Wests Tigers contract, news, Michael Maguire, Briton Nikora re-signs, salary cap woes, Buzz Rothfield, NRL360, ladder

The Tigers’ failed attempt to lure Briton Nikora away from the Sharks exposed one glaring issue — the club’s challenge in signing top-level talent — but also triggered a debate around the approach they should be taking.

The 24-year-old is set to re-sign with the Cronulla club on a three-year $1.7 million extension which will see his stay extend to the end of 2025.

The Tigers were in hot pursuit of the gun backrower, but according to The Daily Telegraph’s Brent Read, tabled an offer significantly lower than his new Sharks contract.

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“Another one the Wests Tigers have missed out on… this guy could have added a lot to that team,” Rothfield said on NRL360.

“Can I say it is a bit unfair to say the Wests Tigers missed out on him, because they weren’t willing to give him the money Cronulla gave him,” Read said.

“They missed out, they tried to sign him Ready,” Rothfield said.

“What why, because they didn’t want to blow the budget paying what they thought he was worth? I think that is unfair,” Read said.

“They tried to sign him and missed out,” Rothfield said.

“Well they didn’t offer as much money as Cronulla,” Read replied.

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The Tigers’ roster management in the past has caused the club issues, having signed a number of players on big-money deals who failed to deliver.

While many would suggest the Tigers must be smart with their cap, Rothfield believes they should offer lucrative deals to players they want to sign.

The merger club have already secured veteran dummy-half Apisai Koroisau and workhorse Isaiah Papali’I for the 2023 season and now will be hoping to complete some smart buys to continue their rebuild.

“What are you saying Cronulla paid overs (for Nikora)?” Rothfield asked.

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“I am saying they paid a lot more than the Wests Tigers were willing to pay for him,” Read said.

“Maybe the Wests Tigers, if they want to sign quality players, should go into the market properly and offer realistic money,” Rothfield.

“They have signed a couple of decent players, Koroisau and Papali’i, but you can’t bust your cap by paying overs, they have had enough trouble doing that over the years, their cap has been a mess for five or six years ,” Read said.

“It is probably a good decision from the Tigers not to pay overs for Nikora,” Anasta added.

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“But when you’re a club like the Wests Tigers, a bit like the Canberra Raiders, a bit like Newcastle, you have got to pay overs,” Rothfield said.

Paul Kent and Brent Read completely disagreed, explaining that paying overs for players that aren’t in your spine only creates issues.

“Buzz that is what has got them into trouble, because what you have to do is keep the top elite players at the right value and them developing underneath and eventually you will be an attractive option for a player,” Kent said.

“The Tigers are in trouble now because they paid overs for too many players the last three or four years,” Anasta added.

“But you have got to pick your mark, you don’t pay overs, with due respect for Briton Nikora, you pay overs for spine blokes who are going to win you games,” Read said.

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