Allegations of Unfair Play: Penrith Panthers Accused of Illegal Blocking Tactics
Controversial Tactics in the Spotlight
The Penrith Panthers, a renowned professional rugby league team, are currently facing allegations of employing illegal tactics during their matches. These tactics, which are primarily designed to protect their star halfback, Nathan Cleary, involve two of Penrith’s players—Isaah Yeo and Moses Leota—moving in the defensive line to block opposition players who are trying to put kick pressure on Cleary.
These maneuvers were recently highlighted on the show NRL 360 where they sparked a wave of criticism. Commentator Paul Crawley expressed his disapproval of the referees seemingly overlooking these tactics, which he believes are blatant violations of the game’s regulations.
Recurring Issue in Rugby League
This is not the first time such a controversy has sprung up in the rugby league. Two years ago, a similar issue led to a verbal dispute between Bennett, then the coach of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, and Ivan Cleary, Nathan Cleary’s father and the current coach of the Panthers.
Opinions on the Panthers’ tactics are divided. Some, like Anasta, have praised the team for their ability to subtly bend the rules and evade penalties. Others, like Crawley, believe that the NRL needs to step in and address the issue. He contends that while the late hits on halves have been addressed by the NRL, more needs to be done to prevent these illegal blocking tactics.
Impact on the Women’s Premiership Grand Final
The controversy is unfolding in the lead-up to the NRL Women’s Premiership Grand Final, where the Newcastle Knights will face the Gold Coast Titans. The debate over the Panthers’ tactics is anticipated to be a prominent topic in the lead-up to this match.
Implications for Nathan Cleary’s Reputation
Nathan Cleary, currently in career-best form, has been compared to some of the greatest players in the history of the sport. However, these recent allegations could potentially tarnish his reputation and that of the Panthers if they are not addressed appropriately.
Need for Action
While the Panthers’ tactics may be viewed by some as clever game-play, others argue that they are clear violations of the rules that require immediate attention. As the debate continues, it is clear that the NRL must step in and resolve this issue to prevent further controversies and maintain the integrity of the sport.
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