Siosifa Talakai gets close to a blue jersey.

NRL player Siosifa Talakai was very close to a blue jersey a few weeks ago when police charged him with a driving offence and prompted his nomination for The Fronwlow Medal.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.

On the eve of Origin selections, Talakai was caught driving on an expired licence in southern Sydney and was ordered to face court to defend the charge. The Cronulla Sharks centre then compounded the matter when he did not attend court and was issued with an arrest warrant.

Apparently, the Sharks didn’t know about the incident until informed by a news outlet, but later said that his no show was due to an ‘oversight’. The barnstorming centre was originally left out of the team to face the Warriors as a result of the matter, but was reinstated to the team and given permission to play.

Judges of The Fronwlow Medal hope Talakai accepts the invitation to attend the awards night for the medal and the hall of fame later this year, and stress that they will be very offended if he does not show up.

Image: Getty Images

State of Origin game 1 will finish 7-7.

Log onto your betting apps folks because The Fronwlow Medal can reveal that the first game of the 2022 State of Origin series will finish 7-7. This year’s series is expected to be the tightest in recent years, although one factor could tip the result in the favour of the Blues.

New South Wales and Queensland will both field teams containing seven Frownlow nominees, including both captains.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

James Tedesco leads the New South Wales nominees. He got into a scuffle with a teammate in the Italy squad way back in 2017. Joining Teddy are Kotoni Staggs, Jack Wighton, Nathan Cleary, Payne Haas, Junior Paulo and Stephen Crichton.

Meanwhile, DCE leads the nominees for the Maroons, also for fighting with a teammate. He once had a tiff with former Manly teammate Jackson Hastings, at a strip club. He will lead a team containing fellow nominees Kalyn Ponga, Selwyn Cobbo, Valentine Holmes, Cameron Munster, Ben Hunt and Josh Papali’i.

What could tip the opener?

The coaches.

New Queensland boss Billy Slater has never been nominated for Frownlow honours, whereas Brad Fittler was nominated for the hall of fame in 2018 after once being declared ‘The Drunkest Human Being Ever’. This title was given to him by police after he was found asleep on the steps of a police station as a young man.

Maybe Tedesco will make the difference. He was also nominated in 2021 for the infamous Squid Games joke.

It’s going to be a close one.

Who’s your money on?

Image: http://www.nrl.com