The voice emerged from the dramatic post-game controversy between Panthers teammates Jarome Louie and Jaiman Salmon following Penrith’s upset loss to the Broncos on Friday night.
Cameras captured the moment Louay approached Salmon while he was fielding a ball to apparently slam the second rower off the bench for a foul during the 13-12 at Penrith Stadium.
Salmon, 24, immediately swung back at the 26-year-old playmaker before a verbal altercation broke out between his teammates.
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Then other teammates stepped in to block the TV cameras and tell the players to settle down before Louay and Salmon eventually went their separate ways.
Now audio has leaked of what exactly was said between the Panthers duo and the criticism from Jarome Luai that sparked the brawl.
the sound he got Sydney Morning Heraldreveals that Louay was criticizing the striker’s exchange for not being in the correct attacking position to play on the left edge late in the match.
Louie was attacking the Brisbane defense from the edge of the precipice looking for Salmon to run the ball, but his teammate failed to come up in the right position.
Instead the ball went to the ground and was stolen by the Broncos.
“Do I blame you for this pass [expletive]Louay was heard saying to the salmon.
“I did it [occasion]Salmon answers.
“Because you weren’t in the vanguard [expletive]Louie replied.
“You said you couldn’t do it because you were too tired.”
“I haven’t been able to achieve that all at once,” Salmon adds.
Speaking on Channel 9’s post-match coverage, NRL star Paul Gallen insisted he had absolutely no problem with the incident and was simply showing that the players cared about the outcome.
“No problem. It’s rugby league,” Galen told Nine.
“I understand we love it because we’re part of the media, we want to talk about it, we want to create hysteria about it, but it’s rugby league, it’s a brutal sport.
“These guys compete for a living, and that’s what they do, they’re very competitive guys, they’re fueled on testosterone and they’re trained to compete in every single game for 80 minutes of a game.
“When something isn’t quite right, they want to find out why and have a discussion about it. Who cares?”
Gallen compared the post-match incident to a heated fight between his Dragons teammates after their poor performance in the Charity Shield against the Rabbitohs two weeks earlier.
In that instance, winger Mikael Ravaloa and defender Zane Musgrove became involved in a physical altercation at 6am after losing 42-24 in Mudgee.
“It’s just part of the game. Let’s just deal with it,” Galen argued.
“It means they care, it means they care.
“If you’re a Panthers fan, I don’t mind that. You might think at first, ‘Okay.’ But they care about the score, and they care about the game.”
Fellow NRL great Jonathan Thurston backed up Gall’s assessment.
“They’ve excelled the last couple of years, they’ve played perfect football almost every time, so when someone misses their assignment you want to know why you’re not there,” said Thurston.
“I think it’s just an integral part of rugby league. You have those conversations, you guys, when you have those conversations you bury them and then you move on.”
The Panthers have now lost their last two matches including a 13-12 loss to St Helens in the World Club Challenge last week.
They were remarkably strong against the Broncos, conspicuously missing the spark of Abe Coroaçao and William Kekau who both left the club after last year’s Grand Final win.
“It looked a bit predictable, it was a bit slow from Penrith and there’s absolutely no doubt they’re missing Api Koroisau’s finesse around the dummy half area and certainly Viliame Kikau’s presence on the left side,” Fox League pundit Michael Ennis said.
“They missed Kuruacao, who was one of the halves of the elite puppet for so long, but Sonny Luke came up with that trickery, that craft and the ability to cause the opposition headaches around the rock.”
Panthers legend Greg Alexander said that despite their back-to-back premierships, it was a “tremendous” challenge to match the 1981-83 Eels, who were the last team to win three contests.
“Take the players who have now moved on to other clubs – Kickau and Curaçao – no matter how you sugarcoat it, they are huge losses and it will take some time,” Alexander said.
“But I was very impressed with what Mitch Kenny and Sonny Lock did. Sonny Lock came on the field and made a difference and I thought he put Penrith back in the game with his dummy half shots.”
Panthers coach Evan Cleary agreed his team was disjointed during his post-game press conference.
“So, a little bit of early-season rust. The team is different too, especially in the dummy half,” Cleary said.
“Short pre-season. We played both games, the weather was bad. It all adds up.
“We have some work to do there but I’m sure we’ll do it.”
While the Broncos are expected to do better than last year, assuming Reynolds can stay fit, it was an upset loss as the Panthers have won 31 of their last 33 home runs before the game, dating back to late 2019. .
But it was a Broncos defensive tackle that saw the Panthers end a three-year streak of going 8-0 to start the season.
“It’s the first time in two years that I’ve had as much flexibility on their (Broncos) test line,” said Jordan Tallis.
“I don’t know how many groups the Panthers got at 20 metres.
“It was one of those moments where they dug Brisbane deep, Penrith throwing everything at them but Brisbane believed in themselves.”
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