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Heartbreaking scenes after NRL thrashing

Ken Maumalo is leaving his Warriors teammates to join the Tigers.

Ken Maumalo cut an emotional figure in his last game for the New Zealand Warriors on Sunday.

The Tigers announced on Saturday that Maumalo would join the club mid-season, so it’s no surprise there were a few raised eyebrows when the hulking winger was named to start for the Warriors against Melbourne.

An injury to Rocco Berry brought Maumalo into the side for one last outing, and fittingly, he scored three tries in the Warriors’s 42-16 loss to the Storm at Central Coast Stadium.

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After scoring the last try of his triptych, the star broke down in tears, the emotion of leaving the club that handed him his NRL debut clearly weighing on him.

Teammates consoled the 26-year-old, who could line up for the Tigers as soon as next week.

“He’s upset, and you can understand that. That’s a pretty emotional moment for Ken,” Fox League’s Greg Alexander said in his call of the game.

“Beautiful scenes as the emotion bubbles over, no doubt not an easy time,” added Matt Russell

Maumalo is joining the Tigers mid-season.
Maumalo is joining the Tigers mid-season.

MUNSTER SMASH

Cameron Munster is playing with fire after he was placed on report for the second time this week for lashing out with a boot as Melbourne jumped to the top of the table with their win on Sunday.

The Maroons star was slapped with a $1150 fine for kicking Liam Martin in the State of Origin opener on Wednesday, but he clearly hasn’t learnt his lesson after he was put on report for a similar incident on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

The pair hugged it out moments after the toe poke, but Munster needs to address the tactic immediately given he was sin-binned for a more aggressive kick on Roosters centre Joseph Manu in the 2018 Grand Final.

Munster is a passionate player who often lets his emotions do the talking, but another brain snap could come back to bite him if he’s not careful.

The Storm’s winning streak has stretched to 11. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
The Storm’s winning streak has stretched to 11. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

WISH GRANTED

He was kept quiet behind a well-beaten pack in the Origin opener, but Harry Grant showed why he is the best hooker in the competition and the reason why Melbourne should be favourites to defend their title.

In his first club game since Round 9, the crafty rake came on after 21 minutes and made an instant impact when he darted from dummy-half to help set up the Storm’s first try.

He was at it again five minutes later when he played short to Brandon Smith to send his partner in crime over for a gift four points, grubbered through to set up Jahrome Hughes for the first try of the second half and then burrowed over for his own meat pie in the closing stages.

Grant’s one-two punch with Smith is the most damaging combination in the game and a reason why they’ve scored the most points through 14 rounds in the NRL era, although the latter is on report for a high shot on Josh Curran.

ROGER THAT

He didn’t get the chance to dazzle us with his usual attacking flair, but Roger Tuivasa-Sheck showed why he is regarded as the best defensive fullback in the game with another freaky tackle to deny Dean Ieremia a certain four-pointer.

The Storm winger thought he’d bagged his second try of the afternoon but he didn’t bank on Roger’s resilience as he snuck an arm under the ball to somehow keep the Steeden off the ground.

Not to be outdone, teammate Chanel Harris-Tavita dished out one of his trademark big hits to stop Smith in his tracks and force an error when the Cheese looked certain to slice through.

Unfortunately, the Warriors halfback won’t get the chance to unleash more monster shots after he suffered a suspected season-ending torn pec, which could see Reece Walsh move to the halves when he returns from suspension.

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