Masked Panther: Yeo’s baby news, plus win Chairman’s tickets

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Exciting news for skipper

Penrith co-captain Isaah Yeo has announced he and his partner Ash are expecting their third child in August.

The little brother or sister to Haven and Lennox will make the Yeos a family of five.

And for those whose minds turned straight to football, the Panthers remain relatively close to home in August!

Isaah Yeo and his family.

Join me in the Chairman’s Lounge

The Weekender team has given me two tickets to give away to the Chairman’s Lounge for an upcoming Panthers game at BlueBet Stadium.

You can join me (I will be there in disguise, however) for a beautiful meal, great drinks and a great view of the game. To win, you need to listen to the Weekender’s 10 Minute Match Day podcast either this week (v Roosters) or next week (v Sea Eagles).

Hosts Troy Dodds and Nathan Taylor will give you a code word, which you then need to email to [email protected] with ‘Chairmans’ in the subject line. Entries close Saturday, April 6 and the winner will be notified by email. Remember, you must include the code word from the podcast in your email.

To hear the podcast, search Western Weekender wherever you listen to podcasts or visit

NRL’s big call on May

NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley believes Taylan May should have been charged for his hit on Reece Walsh last Thursday night.

The incident has certainly divided the game, with May cleared by the Match Review Committee and not charged over what was essentially a head clash.

But head office has a different view, believing May had a duty of care and should have been hit with a Dangerous Contact charge. “We think that it does reach that threshold of careless action at least,” Annesley said on Monday.

Reece Walsh leaves the field after being hit by Taylan May. Photo: NRL Photos.

Easter fun

The Panthers invited all players and their families to the Academy last weekend for an Easter Egg Hunt. Plenty of fun and laughs were had as the club continued its efforts to involve families in everything they do.

May lets it slip

Proving that Taylan May lives by the beat of his own drum, he slipped the news about his contract extension last week to Channel Nine in an interview. Not even his team mates knew, while the club would obviously have preferred to announce it on its own terms.

In the end, the Panthers put out a late Friday afternoon press release to confirm May would be staying until at least the end of the 2026 season.


Taylan May and Brian Fletcher catching up at the Panthers Academy after running into each other – just 48 hours before May signed a lucrative extension with the club.

Brian Fletcher and Taylan May. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Radio show’s bizarre gaffe

There’s an old saying in radio – always treat a microphone as if it’s live. And that probably would have been good advice for Andrew Voss and Greg Alexander, who were accidentally put to air on SEN 1170 on Monday morning at around 5.25am.

The pair were preparing for their show, which starts at 6am. Thankfully nothing too bad was said – though the language was a little colourful, especially when discussing the performance of the Newcastle Knights the previous evening.

Tigers want our cash

Wests Tigers boss Shane Richardson had successful stints as CEO of the Panthers and Rabbitohs, and I assure you he knows how to play the game.

There’s a strategy around him being so vocal about Leichhardt Oval and the Tigers’ future there, I’m just not exactly sure what it is.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has even declared the State Government should reallocate some of the $309 million going to the Penrith Stadium redevelopment to Leichhardt. That won’t be happening. But of course the ground deserves an upgrade. I’m just not so sure Richardson actually wants it to happen.

Foundation player passes away

Original Penrith Panthers player Ernie Gillon has sadly died. Born in 1942, Gillon started his rugby league career with Parramatta before switching to Penrith for their inaugural season in 1967. He would go on to play 62 games for the Panthers across four seasons.

Officially credited as Panther #5, Gillon played centre for Penrith in their inaugural first grade match against Canterbury in 1967. The Panthers acknowledged Gillon’s passing at last Thursday night’s game against the Broncos. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.


Brian To’o and Reece Walsh sharing a laugh after Penrith’s big win over Brisbane last Thursday night.

Brian To’o and Reece Walsh. Photo: NRL Photos.


Yours truly went to the Easter Show last Saturday and for the first time in my many years of attending, I saw more Panthers jerseys in the crowd than any other sports team. It’s a great example of the incredible turnaround in Penrith’s fortunes over the past four or five years and how much support there is for Ivan Cleary and the boys.

Jack in Black

The most unlikely Penrith Panthers fan has emerged in the shape of superstar actor Jack Black.

In town promote ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’, Black somehow ended up being interviewed by Panthers forward Scott Sorensen this week.

Sorensen, producing his best David Letterman impersonation, presented the ‘School of Rock’ star with a Panthers jersey and showed him highlights of Penrith’s try-scoring celebrations.

“I know all the rules,” Black joked when asked about the NRL.

Black’s jersey was emblazoned with ‘Dragon Warrior’ on the back, a nod to ‘Kung Fu Panda 4’, which is in cinemas now.

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