Panthers

Kikau's four-year wait to link with Cleary

In his first stint as Penrith coach Ivan Cleary met with Kikau to discuss a possible move to Penrith and along with general manager Phil Gould, convinced the then 19-year-old that Sydney's west was where his future would lie.

But by the time Kikau arrived, Cleary had been given his marching orders by Gould in a move that caught many off guard – including the up-and-coming talent.

With Cleary now back at the Panthers, the trio are now set to work together for the first time since the handshake agreement was made four years ago.

Sacked Panthers coach fires back

In his role as Panthers general manager, Gould nominated Griffin's "old-school approach" to coaching as the prime reason for his axing on Monday.

But - while stressing he was not out to assassinate Gould's character - Griffin had his own shot back on Wednesday night.

"Gus (Gould) hasn't coached for 20 years. He hasn't had his head in the fire for 20 years. If there's anyone old school in the conversation ... he'd need to be there as well," Griffin told NRL 360 on Fox Sports.

Panthers LB Kuechly suffers another concussion

Kuechly left Thursday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles late in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.

He was officially ruled out midway through the third quarter and the Panthers said he was in the concussion protocol.

Kuechly was injured on a short LeGarrette Blount run from the one-yard line. Kuechly rushed from the right side of the Eagles line as Blount was dropped for a one-yard loss on a run to the left. Kuechly sat on the turf at Bank of America Stadium before slowing getting up and being walked to the sideline by trainers.

PNG's secret weapon to bring down Panthers

Now towering prop Wellington Albert is promising to use it against Penrith in Sunday's Intrust Super Championship.

Albert and his younger brother Stanton both played under-20s for the Panthers and are among seven PNG Hunters players who represented the Kumuls against the Cook Islands in Campbelltown earlier this year, a game in which PNG triumphed 32-22.

Brisbane outmuscle Panthers to advance

The stage was set for Brisbane's horror injury night when Queensland winger Corey Oates was heavily concussed in a sickening collision with teammate Anthony Milford in the 21st minute.

Forwards Sam Thaiday and Jai Arrow (both concussion) joined him on the sideline by the second half.

Yet Brisbane somehow still racked up their seventh-straight finals win at Suncorp Stadium to book a grand final qualifier with the Storm.

The Panthers season is over despite also bravely battling on with injury.

Defence key to Panthers win

Their fourth win on the trot was typical of a side coming off a five-day turnaround and the Panthers stayed in control for most of the contest despite a low-scoring affair.

Penrith kept the Bulldogs scoreless in the second half before nabbing two late tries through Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Tyrone Peachey to seal another much-needed win and edge closer to the top eight. 

"We are obviously defending well and that gives you a lot of confidence. But you only defend well if your attitude is right," Griffin said post-game. 

Moylan didn't need to apologise: Tamou

The loss put the skids under their recent momentum, built through four straight wins followed by a narrow away loss to North Queensland.

With Penrith having led early, a stray pass from skipper Matt Moylan allowed Souths winger Alex Johnston to run the length for the first of his five tries and what was the first of seven unanswered four-pointers for the Rabbitohs.

‌A shattered Moylan shouldered the blame in the post-match press conference. His coach Anthony Griffin said it took more than one stray pass to ruin a game.

For Star Lotulelei, Super Bowl loss leaves him at a loss for words

Lotulelei, who’s usually a man of a few words when he’s happy, had very few words after the disappointing 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos.

“We didn’t get enough plays going our way, just like every other game you lose,” he said as he slowly got dressed following the disappointing loss.