Masked Panther: Tamou a Tiger?

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Panthers captain James Tamou is said to be just days away from deciding his future, and everything is pointing to the premiership-winning prop signing with the Wests Tigers. Penrith is preparing for life without Tamou, who is off-contract at the end of the season but wants to stay in the NRL rather than find a deal in England. The 31-year-old has been in strong form this season and would be a solid signing for the Tigers, who are desperate to escape from mediocrity.

Panthers captain James Tamou. Photo: NRL Images.

I don’t have any solid sources to back this up, but a Masked Panther reader tells me the Panthers are keen on signing exciting Brisbane back Kotoni Staggs. The powerful 21-year-old is contracted to the Broncos for next season.

Former Penrith coach Anthony Griffin is headed to St George-Illawarra for the next two seasons, with an option in the club’s favour for a third year. Griffin’s appointment prompted some reflection from former Panthers five-eighth Jamie Soward, who had a rumoured rift with the coach back in 2016. “I was at a different stage in my life and dealing with a lot as well as trying to save my career at Penrith,” Soward said this week. “I wasn’t the best version of myself then and have changed a lot in the past five years. After working with Hook on 2GB the past two years, I have found we see the game very much the same way and actually regret that I didn’t see it like this when we were working together.”

Spotted: Try scoring machine Stephen Crichton arriving at Panthers training this week with a Krispy Kreme coffee.

Spotted: Nathan Cleary paying tribute to his Dad and coach Ivan with a touching Father’s Day post on Instagram last Sunday.

The NRL has halved Ivan Cleary’s $20,000 fine for comments about match officials ‘managing’ Canberra back into the game against Penrith back in early August. Cleary penned a strong explanation to the NRL and officials at League Central saw the light, re-issuing the fine in the shape of $10,000 and suspending the remainder.

Expect the Panthers to make an announcement regarding the Merv Cartwright Medal in the coming days.

I’m hearing there could be some good news inside the next fortnight for the NRL in relation to the size of Finals crowds.

Wanted: A barber for Brian To’o. We love you Brian, but this has to go.

Photo: NRL Images.

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