South Sydney in hot water with NRL over illegal player drama

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South Sydney debutant Trent Peoples is seen here posing with fans after making his debut against Brisbane.
South Sydney is reportedly under investigation over the registration of Trent Peoples. Pic: Rabbitohs/NRL

Veteran rugby league journalist Phil Rothfield says the South Sydney Rabbitohs could have been stripped of two competition points after an illegal player issue in their 32-12 loss to Brisbane.

The Bunnies were largely undone by a masterclass from their former star half Adam Reynolds, who starred with a role in all of Brisbane's first four tries.

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Aside from the inevitable questions about letting Reynolds leave and the disappointment of the 20-point loss, the Rabbitohs could have more to worry about after claims 23-year-old Trent Peoples wasn't officially registered by the NRL before making his debut.

Peoples ran for 110 metres and made 24 tackles in a solid first game in the NRL for the Bunnies.

However, Rothfield has reported that the NRL's Salary Cap Department is looking into the apparent oversight from South Sydney's administration.

Pictured here, South Sydney's Trent Peoples making his debut for the club in the 20-point defeat to Brisbane.
South Sydney's Trent Peoples made his debut for the club in the 20-point defeat to Brisbane in round nine. Pic: Getty

The Daily Telegraph league reporter says the Rabbitohs are facing a fine but could have been docked two competition points had they defeated the Broncos on Thursday night.

“Trent Peoples who made his first grade debut at edge forward at the Rabbitohs is a train and trial player,” Rothfield told 2KY’s Big Sport Breakfast.

“Had Souths beaten the Broncos and they didn’t get anywhere near it did they but they were always a chance, they would have been deducted two competition points.

“The reason being Trent Peoples wasn’t properly registered with the NRL, Trent was stacking shelves at Woolworths during the week and he’s also a sales rep for a clothing company.

“If you’re going to use a player outside of your top 30 you’re going to need permission from the NRL and normally it’s granted particularly during these Covid times when players are falling over and getting ill but they just forgot to do the paperwork.”

Rabbitohs reeling after Adam Reynolds masterclass

The drama has shifted some of the focus away from the Rabbitoh' decision to part ways with Reynolds at the end of last season after being unwilling to offer the 31-year-old more than a one year deal.

Denied a farewell in front of Souths fans last year due to the lockdown, the Rabbitohs junior made that club's call look silly as he terrorised his old back three with his bombs.

Corey Oates and Selwyn Cobbo both benefited with tries, with Souths fullback Blake Taaffe outjumped and also spilling the ball at the back.

Reynolds also scored one of his own, backing up after Tom Flegler and Pat Carrigan both produced offloads.

And after South Sydney got themselves back to 18-12 down with 20 minutes to play, it was Reynolds who broke their hearts.

He booted a penalty goal from near the sideline to extend the margin to eight, before putting Oates through half a hole to allow Herbie Farnworth to cross.

Booed by only small sections of the crowd, Reynolds finished the night back in the burrow signing Souths jerseys after COVID denied him a proper farewell last year.

"They have been a big part of my career. I played over 10 years at the club and they have been supportive since I came into grade," Reynolds said.

Reynolds insisted the win was not about him - but if there was ever any question over whether he had more left in the tank, he answered it at Accor Stadium.

"I just wanted to continue our form for the Broncos," he said.

"That's more important than an individual who wants something over his old team."

with AAP

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