Panthers brush off ‘blocker’ reporting ahead of Grand Final

Isaah Yeo at today's NRL Fan Fest. Photo: NRL Images.
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Panthers co-captain Isaah Yeo is adamant that talk over “illegal tactics” won’t disrupt his side’s preparation for Sunday’s Grand Final.

News Corp journalists have been feverously pushing the story this week that Penrith is breaking the rules by obstructing defenders on last tackle kicks in an attempt to protect Nathan Cleary.

“It could potentially have a huge impact on the grand final if the Broncos are prevented from placing legal kick pressure on the champion halfback,” a concerned News Corp reporter Paul Crawley said.

Yeo said it was odd that the issue had created such a stir this week.

“It’s a weird one. It’s an easy write-up for you lot down there, the media, you try to find something every year,” Yeo said at today’s Grand Final press conference.

“it doesn’t change our focus. We’re just going out there on Sunday to play our best game.”

Asked about the reporting of the issue, which was also a big talking point in the 2021 Finals, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary said he was unsure why it was such a major talking point this week.

“I think maybe everyone just reads their notes on the previous year and what they talked about during that week,” he said.

Troy Dodds

Troy Dodds is the Weekender's Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia's leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.

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