Because they're a legit chance of making playoffs
So the teams in the 8 should be able to pick up players from teams in the bottom 8, because they are playing finals? That's the rich stealing from the poor.
The system is broken. Pangai Junior should not have been allowed to join the Panthers last season. It sets a messed up system, where a player can ask for a release from a poor side to join a top side for a month of regular season football, to get a shot at a trophy. It gives teams unfair advantages, and screws over the poorer teams at the same time.
If the NRL wants to stop players and managers breaking contracts and giving unfair advantages to the top clubs, they should cut off mid season transfers 2 months earlier. The Storm can go and pick up a reserve grade fullback. Or they should have planned their roster better and have a fill in fullback (which they do, in Meaney).
The Australian media are shocking. The Walsh let him go now vs make him play out his contract (which we have already allowed him to break FFS), they will beat up the Warriors either way. I would prefer Walsh play reserve grade for the rest of the year than give him to a club like the Storm for nothing in return.