Jarome will take no risks with knee
Jarome Luai is hopeful of returning for next weekend’s game against the Warriors but the club will take no chances, even if it means fielding a side without both of their halves.
The 24-year-old is currently in a knee brace after suffering a minor medial ligament injury in his left knee last weekend.
The injury will rule him out of Origin III, and club officials see no reason to risk further damage heading into the business end of the season.
Fish signs new deal after pay negoation
The Panthers have reeled in James Fisher-Harris on a new four-year contract extension.
Talks had stalled some time ago with both parties far apart on money expectations, but as expected a deal was done in the end. It’ll mean Fish is at the Panthers until at least the end of the 2026 season.
“It’s every player’s dream to stay at one club for a long time. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to do it at a club like this,” Fisher-Harris said.
“Now it’s my turn to do my job, put the team first and do everything I can to repay the faith the club has shown in me.”
Push for Gower’s Dally M continues
There could still be hope of Craig Gower receiving his much-deserved 2003 Dally M, which he missed out on due to a player strike.
Plenty of whispers are doing the rounds suggesting the investigation undertaken by the NRL was sub-par, with key figures not questioned – including The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie, who was the judge for the final round match between Penrith and Parramatta in 2003, won by the Panthers. Gower played a starring role. This story may have some life yet.
Sowie impresses in commentary debut
Former Panthers five-eighth Jamie Soward made his NRL commentary debut with the 2GB Continuous Call Team last Sunday afternoon, and did a stunning job.
While Soward has been chasing his commentary dream for a while now and has called full games in the lower grades, plenty were surprised at just how natural he sounded as a lead commentator. He’ll be back on 2GB this weekend and may have just found his post-footy calling.
Cleary’s sideline view
Ivan Cleary chose to sit on the sideline for the first half of last week’s clash against the Eels, most likely to get a feel for the game given the unusual circumstance of playing in front of a closed stadium. He was back in his coach’s box for the second half.
Tea search: Channel Nine commentator Andrew Johns in a desperate search for a cup of tea at half-time of last Friday’s clash between Penrith and Parramatta at BlueBet Stadium.
Small audience: Zac Bailey still on deck doing the ground announcing at BlueBet Stadium last Friday night despite the lack of crowd. I’m told Bailey was on a special COVID pay rate, given the circumstances.
High profile help: Injured halfback Nathan Cleary giving plenty of advice to Jarome Luai in the sheds at half-time of the Panthers v Eels clash.
Eager fans blocked out
The Panthers were one step ahead of eager fans last Friday – blocking the fences that would given desperate supporters the opportunity to watch the match against the Eels from outside of the ground.
Capewell desperate for QLD return
I told you months and months ago that Kurt Capewell wanted to head home to Queensland, and it was one of the driving factors behind his decision to sign with Brisbane from next season. The Queensland Origin star did ponder an offer from the Panthers, but once the Broncos’ offer was on the table, everything fell into place.
Koroisau gets Blues start
Api Koroisau will make his State of Origin debut next Wednesday night after being picked on the bench for the Blues. He joins Brian To’o, Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin in the New South Wales team for Origin II, while Kurt Capewell will shift from the centres to the forwards for Queensland.
Time for Panthers Museum?
With the likely stadium development looming, it got me thinking about the need for a dedicated museum of sorts to recognise the club’s incredible history over the past 50-plus years.
The club has dabbled in such concepts before but it’s never really taken off. Imagine all the memorabilia that is probably sitting in storage somewhere, and there will be more to come if the stadium redevelopment does happen.
Not to mention the incredible photographs, stories and trophies that sit in different parts of the club and Academy.
Surely we could find somewhere at the Leagues Club to build a dedicated museum that properly respected the football club’s remarkable past?