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The Penrith Panthers have once again been accused of ‘lacking class’ by ultimate authority on what is and isn’t classy.
NewsCorp rugby league expert and culturally anxious ageing white man, Paul Kent has once again kicked off at what he perceives to be poor conduct by the reigning NRL premiers.
The current drama dates back to 2022’s “weak-gutted dog” drama – where Panthers star Jaeman Salmon found himself to be the punching bag for a frustrated friend of Paul Kent.
In August last year, Canberra coach Ricky Stuart labelled Salmon a “weak-gutted dog” after he was placed on report for rough and tumble gameplay. Stuart referenced a history with the 24-year-old that dated back to his childhood, but didn’t clarify what the fuck he was referring to, before copping a $25,000 fine and a one-week suspension from coaching.
As was expected, the drama flared up again after Salmon scored the final try in the Panthers’ 53-12 flogging of the Raiders last week.
Salmon leapt to his feet and yelled “weak-gutted dog” towards the crowd, in a post-try celebration that his own coach Ivan Cleary fully endorsed in a post-match interview, quipping: “Good karma, that’s how I describe that”.
While Ricky Stuart opted to cop the return serve fair and square, he was unable to stop his loyal servant Paul Kent from rushing to his defence on NRL360 throughout the week, describing Cleary’s statement as a ‘mug’s comment’.
“My whole problem with this Penrith team as we’ve seen once again on the weekend is they just lack class.” reiterated Kenty.
“They win grand finals and rub their opponent’s noses in it, there’s a big up yours to anyone who gives them criticism. You watch when they get wind of this, I’ll be all over their Twitter feed.”
However, it seems the Panthers have opted to be the bigger men, and in fact chosen to take some advice from the classy commentator.
At today’s Monday training session, Ivan Cleary was seen making a big effort to match the class that Paul Kent expects of rugby league figures.
With an unironed shirt and a burgundy stained lips, Cleary was doing his best to emulate Paul Kent, even going as far as binge-drinking some Koonunga Hill and a couple of B&H smooths before rambling incoherently at his team.
With three Grand Final appearances in three years – This current Penrith Panthers have a winning percentage over three seasons that is completely unprecedented in the salary cap NRL era. And with Ivan Cleary’s new classy red-wine-breath rebrand, it is all but certain that they will be remembered as one of the all time greatest NRL teams – surpassing Paul Kent’s own 1989 Parramatta Eels.