The Penrith Panthers might be “the greatest team” ever to play in the NRL, but their premiership-winning celebrations have been described as “tasteless” and lacking “class”.
In particular, Tigers-bound hooker Apisai Koroisau has been taken to the cleaners after his “unnecessary” fake laugh into a microphone at a Panthers fan day on Monday after saying “just to go out on a high like that, it’s pretty incredible, and (I’ll) probably do the same thing at the Tigers”.
Koroisau’s Tigers deal is worth close to $2 million, according to reports.
While James Fisher-Harris’ has been criticised for saying “we’re the greatest Penrith team ever”.
The pendulum has quickly swung over the past 24 hours, with the Panthers brought back to Earth following their astonishing Grand Final victory over cross town rivals the Parramatta Eels on Sunday.
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Panthers party continues in the Riff! | 02:17
A fan day in the early hours of Monday morning triggered the wave of negativity heading the direction of the Panthers, after the bleary-eyed squad took the microphone and told their rivals what they really thought about them.
Koroisau’s decision to rinse the club he is joining next year came in for particular criticism.
“Probably not the best idea from Koroisau when he’s going there next year,” former NRL champion turned player agent and pundit Braith Anasta said on NRL 360.
“I’ve been there, you’re on top of the world.
“It was a bit tasteless, just a couple of remarks, probably unnecessary. But then again, you’re under the influence.”
Co-host Paul Kent said the moment “lacked class” and was “dumb” and “really stupid”.
The veteran journalist then ripped into the Panthers for the celebrations and Koroisau’s teammate Fisher-Harris also copped criticism for his “arrogant” comments.
“I just think Penrith are really bad winners, they are bad winners and there’s a smugness,” Kent said.
“They piss in their own party Penrith.
“They should be celebrated. This is one of the great teams. They should be celebrated and remembered that way but they’re just mugs the way they carry on after the game.
“It’s not only what they did there. Koroisau taking the mickey out of the Tigers, who he is about to join next year.
“Where’s the bit of support and acceptance and acknowledgment of the previous Penrith teams?
“Fancy James Fisher-Harris coming out and saying ‘we’re the best Penrith team ever’. That’s the height of arrogance.”
Anasta asked whether there was an element of truth in the forward’s comments, something Kent agreed with but said that was for others to determine.
“There’s a way to win. Once the dust is settled, the result is in, the weapons are down, show some humility and grace towards your opponents,” he said.
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Kent said senior management needed to address the arrogance that had crept into the side and threatened to tarnish their legacy.
“At some point these blokes have got to be asked to act like men,” Kent said.
“They’re carrying on like 16-year-old schoolboys the way they’re carrying on. They’re getting so carried away.
“Good on them, they’re so good but the line’s gone too far … Someone at Penrith and whether it’s Ivan Cleary the coach or Bryan Fletcher the CEO have got to call these guys and say show a bit of class, just show just a little bit, just show some grace and humility in something you’ve done.
“Isaah Yeo and Dylan Edwards are the only two that you’d look at and walk away with some kind of integrity from what they say.”
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