Luai poised to stay
Penrith remain very confident that Jarome Luai will stay at the club, despite any negotiations stalling due to the playmaker’s management issues.
The 26-year-old would almost certainly attract offers of $1 million a season if he puts himself on the open market on November 1.
The Panthers won’t be able to match that figure, but will table an impressive offer to Luai.
While the bonds of family and friendship hasn’t been enough to keep some players at Penrith, it may be enough to save Luai, who I’m told has no real desire to go anywhere else.
A Penrith insider told me this week: “I would be stunned if he wasn’t in a Penrith jersey for his entire career.”
Fans should also keep this in mind: Any rumours that Luai has signed elsewhere are totally false. It would be a breach of NRL rules for him to have done a deal anywhere else, so you can toss those reports doing the rounds on social media aside.
Panthers fume over Tallis comments
‘NRL 360’ personality Gorden Tallis has issued a short retraction after he made comments last week that suggested Penrith and other recent NRL Premiers were rorting the salary cap.
The comments hit Panthers officials particularly hard as they pride themselves on their cap management – especially Football CEO Matt Cameron, who is a master at the numbers and intricacies involved.
Anyone who has had the opportunity to sit through one of Cameron’s presentations on the salary cap would know how well he is across it and how meticulously it’s managed at Penrith. Group CEO Brian Fletcher went as far as to label the comments from Tallis as defamatory.
The club has sought legal advice previously about commentary on ‘NRL 360’ and in the News Corp media, but has never had any previous issue with Tallis. On Monday night’s ‘NRL 360’, Tallis officially retracted the comments – brief as it was.
The TVs in the bathrooms at Fox Sports showing rival Channel Nine’s coverage of Sunday’s clash between Canberra and Wests Tigers.
Luai’s beef with journo
There’s been a mixed response to the now publicly revealed spat between News Corp journalist Michael Carayannis and Penrith five-eighth Jarome Luai.
Many believe Carayannis was out of his lane when he approached Luai privately about his now infamous Instagram post after Origin II, arguing he wasn’t a dickhead, but was coming across like one. Carayannis is a decent journalist and broadcaster and only opted to make the spat public after Luai pulled out of a pre-planned interview at Panthers HQ a couple of weeks ago. The truth about that particular part of the situation lies somewhere in the middle. On that day, Carayannis tried to speak to Luai privately to clear the air and secure the interview, but Luai refused.
As much as Luai has gained plenty of understandable support in the wake of the whole issue becoming public and Carayannis’ initial approach, privately there’s been a few concerns about his Instagram post this week, which featured a picture of Carayannis and the word ‘gronk’ splashed across it. Luai knows better than anyone the perils of social media bullying. It was a questionable look.
Part 1 of Michael Carayannis calling Luai a dickhead & being surprised he’s cut him off. pic.twitter.com/6IVjCRbv8d
— NicccccD (@niccccccccd) August 3, 2023
Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary catching up with old mate Josh Mansour at Stadium Australia on Monday night for the Australia v Denmark World Cup clash.
Former Panthers marketing guru Max Cowan making his long-awaited return to BlueBet Stadium to watch Penrith battle Melbourne last Friday night.
Phoning it in
Fox Sports is a premium, subscription product but it persists in short-changing fans by calling many matches off TV. On Sunday, they didn’t even send the commentary team down to Canberra – calling the Raiders v Tigers match from their Artarmon studios.
Cleary favourite for Clive
Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary is the current favourite to win the Clive Churchill Medal on Grand Final Day. Sportsbet has the Penrith playmaker at $5.00 to win the prestigious player of the match gong, ahead of team mate Dylan Edwards at $8.75.
If you’re looking for some value but still want to back a Panther, Mitch Kenny and Izack Tago are both at $51.
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary catching up with family, friends and fans long after full-time at Panthers Leagues Club on Friday night.
Panthers legend Mark Geyer has not taken up modelling in France, despite strong rumours doing the rounds. This doppelgänger was spotted in an advertisement on the streets of Paris this week.
Spill the tea
I don’t keep secrets, but I do protect my sources. If you’ve heard a rumour, spotted a Panther out and about or have some tea to spill, email me at [email protected].