Trindall wins back Sharks jersey, avoids further bans

Having won back Cronulla’s No.6 jersey, Braydon Trindall is also set to escape a further ban from the NRL for driving with drugs and alcohol in his system.

Trindall has been named at five-eighth to tackle the Dolphins on Thursday night, his third game back since he sat out five matches following the driving offenses.

Withdrawn from selection by the Sharks in April, Trindall last month pleaded guilty to mid-range drinking driving and driving with an illicit substance in his system.

He was fined $1100 in Sutherland Court and handed a three-month suspension from driving, before also coping with a breach notice from the NRL.

Trindall was due to respond to that notice by the end of last week, and AAP has been told the Sharks No.6 will be fined alongside other punishments.

But he will not be forced to sit out any more football, with the suspension imposed by the NRL already accounted for by time served during his five-game hiatus at the Sharks.

Trindall has played the past two games for the Sharks as the NRL considered his options, but Tuesday had always loomed as crunch time for the 24-year-old.

Daniel Atkinson had been impressed in Trindall’s absence, while the pair played together in the halves for the past fortnight with Nicho Hynes missing.

But with Cronulla back to full strength in their halves for Thursday night against the Dolphins, coach Craig Fitzgibbon has preferred Trindall over Atkinson in the No.6 jersey.

“It’s massive (for him to be back),” hooker Blayke Brailey said of Trindall’s inclusion.

“He went through that period there where it was tough for him. He was playing great footy before.

“Dan Atkinson stepped into that role and he played outstandingly. It’s a bit of a headache for Fitzy there with the halves combination.

“It just shows the strength of our side and how far we’ve come. You need a whole team to win a competition, not individual players. So it’s great.”

Hynes had been among those to stress the importance of Trindall’s mental health after his driving charge – and the importance of getting him back on the field to help that.

Trindall was one of the Sharks’ best in their win over Brisbane on Saturday night, and Brailey said the Indigenous All-Star appeared a happier man again.

“He’s good. He’s happy now. He’s playing consistent footy. He is a very bubbly and out-there person.

“He’s making jokes. He’s laughing. He’s having fun,” Brailey said.

Penrith’s Taylan May saga is likely to drag on further after the stood-down center fronted the board to fight for his contract on Tuesday.

May has been issued a show-cause notice for a number of alleged incidents, which do not relate to his domestic-violence charge which remains before the courts.

The Panthers board is expected to deliberate on the 22-year-old’s future in the coming days, before making a call on whether to rip up the player’s $600,000-a-year contract signed in March.

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