Forward Isaiah Papali'i’s departure looks like another embarrassing piece of business from NZ Warriors, with the young forward reportedly taking a $200,000 paycut to join Parramatta Eels.
Papali'i, 22, has emerged as one of the NRL's best buys so far in 2021, after penning a two-year deal with the Eels at the end of last season.
According to Fox Sports, Papali'i was pocketing $350,000 in his final year with the Warriors, but has settled for $150,000 - well down the pay scale - with his new club.
He was apparently offered a contract extension by the Auckland outfit, but turned it down, wanting to play more in the second row, when the club saw him as a lock.
Despite the financial sacrifice, Papali'i's move across the Tasman has reaped immediate rewards.
In the first six rounds of the 2021 NRL season, Papali'i has scored four tries and averages 134 run metres per game. He's also made 22 tackle busts, four linebreaks and thrown four offloads.
Albeit a smaller sample size, those numbers are a remarkable improvement on Papali'i's numbers for 2020, when he played 17 games for the Warriors, scoring just once, averaging 71 metres, and making 17 tackle busts, two linebreaks and four offloads.
Papali'i was on song in the Eels' round six 35-10 victory over Canberra, scoring twice, as Parramatta ended a 15-year losing streak against the Raiders.
Last year, Papali'i played 17 games for the Warriors, scoring just once, averaging 71 metres run per game, making 17 tackle busts, two line breaks and four offloads.
Papali'i was on song in the Eels' round six 35-10 victory over Canberra, scoring twice as Parramatta ended a 15-year losing streak against the Raiders.
Papali'i credits his stellar start to 2021 on new coach Brad Arthur, who has the Eels sitting third on the NRL ladder, with five wins and one loss from the opening six rounds.
"Playing with these players that they have here, everyone's doing their job well, it only helps me out on the field," Papali'i said after their latest win.
"I think he's simplified it for myself. He just gives me simple goals when I go out there, I just try and do my best with the goals he gives me."
The admiration is mutual, with Arthur not holding back in his appraisal of Papali'i.
"I've said it over and over, so I sound like a broken record, but I really enjoy coaching him," Arthur says.
"He's so professional. Everything he's getting at the moment, he's deserved, because he worked so hard in the pre-season.
"He's so diligent, he's got a willingness to learn and he likes playing around the team that we've got at the moment."
Join us at 8:15pm Sunday for live updates of the NZ Warriors v Melbourne Storm NRL clash.