Kurt likely to extend time at Panthers
Kurt Capewell had one foot out the door earlier this year with a desire to move back to Queensland after a couple of years at Penrith. But the 27-year-old now looks likely to stay at the foot of the Mountains for one more season, with Penrith officials growing in confidence that he’ll stick around for at least the 2022 season. That would align perfectly with a possible return to the sunshine state in 2023 to join the new Brisbane franchise, which is likely to be given the green light to enter the competition.
Penrith are keen to keep Capewell given his experience while the man himself has very much found a home at Penrith and was buoyed by the support he received during a well-publicised tough time in the off-season.
Bankwest Panthers from 2023
The Panthers are preparing to call Bankwest Stadium home from 2023 with confidence high that the State Government will announce funding to re-build Panthers Stadium in the upcoming State Budget.
The two years away from home while the new stadium is built would be tough on the fan base and memberships, while local sponsors I’ve spoken to have expressed split opinions.
There’s plenty of boxes to tick and a pile of issues to work through once the funding is secured, so for now it’s a matter of one step at a time, with all eyes on NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on June 22.
90s icon chips in his view
Former winger Robbie Beckett was a fan favourite at Penrith through the 1990s and he’s still a keen follower of the game. But in recent weeks ‘boom boom’ has, along with many of us, shaken his head at the NRL’s crackdown on high shots. He believes the game’s new rules are to blame for an increase in head knocks.
“The six-again rule is too much too soon for the players’ fitness,” he said on Facebook. “Now the boys cannot keep up… the players union need to step in for them and hold an urgent meeting.”
Former Sharks legend David Peachey at Apex Oval last Sunday watching the Panthers maul the Rabbitohs.
Dogs at historic odds to cause upset
The Bulldogs have become Sportsbet’s longest priced NRL team to win a match in history. In the online bookmaker’s head-to-head market, the Bulldogs are $19 to beat Penrith.
The Warriors held the honour last season, when they were $15 ahead of their clash with the Roosters. After leading at half-time the Warriors went on to lose.
The Panthers are $1.01 to extend their unbeaten run to 12 against the Bulldogs, who surprisingly, held 84 per cent of early turnover.
“If the Bulldogs manage to beat the Panthers it will go down as one of the greatest upsets of all-time. Penrith are unbeaten and steam-rolling teams, while the Doggies have won just one of 11,’’ said sportsbet.com.au’s Rich Hummerston.
Api a chance for Blues call-up
There’s growing talk that Api Koroisau could be a surprise call-up into the New South Wales team for the Origin opener against Queensland next month.
While Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook was seen as a certain starter for the Blues, there’s concerns over his recent form particularly given the Bunnies have been smashed by 50 in two of their last three games, and only just got home against Cronulla.
Sunday Origin set to be scrapped
Talking of Origin, it’s expected to be confirmed at the end of the year that all three games will be played on Wednesday nights from 2022, with the Sunday experiment deemed a failure in terms of TV ratings.
Pre-season festival of footy
The NRL is edging towards a pre-season tournament of sorts from next year, formalising trial matches into a festival of footy that would be broadcast on Fox League. It’s possible there’ll be footy on every night of the week for a fortnight with rivalry games including Penrith up against Parramatta. Matches like the All Stars would also be included. Watch this space.
Who wore it better?
What a great moment this was in Dubbo last Sunday – Viliame Kikau meeting a young supporter who is obviously a fan of the big man’s hair cut.
To’o explains loss of ratty
Penrith winger Brian To’o has admitted his girlfriend cut off his famous rattail.
“I’ve had it for a long time, but the missus cut it off. It was either cut my hair and grow the ratty or cut the ratty and grow my hair. It was pretty depressing… I was so sad,” the lovable larrikin said.