‘Dad would be proud’: Tristan Sailor throws Ryan Papenhuyzen’s boot in cheeky act of ‘gamesmanship’

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Broncos fill-in fullback Tristan Sailor has been caught out in a hilarious moment of “gamesmanship” early in his side’s 34-32 loss to the Storm on Thursday night.

Since Reece Walsh suffered a facial fracture in round 3, Sailor has kept the superstar’s No. 1 jersey warm, showing he belongs at NRL level.

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Despite having played just 11 matches since entering the league in 2019, there’s been plenty of talk about how the 25-year-old Sailor deserves a full-time fullback role at the top level.

And a blink and you’ll miss it act of s**thousery in the opening two minutes of the match shows Sailor is more than comfortable in the bright lights.

The Broncos completed their first set of the match, putting up a midfield bomb that was easily defused by Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen.

He was met by his opposite number in Sailor, who made a tackle around Papenhuyzen’s ankles and knocking off his right boot.

But while Sailor could have slotted into marker or got back to his defensive position, instinct took over — and he grabbed Papenhuyzen’s boot, throwing it down field.

Tristan Sailor's hilarious cheeky move

While far from an egregious act, it’s definitely annoying for players and Fox League commentator Andrew Voss caught Sailor red handed.

“I don’t know if everyone caught that on the Fox League screens there — Tristan Sailor saw Ryan Papenhuyzen’s shoe on the ground and threw it some 15m away,” Voss laughed.

“A bit of gamesmanship, make the Melbourne superstar go scouting for his own boot.”

NRL fan Dwayne Nicholls also laughed about the moment on X, writing: “Quality boot throw from Sailor there. Veteran instincts. Dad would be proud.”

There’s been a long history of boot throwing in the NRL.

In the 2019 Origin, Ben Hunt left then Blues coach Brad Fittler fuming after Hunt purposely ripped off Boyd Cordner’s boot before hoicking it out of the field of play.

The next year, the Warriors’ Jack Murchie was penalised for it. And then Stephen Crichton was fined for throwing Justin Olam’s boot in the 2021 preliminary final.

Sailor was busy for the Broncos in the loss to the Storm, running 20 times for 139m as well as throwing a bullet pass for a line break assist to Jesse Arthurs that led to Ezra Mam’s first try in the 26th minute.

But with just under a minute remaining and the Broncos trailing 34-32, Sailor also went for the Hail Mary on the fifth tackle with Brisbane inside the Storm’s 10m, kicking across field.

However, the kick was too deep and easily defused by Will Warbrick.