NRL journalist Paul Kent has torn the Melbourne Storm to shreds after they announced the re-signings of five players over five hours on Wednesday in what he labelled 'embarrassing' and a 'gimmick'.
The Storm announced that George Jennings, Jayden Nikorima and Dean Ieremia had all been re-signed on one-year contracts, with Marion Seve and Grant Anderson upgraded to the top 30 roster for 2023.
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However the manner in which the club announced the news was particularly bizarre, coming on five different social media channels across five hours.
The Storm had teased the news 24 hours beforehand, tweeting an emoji of five hands with pens in their hands and writing: "We're not naming names...but there's some good news stories coming tomorrow."
We're not naming names...but there's some good news stories coming tomorrow 🤫🤐
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) August 23, 2022
The tease had fans eagerly anticipating some news on star five-eighth Cameron Munster, who has been linked to a switch to the Dolphins.
*Munster not included, folks (you'll still love the news though 😁)
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) August 24, 2022
But when Munster wasn't part of the big reveal on Wednesday, Kent was left fuming.
“Let’s be honest, this is a gimmick, this is just a gimmick, it is embarrassing,” he said on NRL 360 on Wednesday night.
“What they did was they staggered the release of the five names to be released all separately over different forms of social media.
“It was a gimmick… come on, it is how you make something out of nothing.
“Those five names, respectfully, would not have created a blip in a conversation with people, unless Munster was among the five, which he was not, everyone would have looked over it and gone, next.
“Why not put it out in one press release and let it go, don’t sit there and pre-empt it last night.
“He puts it out and says ‘big announcement tomorrow’ and then they drip feed everybody over the length of the day with five separate announcements.
“They are trying to create interest where there is none.”
However Phil Rothfield disagreed with Kent's stance, saying Storm fans would have been very interested in the news regardless.
“What is wrong with it… these are good top 30 players," Rothfield said.
“Can I say this, it might not be of interest to you, but their members and their fans, they reached 40,000 members yesterday and they want to know this.
“They are not trying to appeal to you mate, they have 40,000 members."
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Munster's agent Braith Anasta revealed on Tuesday that Storm officials had put forward an "impressive offer" as they attempt to fend off the Dolphins' interest.
Coach Wayne Bennett has also expressed the Dolphins' interest in Latrell Mitchell for 2024 if Munster doesn't join his competition newcomers, in what would have been an unwelcome story for his former club South Sydney.
Munster is off contract at the end of next year and will technically become a free agent on November 1, when he will be cleared to take up deals from other clubs for 2024.
The Storm have been desperate to wrap up the five-eighth all season, with his contract becoming one of the ongoing storylines of 2022.
Anasta claimed on Wednesday night that up to four rival clubs had already made contact about his client and unless things changed, Munster would remain off contract come November 1.
"Cameron is still negotiating with the Melbourne Storm at the moment. They have been unbelievable throughout the process," Anasta said on NRL 360.
"(Melbourne owner) Matt Tripp is doing everything in his power to keep Cameron at the club.
"But as it stands right now it looks most likely at this point that we will go to the market in November. But things could change between now and then."
This is the nobbiest thing to do to us Storm Fans. 100% with Kenty on this. Whoever's idea this was needs a good kick from Frank.....
— Rugby League Fantasy Pro (@RLFantasyPro) August 24, 2022
The "good news" so far:
— NRL Rocks (@TheTrut01152893) August 24, 2022
That was depressing. Can you name some stars at least?
— Joel (@fergburg84) August 24, 2022
Honestly can’t think of anything worse than this. What a waste of my 5 hours lol
— Willie Laulu (@LauluWillie) August 24, 2022
This is actually very embarrassing…. Whoever thought this was breaking new ground with marketing should be fired.
— Waingro (@VeetonLouis) August 24, 2022
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