Masked Panther: Turuva struck down by illness

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Tito confined to sick bed

The break for the bye was anything but relaxing for Panthers winger Sunia Turuva.

The try-scoring flyer was struck down by a mystery illness and couldn’t even leave the house. He was filthy not to be able to enjoy his mid-season break.

“I was crook, out of all weeks,” he said.

“We had the five days off and I was crook from Monday to Thursday. I was at home. Couldn’t move. Body was aching. It’s never happened to me before.”

Turuva is all good now and will be fighting fit for Penrith’s clash with the Cowboys on Sunday.

Sunia Turuva. Photo: NRL Photos.

Peach calls it quits

Tyrone Peachey’s announcement that he would retire from the NRL at the end of the year came as no surprise.

Peachey has been focused on business interests outside of football for some time now, while the Panthers were very unlikely to offer him a new deal next year. Peachey has had enough of travelling around and moving his family with him, so a farewell year or two at another club wasn’t on the cards.

“I was battling, I was struggling for a bit and I’ve noticed myself not fully committed to footy,” Peachey revealed on the Peached Podcast this week.

I’m hearing Peachey and the family will settle on the Gold Coast and move from Penrith at the end of the year. Let’s hope Peachey lands at least one more NRL game this year so he gets a fitting farewell.

Tyrone Peachey. Photo: Melinda Jane.

May-hem at Panthers

The Taylan May saga continues to take ugly twists and turns as May tries to avoid having his contract terminated by the club.

It is hard to imagine how the relationship between Penrith and May could ever be repaired. He has surely played his last game for the club. Fresh developments are expected in the next few days.

Social saga

Meanwhile, Taylan May’s often bizarre social media behaviour continues. He’s never been more active than he has been in recent weeks, constantly posting on his Instagram Stories. Some of the content leaves you shaking your head.


Former Panthers Chairman Barry Walsh celebrating his 84th birthday at Happy Inn on Sunday.


Dylan Edwards soaking up the history of the MCG ahead of the New South Wales captain’s run on Tuesday.

Dylan Edwards at the MCG. Photo: NRL Photos.

Opportunity lost

Christian Crichton played just over 30 first grade games before departing the NRL at the end of the 2022 season. He now toils away for St Marys in the Ron Massey Cup. Last week, the Saints were called upon to play the NSW Blues in an opposed session up in the Blue Mountains.

It would have created a great moment given Christian’s brother Stephen is in the Blues team. But Christian couldn’t get the day off work – so he missed out on the opportunity.


Panthers coach Ivan Cleary in the crowd watching the Super Rugby Final between the Blues and the Chiefs last Saturday.

Youngsters locked in

The Panthers have announced the re-signings of young guns Luron Patea, Billy Scott, Trent Toelau, Luke Sommerton and Billy Phillips.

“On behalf of all at Panthers, I’d like to congratulate these five players on re-signing with the club,” Panthers General Manager of Football Shane Elford said.

“These young guys have all been impressive over the past couple of seasons and thoroughly deserve their contract extensions. Not only are they talented footballers, but they are also great young men who are dedicated to their rugby league careers – and we look forward to watching their progression in Panthers colours.”

Yeo in the cold again

Fresh from not being asked a question by any journalist in the post-match press conference following the win against Newcastle, Penrith co-captain Isaah Yeo was again left with little to say at the Origin press conference in Federation Square on Tuesday.

Yeo was there as Vice-Captain of the Blues and while he was asked one introductory question by host James Bracey, none of the attending journos had a question for him.

Garner nominated

Luke Garner has been nominated for this year’s Ken Stephen Medal, which recognises the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved on the field, but has committed time off the field to community projects. Garner has been nominated for his volunteering efforts at various community organisations. You can vote here:

Luke Garner after winning the 2023 NRL Grand Final with Penrith last year. Photo: NRL Images.

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Masked Panther

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