum Luki is out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

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Former Blues back Latrell for Origin II | 01:06

WOOLF HUNT FOR BLUES STARS FOR TONGA

Despite being on the other side of the world as St Helens coach in the UK Super League, Tonga coach Kristian Woolf has done a brilliant job selecting an extremely strong line-up for the representative round Test match against New -Zealand.

Woolf has been in regular contact with the majority of the Tonga squad to the point where he has even selected a large number of players who were either in the NSW Blues lineup or lined up for a call-up.

Winger Daniel Tupou, five-eighth Kotoni Staggs, center Sifa Talaki and backrowers Keaon Koloamatangi and Haumole Olakau’atu were either in the Blues 17 for Origin I or on the radar, but Woolf got them all to buy into Tongan Test team.

In the case of Blues incumbents Tupou and Staggs, they will now have to make a major decision if they are also selected in the NSW lineup for Origin II on Sunday.

It explains why the New Zealand Warriors see Woolf as a leading candidate to replace the late Nathan Brown for next season and beyond.

Woolf will remain in the UK for the mid-season test match with Dean Young and Wayne Bennett to coach the Tongan team.

#Hoops #Gus #Secret #Conversations #Ciraldo #Pascoes #Media #Cheerleaders

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