The boardroom power struggle at the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs has filtered through to the players, with revelations forward David Klemmer is upset over a private conversation with club legend and rival ticket nominee, Paul Dunn.
NRL.com has been told Klemmer took offence to comments made by Dunn at a Kangaroos reunion in Sydney during last year's World Cup.
Dunn, who is on the Lynne Anderson-led ticket trying to remove Canterbury chairman Ray Dib from power at next month's elections, is believed to have criticised Klemmer's output for the Bulldogs in comparison to his performances for NSW and Australia.
Klemmer wouldn't comment on the details of the conversation but intrigued onlookers couldn't help but notice the Australian forward's anger over the comments that questioned why he wasn't as effective in club football as he has been in the representative arena.
Two weeks later Klemmer learned Dunn was on the rival ticket challenging Dib, who Klemmer has publicly backed in the media over the past week as a result of the positive changes made at the club over the off-season.
Players and officials at the Bulldogs are well aware of the comments made to Klemmer. Dunn also declined to comment when contacted by NRL.com.
It comes as tension escalates between the two prospective boards. The Bulldogs board members this week launched legal action against the seven rebel ticket nominees.
They were all sent concerns notices after they released a statement to Fairfax Media and NewsCorp claiming Dib and the board had hired a PR firm to compile a "dirt file" against them.
Earlier this month NRL.com reported Chris Anderson, the husband of Lynne, rejected a handshake approach from Dib at a public members forum at Belmore Sportsground before Christmas.
Former players and club members are receiving phone calls and door knocks from the Anderson-led ticket trying to muster up support. It's safe to assume there will be plenty more fun and games before the February 11 election rolls around.
Cartwright needs to lift
This is a huge year for Bryce Cartwright. The Penrith Panthers supported him through an emotionally draining year in 2017 that came at the expense of his own form.
Once tipped to be a regular in the NSW Origin side for years to come, Cartwright was a shadow of himself last year.
He still has another four years to run on his contract and the Panthers want to see him reach his full potential after investing so much in Cartwright.
NRL.com has been told the Panthers have made it quite clear to him in the pre-season that this is his make-or-break year.
Only 12 months ago the Panthers signed Cartwright and Matt Moylan to lucrative long-term deals until the end of 2021.
Moylan has since joined the Cronulla Sharks. It's now up to Cartwright to reproduce the form that lit up the Telstra Premiership in 2016 or risk being the latest player to explore his options elsewhere.
Peachey checks out Titans set-up
Still on the Panthers, and it turns out Tyrone Peachey was on the Gold Coast over the weekend checking out the Titans' facilities before his expected arrival at the club in 2019.
The deal is worth close to $600,000 a season over three years. Peachey has formally asked for a release from the club, but only from the final year of his deal next year.
The Titans wouldn't say no to Peachey arriving in 2018 but coach Garth Brennan is happy to play ball with the Panthers given his close relationship with Penrith general manager Phil Gould.
The Panthers know releasing Peachey next year would help them in their bid to retain the off-contract Josh Mansour, who has been spoken about as a potential Bulldogs target.
Eels get all-clear over Hayne deal
The NRL made some enquiries into Jarryd Hayne's deal with the Parramatta Eels before Christmas.
Despite some questioning whether the Eels paid market value in signing Hayne for $500,000, the NRL had no problem with the price tag.
It turns out the enquiries made were in relation to his former agent and close advisor, Wayne Beavis.
Beavis is no longer an accredited agent and is not allowed to get involved in Hayne's contract negotiations.
The NRL wanted to make sure everything was above board and had been keeping an eye on Beavis's activity for some time. It's understood the NRL is satisfied with the way the Eels handled the matter.
Walmsley needs to drop asking price
England international Alex Walmsley continues to be linked with a stint in the NRL from 2019.
The Parramatta Eels and Newcastle Knights are just a few of the clubs that have made enquiries however some are baulking at the asking price of around $600,000 a year.
Trial will be under lock and key
The Newcastle Knights and the Melbourne Storm will hold a closed trial next Wednesday at AAMI Park to help the premiers prepare for the World Club Challenge against Leeds.
It will be Mitchell Pearce's first game for the Knights, however the gates will be locked and only the two clubs' players and officials will be able to watch. It's an idea the Storm have taken from the A-League.
Shirvo teaching Dogs new tricks
You can expect to see the Bulldogs running with more speed in 2018 after adding former Olympic sprint star Matt Shirvington to their ranks as their sprint coach.
Sea Eagle flies onto match review committee
Premiership-winning winger Michael Robertson has become the latest addition to the NRL’s match review committee, replacing Ben Ross. Robertson will join fellow co-ordinator Michael Buettner and fellow panel members Michael Hodgson and Stuart Raper in dissecting each game from the NRL Bunker and deciding the fate of offending players.
In 2008 Robertson, a Scotland international, became the first player to score three tries in an NRL grand final in the Sea Eagles’ record-breaking 40-0 defeat of Melbourne. The NRL streamlined its match review committee in 2017, reducing the committee to four members.
With a new panel, the introduction of a fines system and reforms to the grading of charges, last year there was a significant reduction in the number of charges – 89 in 2017, compared to 142 in 2016.
The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.