Ivan Cleary’s young Panthers outfit came under fire during the week, with footy experts saying a try celebration from their round five win lacked “class and respect”.
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In the second half of Penrith’s match against Canberra, Charlie Staines crossed in the corner for his second try. A hyped-up Stephen Crichton was keen to celebrate and grabbed Raiders forward Joseph Tapine as he did so.
Crichton’s move instigated a scuffle, which attracted players from both sides as well as a Canberra trainer.
“There was a cockiness and an arrogance, and against the Raiders on the weekend, I thought it spilt over and it crossed the line of what’s acceptable,” said footy journalist Paul Crawley on NRL 360.
“I’m always on the lookout to make sure that we’re behaving the right way, but I’m not too worried at the moment,” he said.
The war of words wasn’t over there, though, with Raiders CEO Don Furner calling Cleary’s decision to defend his players “ludicrous” on Wednesday.
Now, the young Panthers have returned serve, sharing a lighthearted video shot at training to social media.
In the clip, future Bulldog Matt Burton crosses the line for a try. Rather than celebrating with “arrogance” as the Panthers have been accused of doing, he gets to his feet and shares a civilised handshake with Staines.
The video, posted to the Panthers’ Instagram account, is captioned, “Is this more acceptable?” with an upside down smile face emoji.
Friday night’s scuffle proved an expensive one for both the Raiders and Panthers. For instigating the melee, Crichton was fined $1350 but is free to play against the Broncos in round six.
The Raiders have been issued with a $10,000 breach notice from the NRL for their trainer’s role in the stoush. The club has five days to respond to the breach notice or else cough up the cash.
The Panthers are hoping to continue their unbeaten start against the Broncos on Thursday night.
The Raiders, meanwhile, will look to make amends for last week’s loss when they face the Eels on Saturday.