Wests Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis has criticized sections of the media for reporting John Bateman’s absence

“If any segment of the media has evidence that what I have said publicly is false or misleading then I would ask them to provide it [the] I do not care. I would also like to caution anyone against publicly suggesting that I have lied to or misled our supporters. Some may consider such comments defamatory.

“To use the immortal words of Mark Twain in his Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court of 1889: Said journalists may give up or shut up.” I apologize for the dark and somewhat somber tone of my speech today.”

“I felt it necessary to ensure that everyone who is here fully understood that any information submitted on behalf of this club will be fully transparent and open. Please enjoy the afternoon. And I’m really looking forward to celebrating a Wests Tigers win with all of you later today.”

Bateman is expected to make his Tigers debut in round four.

Katoa is facing a decision on eligibility

Dolphins young gun Isaiya Katoa has a big decision to make in the coming months. He is currently being courted by both the NSWRL and New Zealand.

He is also eligible to play for Tonga, which he did at the World Cup. Penrith saw him as a future superstar but his path was blocked with Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai at the club.

Dolphins youngster Isaiya Katoa during their preseason game against the Cowboys.

Dolphins youngster Isaiya Katoa during their preseason game against the Cowboys.Credit:NRL photos

He signed with the Dolphins for about $200,000 that year. It was a lot of money for a teenager who had never played in the NRL, but now it looks like a steal.

He played a big part in the Dolphins’ winning attempt against Canberra on Saturday night and underpinned a strong showing in his debut against the Roosters.

His old club Penrith will spend the farewell round at a bonding camp in Kiama this week.

Warner goes into the bat for Roosters

Around the same time his team-mates took the field for Saturday’s fourth Test in India, Australia’s injured opening batsman David Warner entered the Allianz Stadium.

The herald spotted Warner entering the Sydney Roosters’ chairman’s suite with his daughter to watch his team battle the Warriors.

Returning rooster Dylan Napa was also seen in the stands deep in conversation with longtime club director Mark Bouris.

Joseph Suaalii and Joey Manu celebrate a try.

Joseph Suaalii and Joey Manu celebrate a try.Credit:Getty

Hold the phone

There was a bizarre incident during the Roosters-Warriors game that went unnoticed at the time. Early in the second half, Roosters center Joseph Suaalii stopped to pick up an object from the surface at Allianz Stadium.

It was a cell phone. He quickly turned it over to the touch judge to remove it from the field. The phone turned out to belong to a parent of one of the young halftime cast members.

Turner sits out the Dragons’ opener

The Dragons failed to field recruit Paul Turner in their first game of the season against the Titans on Sunday night.

As part of his release from the Titans, St George Illawarra officials agreed that he would not be eligible to play against his old club.

Kikau helps the Bulldogs win promising snare from the Tigers

The Wests Tigers are secretly furious at losing one of their brightest young stars to the Bulldogs.

Kitione Kautoga, who made his only NRL appearance for the Tigers against the Dragons in Round 24 last year, is on his way to Belmore.

The Fijian forward, who scored three NSW Cup tries in the opening round, was brought to the Tigers by former general manager Adam Hartigan. Hartigan now works with Phil Gould at the Bulldogs.

The pair arranged for Kautoga to meet coach Cameron Ciraldo and his idol Viliame Kikau. It was enough to get him over the line.

The Tigers are asking the Bulldogs for a $160,000 transfer fee to release him this year, but it doesn’t look like it.

Anderson on the mend

The herald reported in the summer of the beach accident that left one of rugby league’s most likable characters, Daniel Anderson, in the hospital.

The Sydney Roosters’ recruiting manager is still recovering in hospital but has returned to taking phone calls and speaking to managers and opposing clubs. Anderson has a long way to go but it’s great to see him back in rugby league.

Souths goes it alone with new website

South Sydney will leave the NRL’s digital arm and agree on an agreement to leave the governing body network to launch their own website.

All 17 clubs use the NRL platform under an agreement signed six years ago. The NRL’s digital operations have been severely curtailed in recent years as management diverted funds to other departments in the company.

“I would like to thank Andrew Abdo and Alexi Baker [chief digital officer] for their support of this initiative,” said South Sydney boss Blake Solly.

“The NRL’s digital priorities have changed in recent years and with their support, our club has decided to take more control of its platforms.

“We will continue to work with the NRL on a number of areas, but we’re also happy to invest more in our own content and technology to ensure Rabbitohs members and fans have a great experience.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/put-up-or-shut-up-tigers-boss-slams-clickbait-media-in-fiery-pre-game-speech-20230312-p5crd4.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Wests Tigers chairman Lee Hagipantelis has criticized sections of the media for reporting John Bateman’s absence

Ryan Sederquist

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