Category: Panthers

Timanu Tahu reportedly agrees to 1 Year – Updated*

*Controversial star Timana Tahu will recommence his NRL career with Penrith on Monday after the club confirmed he has signed a one-year deal.Updated.

Timana Tahu has agreed to a two-year contract with Penrith – but first he’ll be thrown to the Wolves. Reports in The Daily Telegraph say Tahu and the Panthers are finalising several minor details before announcing the signing on Wednesday morning at a media conference. Tahu, who walked out on Parramatta in 2010, drove down from Newcastle on Tuesday to meet Panthers CEO Mick Leary and accept the offer. But he is unlikely to be selected for Friday night’s local derby against the Eels at Parramatta Stadium. Despite suggestions Tahu might confront his former side, it is understood that he will play for Penrith’s feeder club, Windsor Wolves, against Balmain Ryde Eastwood Tigers at Windsor Sports Complex on Saturday night. A solid showing in that game would ensure he is considered for Penrith’s round three match against Cronulla at Centrebet Stadium on March 26. Continue reading

GUILTY! The Judiciary Fallout

The NRL judiciary has been given the night off this week with all six players charged by the match review committee taking the early guilty plea on Tuesday. Manly co-captain Jason King, Canberra prop Brett White, Warriors five-eighth James Maloney and Cronulla hooker Paul Aiton will all sit out one game, while Matt Bowen and Luke Walsh are both free to play. King’s absence, for a knee lift in last weekend’s loss to Melbourne, leaves the Sea Eagles without a skipper with Jamie Lyon out for a month with a hamstring strain. White’s absence has opened the door for Josh Miller to come into Canberra’s squad, while young gun Isaac John replaces Maloney in the Warriors No.6 jumper.

The NRL Match-Review committee today laid six charges from the weekend games; Brett White, Jason King, Matt Bowen, James Maloney, Paul Aiton and Luke Walsh all having cases to answer. Sharks Paul Aiton is facing two weeks on the sidelines after he was charged with an alleged heat butt on Raiders Joel Thompson. Aiton will miss one week if he pleads guilty, or could face two weeks if he fights the charge and loses. Canberra’s Brett White and Manly’s Jason King could both miss a week of football after being charged with Grade 1 dangerous contact for lifting knees while running with the ball. Matt Bowen is facing a Grade 1 dangerous contact charge for sliding in with the feet on Broncos Matt Gillett, but will avoid suspension if he takes the early guilty plea. Warriors five-eighth James Maloney could miss his side’s clash with the Wests Tigers after he was charged for dangerous contact on Jarryd Hayne. Panthers halfback Luke Walsh has been charged with a high tackle on Knights James McManus, but will not miss the Round 2 clash with Parramatta. Continue reading

Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen will today come under scrutiny from the NRL match review committee for lashing out with his foot to try and stop a try in Friday night’s 16-14 defeat of the Broncos. Bowen was not put on report, but the 56th minute incident was flagged for review after he twice tried to use his boot to stop Brisbane utility Matt Gillett grounding the ball. Gillett managed to get across the tryline, but was penalised for a double movement in a crucial call by match officials as the Broncos were trailing 16-10 at the time. The incident is one of several that will be studied closely today by the NRL match review panel to determine whether contact was made, including allegations of lifting knees against Manly prop Jason King and Canberra’s Brett White. Warriors halfback James Maloney also faces an anxious wait to learn whether he is charged over an early tackle on Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne while he was fielding a kick during the Eels 24-18 win at Eden Park on Saturday night. Continue reading

Michael Jennings in doubt

Penrith star Michael Jennings admits he came back a week too early after re-injuring his hamstring in Sunday’s embarrassing 42-8 NRL loss to Newcastle. The NSW Origin centre wasn’t originally named in coach Matt Elliott’s side but was rushed in at the last minute at the expense of David Simmons. Jennings said he was never 100 per cent fit and after twinging his hamstring late in the match admitted he was now in major doubt for Friday night’s showdown with Parramatta. The 22-year-old revealed during the pre-season how much he despised the Eels as the Panthers’ local rivals, and as he iced up his right hamstring after Sunday’s match, declared he would do everything he could to play. But as he cast a lonely figure as the last man in the Penrith sheds, Jennings regretted the early return and conceded he faced an uphill battle to be fit for Friday night. “I think I came back maybe one week too early,” Continue reading

Newcastle made a flying start to the new NRL season with a 42-8 thumping of Penrith at Centrebet Stadium on Sunday. The Knights showed great fluency in attack, with halfback Jarrod Mullen scoring a try and laying on a couple more in a dominant display. The quality of their performance suggests the Knights could be surprise packets this year, but they won’t want to get too carried away given the Panthers’ ineptitude. Early indications are it could be a long season for Penrith, who finished second in 2010. Matt Elliott’s men could barely get out of first gear and looked toothless in attack – with their only try coming from Lachlan Coote after the fulltime siren had sounded. The home side made a whopping 21 errors and conceded four penalties for indiscretions off restarts. Three were for being offside kick-offs and drop outs and one after booting out dead-on-the-full. Newcastle coach Rick Stone couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season performance-wise, but he has come out of the match with some injury worries. Continue reading

The Panthers are planning on re-inventing Timana Tahu as a backrower but the troubled player must first apologise to the teenager who accused him of racial vilification last October.The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Tahu will meet the north coast teenager this week as Penrith is unable to sign the wayward star until his dispute with Caleb Binge is resolved. Binge, who is now in the Broncos’ junior system, accused Tahu of calling him a “black c***” during a tournament but all attempts, including intervention by the Human Rights Commission, have failed to resolve the issue as Tahu has refused to face his accuser. But his return to the NRL with the Penrith Panthers has forced the issue. With former Parramatta halfback Dennis Moran, now a Country Rugby League welfare officer, the instigator and playing peacemaker, it is understood Tahu has agreed to a meeting with Binge in Brisbane on Wednesday to resolve the dispute. Continue reading

The match review committee examined three other  incidents from the weekend’s trials.

Sydney Roosters forward Nate Myles was cleared of a lifting tackle on Wests Tigers back Wade McKinnon, while Cronulla recruit Jeremy Smith was deemed not to have tripped Newcastle’s Mark Taufua.

Penrith half Luke Walsh’s sickening hit on Parramatta’s Daniel Mortimer, which also sparked a melee, was deemed legitimate.

Gold Coast youngster Ryan James will need to wait another day to know whether he faces a second pre-season suspension after he was placed on report in the trial against North Queensland.

Footage of the Titans-Cowboys match will not be available until Tuesday.

The match review committee is poised to wreak havoc with the opening week plans of several NRL sides after a potentially costly final round of trial matches over the weekend. Penrith, Cronulla and the Sydney Roosters all face nervous waits ahead of the match review committee releasing their charges on Monday, with key players Luke Walsh (Panthers), Jeremy Smith (Sharks) and Test forward Nate Myles (Roosters) involved in questionable tackles. Myles’ incident appears the most serious of the three, despite no action being taken by the referees after a lifting tackle on Wests Tigers fullback Wade McKinnon. McKinnon lost the ball after appearing to be dumped on his head ten minutes into the second half at the Sydney Football Stadium – the oversight compounded when the Roosters cleaned up possession and scored in the corner. Continue reading

Eels 30 – Panthers 0

Maligned Parramatta halfback Jeff Robson starred on Saturday night as the Eels thrashed Penrith 30-0 in their NRL trial at Centrebet Stadium. Last season the Eels chased a string of high-profile halfbacks to mentor young five-eighth Daniel Mortimer, but perhaps the answer was under their nose the whole time. Robson, the halfback who took them to the 2009 grand final, was involved in everything, setting up tries with precision passing and kicking while also pulling off try-saving tackles. The Eels cruised home with a comfortable victory in a spiteful and physical, but mostly dour, affair. Continue reading