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FRI 20 JUN 2014 • Issue 016

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WHO’S GOING? Masked Panther reveals all + PANTHERS FLASHBACK + PRIDDO’S POINT + MOMENT WITH MOLAN + TRIBUTE TO GUS

We’re still on top Youngster Isaah Yeo proves to be a lucky charm p.5

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CHEERLEADER OF THE YEAR

The lucky girl crowned the Extra Time Cheerleader of the Year will be featured on the cover of our final edition of the year, and gets a $1,000 JB Hi-Fi voucher thanks to the Penrith Homemaker Centre. Plus, the winning cheerleader gets 10 Hoyts movie tickets and a professional photo shoot with the Weekender photographer SMS cost is a maximum of 55 cents. The winner of tickets to the next Penrith Panthers home game is selected at random from all entries. This competition is run under NSW Permit No LTPM/14/00047. Full terms and conditions are available from www.westernweekender. com.au or from Western Weekender reception.

Occupation: Student Favourite Panther: Nigel Plum If you could go on ANY reality show, which one would it be? The Block If you could take 3 things to a deserted island, what would you take and why? My best friend for company, music to dance to and Paddle Pops to eat Which celebrity would you like to take on a hot date? Bradley Cooper What’s your favourite pig-out spot? Yogurtland What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you whilst cheering/ dancing? Fell off a stage If you could morph into any animal, which would you choose and why? A bird so I can fly where I want to and follow summer

VOTE FOR NATALIE W: SMS NATALIE TO 19 19 18

Natalie W, 25 Occupation: Teacher Favourite Panther: James Segeyaro If you could go on ANY reality show, which one would it be? The Voice If you could take 3 things to a deserted island, what would you take and why? A fully appointed luxury yacht, fishing rod and sunscreen Which celebrity would you like to take on a hot date? Nicholas Hoult What’s your favourite pig-out spot? Mad Mex What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you whilst cheering/ dancing? During a performance in front of the entire Panthers team and members, I forgot our routine. To make it worse, I was front and centre If you could morph into any animal, which would you choose and why? An elephant so I can eat what I want

extra time

Each week, Extra Time profiles three cheerleaders from the Penrith Panthers cheer squad. Vote for your favourite for your chance to win two tickets to the next Panthers home game! Voting concludes at 11.59pm on Friday, June 27. The cheerleader with the most votes will progress through to the semi-finals later in the year, and have the chance to take out the ultimate prize!

3

VOTE FOR LAUREN A: SMS LAUREN TO 19 19 18

Lauren A, 24 Occupation: Dance teacher Favourite Panther: Jamal Idris If you could go on ANY reality show, which one would it be? The Block If you could take 3 things to a deserted island, what would you take and why? A guitar for music, chocolate because it’s a necessity and sunscreen because I always get burnt Which celebrity would you like to take on a hot date? Channing Tatum What’s your favourite pig-out spot? San Churro What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you whilst cheering/ dancing? Waving to one of my dance students in the crowd and then tripping over a chair on the sideline because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking If you could morph into any animal, which would you choose and why? A cat because they always live the high life in front of the heater or laying out in the sun

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GAME ONE - THE WINNERS THE BLUES

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FEATURE STORY

5

NATHAN TAYLOR

@natetaylor87

After a shock selection to first grade earlier this year Isaah Yeo has proven himself a lucky charm for Penrith with a perfect winning record in the NRL

hen it comes to rising stars in our game, many Panthers fans predicted the likes of Bryce Cartwright, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and George Jennings to be among the first selected to debut for the club this year. However, fans and rugby league experts were left in shock when during the opening game of the season a tall, lanky kid from country NSW stepped out onto Sportingbet Stadium to become the first, in a long line of talented youngsters, to get a crack at the big time. His name? Isaah Yeo. Since that faithful day in March when 19-year-old Yeo replaced an injured Jamal Idris in the centres, he’s gone on to play six NRL games with a perfect winning record to boot. In-fact even when Yeo was dropped back to NSW Cup to continue developing, he still didn’t lose a game. “I haven’t had a loss in NSW Cup or first grade this year, so I’m loving life at the moment,” he said. “I honestly didn’t think I’d be playing first grade at all this year. I thought I’d play Under 20’s all year with a handful of NSW Cup games, so it came as a real shock.” The Dubbo-born and bred product recalls coach Ivan Cleary not giving too

Isaah Yeo has already made an impact for the Panthers. Photo: Melinda Jane much away when he was told the reasoning behind his shock NRL selection. “He just said he was happy with my work ethic during the pre-season and the year before that in the 20’s. I think that helped me a fair bit being picked,” Yeo said. “At the moment I’m feeling good. I think when the boys are so close it really helps with us younger kids like myself, Dallin

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Yeo hits the ground running W

and Bryce making the step up.” While Yeo admits he’s still finding his feet in the NRL, he is doing everything he can to learn from his experienced teammates to make his transition a little easier. “I’m a really big fan of Elijah Taylor’s work ethic… I’m not much of a flashy player so I try and do what he does by making lots of tackles and hit-ups,” he said.

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Great position for finals footy

6

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PRIDDO'S POINT LUKE PRIDDIS

Luke Priddis won the Clive Churchill Medal in the 2003 Grand Final

WW7760

At the time of reading this the NSW side would have wrapped up the series 2-0 after an emphatic win in front of a sell out crowd at ANZ on Wednesday night. This is what I am hoping will be the case as I don’t envy the NSW side returning to Queensland for game three after all the media surrounding the interrupted preparation of the Queensland camp due to injuries this week. They will grow an extra leg if they have the chance to win the series again up there. I was pleased to return home to the fact that the Panthers had continued their winning ways and remain at the top of the ladder after beating the resurgent Dragons last week. Given the bye this week they will remain at the top of the ladder after this week, and then comes the acid test with some big games ahead. Enjoy the rest as there is going to be a tough campaign left. I read with interest that Ivan Cleary echoed my thoughts his week that he is not getting carried away with the position on the table as he knows too well that dropping a few games over the course of the next few weeks will have the side back in the pack. However the side has put themselves in the best position at this point in time and if they are good enough to be title contenders then they will stay towards the top of the table. Listening to Des Hasler call for the NRL or whoever is running the competition, to come up with a solution to the fact his side has to go through the Origin period without his ‘quarter back’, meaning his two halves, was a bit of a laugh. We all agree that Origin needs to be played somehow without the effects it has on clubs with high player representation. But consider the fact that teams such as the Broncos have had to do so for the past decade or two and contribute far more players – maybe Des needs to work more with his younger back up players. The Dogs have been terrible without their halves. No one has been able to stand up and lead the side in their absence. It is interesting that we never heard this when he was at Manly.

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Origin lesson: depth is needed

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Once again, there’s been a lot of debate this week about State of Origin scheduling. Bulldogs coach Des Hasler made some comments after Sunday’s loss to the Parramatta Eels that ‘you wouldn’t ask an NFL team to go into a game without their quarterback’, and I think Des makes a very valid point. Every few weeks clubs like the Bulldogs are losing crucial players due to Origin and I totally understand their frustration. However, watching Eels half Chris Sandow play fullback last week was one of the most exciting things I’ve seen all year. Seeing Sandow take the place of Jarryd Hayne, who was on Origin duty, was absolutely awesome to watch and I know everyone in the Channel Nine newsroom loved the thrill of it. I found it really refreshing to see a player take on another position and kill it – even if it was just a one off. I know the Bulldogs are struggling without their halves and a lot of other clubs are struggling without their own Origin players too, but I look at that Sandow example over the weekend and other examples of young kids filling in, and I think that’s almost just as exciting. I personally believe Origin should take place on standalone rounds. I’m a firm believer of that. Wayne Bennett and Des Hasler have put up some options recently and they both have merit. But while the current system is in place, there’s still a lot to enjoy about seeing how teams cover certain positions with these unknowns and seeing them flourish. Some advice for Des and the Bulldogs, I think the problem with your club is that you need to have adequate depth to cover situations like Origin duty. Des needs to look at his depth and perhaps sacrifice two or three of his big stars to get a couple of above average players to back up in key positions when necessary. I guess that’s what the salary cap is all about – love it or hate it, you’ve got to make sure you are well covered.

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Mose to be our newest recruit?

with the Masked Panther

Send your Panthers gossip at news@westernweekender.com.au

While Kevin Naiqama did an adequate job filling in for David Simmons last week against the Dragons, it was a shame to see exciting youngster and local junior Dallin Watene-Zelezniak get suspended for four weeks for eye gouging during a NSW Cup match against Wyong. The club did mull over appealing the monthlong ban but in the end decided against it. Panthers coach Ivan Cleary defended

on Monday and winger Josh Mansour celebrating his 24th birthday on Tuesday. A number of high profile Panthers stars were spotted at the outdoor terrace at Panthers Leagues Club on Sunday night enjoying a few beers and tucking into some Panarotti’s pizza. In attendance was birthday boy Moylan himself, James Segeyaro, Tyrone Peachey, Dean Whare, Peter Wallace, Sika Manu, Kevin Kingston, Tom Humble, Nathan Smith and even former Panther and current Holden Cup assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo.

the youngster in a press conference last Friday, saying the incident was not in Dallin’s nature. If selected, Dallin will return to the big stage during Penrith’s blockbuster clash against the Roosters in Round 19. There were plenty of Panther birthdays around town this week with fullback Matt Moylan celebrating his 23rd birthday

@natetaylor87

For the third week in a row, Penrith’s Holden Cup and NSW Cup sides have both come up trumps with victories over the weekend. Penrith’s Holden Cup side were easily the most impressive of the two with a huge 26-6 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons, who came into the game in second spot.

Sad news throughout the week after the boys from the popular ‘Panthers Weekly’ podcast decided to call it quits after two and a half seasons on air. Daniel Lang and Ben Cummins, better known as Strawbs and Teach, reluctantly hung up the mic last Friday after three years of providing Panther fans with some great interviews with players and the like. Their final big interview was with none other than Todd Greenberg from the NRL. The boys will now move in separate directions to work on different projects. There’s been some rumours about this for a while but I can finally reveal that Panthers backrower Matt Robinson is set to leave the club at the end of the year to play with the Gold Coast Titans. Robinson will officially announce the two-year deal up north after June 30. Robinson has cited Penrith’s huge depth as the main factor behind his decision to move on.

Matt Robinson will become a Titan

NATHAN TAYLOR

9

This one is still at the rumour stage but I’m hearing the Panthers are desperate to lure big prop and fan favourite Mose Masoe back to the club next year. Mose is currently serving a two-year deal with English Super League club St Helens and is understood to be considering a possible move back if a deal can be made. Mose would be great to have back at the club next year to cover Tim Grant who is moving on at season’s end. Finally, can you guess which young Panther was stood down last week after having too much fun at Panthers the week before? Coincidently, the same player was also ruled out with injury, which in the end, acted as a good cover up for the club.

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PANTHER RUMBLINGS

Jamal Idris is continuing to make small steps in his recovery from his offfield issues, which is certainly a positive for him and his future. It was great to see Jamal back in Penrith’s gym last Friday while the rest of the team were going through their paces in the final training session of the week. Extra Time journalist Nathan Taylor spotted big Jamal going hard at it on the rowing machine. Jamal was also present the next day during Penrith’s clash against the Dragons at Sportingbet Stadium and he also made an appearance at a Members Fan Day on Sunday morning.

Lower GRADES

Kevin Kingston The underdog tag didn’t seem bother the Panthers in this one however as they ran in five tries to one in a very impressive display at both ends. The Dragons drew first blood early with a quick try following a Panthers error but for the rest of the game it was all the home side. Panthers hooker Josh Tangitau was stretchered off the field with a suspected neck injury in the second half but was later cleared of any serious injury. Meanwhile, Panthers captain Kevin Kingston returned after seven weeks off to lead Penrith’s NSW Cup side against the Illawarra Cutters. The Panthers got off to a strong start, piling the points on, but fell asleep midway through the second half to let the Cutters in with a decent shot. Panthers centre Waqa Blake was clearly Penrith’s best, scoring a triple with Will Smith and Kieran Moss also having strong games too. This Sunday the Panthers will take on the North Sydney Bears at North Sydney Oval while their Holden Cup team will enjoy a well-deserved bye.

Friday 20 June 2014 the western weekender

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CELEBRITY TIPSTERS

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Vic Shipley Akira Teppanyaki

BULLDOGS

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BRONCOS

WARRIORS

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SEA EAGLES

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EELS

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DRAGONS COWBOYS

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NRL LADDER Club

F

+/- Pts

A

11

PD

W

D

L

B

1 Panthers

13

9

0

4

1

279 204 75

20

ROUND 15

2 Sea Eagles

12

8

0

4

2

264 212 52

20

Raiders V Bulldogs

3 Rabbitohs

14

9

0

5

0

327 209 118 18

4 Roosters

14

9

0

5

0

331 217 114 18

5 Broncos

13

8

0

5

1

296 208 88

18

6 Bulldogs

13

8

0

5

1

259 210 49

18

7 Eels

13

8

0

5

1

291 293

-2

18

Sharks V Sea Eagles

8 W. Tigers

13

7

0

6

1

261 294 -33

16

9 Storm

13

7

0

6

1

252 298 -46 16

Saturday 7.30pm Remondis Stadium

10 Cowboys

13

6

0

7

1

282 213 69

14

Storm V Eels

11 Warriors

13

6

0

7

1

288 285

14

Sunday 2pm AAMI Park

12 Titans

13

6

0

7

1

217 278 -61

14

13 Dragons

13

5

0

8

1

233 303 -70

12

14 Raiders

13

4

0

9

1

240 350 -110 10

15 Sharks

12

2

0

10

2

155 290 -135

8

Knights V Cowboys

16 Knights

13

2

0

11

1

198 309 -111

6

Monday 7pm Hunter Stadium

Warriors V Broncos Saturday 5.30pm Mt Smart Stadium

Titans V Dragons Sunday 3pm Cbus Super Stadium

Tyrone Peachey

Extra Time Issue Number 016 PRINTED BY Spotpress Pty Ltd / PRODUCED BY The Western Weekender EDITOR Troy Dodds / 4722 2998 / troy.dodds@westernweekender.com.au CONTRIBUTORS Nathan Taylor / Luke Priddis / Yvonne Purtell / Erin Molan

Keep up to date with the Panthers on Facebook

SALES MANAGER Simon Gould / 4722 2998 simon.gould@westernweekender.com.au

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No Panther has provided a bigger spark this season than former Shark Tyrone Peachey.

Penrith

Best moment in the NRL: Making my debut Worst moment in the NRL: Realising I’m a lot smaller than most other blokes in the NRL Favourite team growing up: Sharks Closest teammate: Sowie Sporting idol: Harbhajan Singh One player you wished you played with past or present: Matt Sing

CAR

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Friday 7.45pm GIO Stadium

AIR CONDITIONING

LE MOBIICES SERAVVAILABLE NOW

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Ph: 4736 4752 WW10185 WW10185 WW1 W WW W101 018 85 5

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Friday 20 June 2014 the western weekender

 Individuals  Partnerships  Companies  Trusts


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Day that tore Tough time Panthers apart for teams YVONNE PURTELL

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PANTHERS FLASHBACK

JUNIORS @penrith_juniors

We have just completed the toughest week in Junior League – re-grading of the teams. Junior League, throughout the season brings many challenges, none more so than re-gradings. People ask why? Re-grading of teams to us is about statistics through performance throughout the first half of the competition. Re-grading of teams to others is about winning and emotion. There is a simple factor in play for any sport, someone will win the competition and someone will come last in the competition, it doesn’t matter what level of the game you play from professional to amateur or even socially. What is more important at this level is mateship, having fun, teaching and learning and working as a team. For a coach it is about helping these players to achieve and grow in the game and as a person. I understand that it is difficult to keep the spirits of young players up when you are not winning games but I also believe that when the officials are positive this reflects on the players, as does the reverse. It was great to see our NRL Development Officers out and about at the grounds on the weekend, not just for a visit but actually to assist as a volunteer. Doonside also had a visit from Luke Ellis, the NRL NSW Game Development Manager, who donned the Ground Manager vest to assist. Great initiative by the NRL and it would be great to see more of these days throughout the year. The last of the International Coaching Courses will be held this Saturday, June 21 at Sportingbet Stadium. If you need to complete this course and haven’t registered, this can be done by visiting www.playrugbyleague.com.au and following the links.

FROM THE VAULT

Friday 20 June 2014 the western weekender

Remember collecting trading cards through the 1980s and 1990s? They were big business in the schoolyard and hours were spent honing collections rather than studying! From the vault this week comes this awesome card from 1991 featuring Panthers legend Greg Alexander. We’re not sure what it was worth when it was first released, but it was certainly worth a lot more when Penrith won the premiership later that year and Alexander played a starring role.

TROY DODDS

@troydodds

T

he euphoria surrounding Penrith’s first premiership win in 1991 should probably have lasted for many years – it was certainly obvious that the club had the makings of a successful era at its fingertips. However, one tragic night in June 1992 would rob the rugby league world of not only one of its brightest young stars, but would rock the Penrith club to its core. 20-year-old Ben Alexander may have been playing in the shadow of his brother Greg, but he showed plenty of talent in his own right – and had clocked up 36 games for the club by the time the mid-way point of the 1992 season had rolled around. On June 21, 1992 the Panthers defeated Easts 23-10 and a function was held at the club afterwards to present the players with their premiership blazers from the previous year. Ben Alexander had been dropped to reserve grade a week prior to the Easts game, and was not keen to stay at the function. He and some mates decided to visit a nightclub in the area, but on the way, Ben was tragically killed in a car accident at Colyton. Greg Alexander, Mark Geyer and others rushed to the scene of the crash, as did CEO Don Feltis who was informed of the accident via phone. As news of the tragedy spread across the local area, Mr Feltis held an emotional press conference. “He had a wonderful future mapped out at Penrith,” Mr Feltis said. The death of Ben Alexander shattered the Alexander family, his teammates, the community and the Penrith club as a whole. Looking back through the eyes of history, it would take nearly a decade for the club to truly recover from the tragic events of June 21, 1992. The weekend after Ben’s accident, the Panthers defeated Western Suburbs. John Carwright is believed to have told his teammates who took the field that day: “You remember some wins more than others, but if you win today you will remember it for the rest of your life”. Mark Geyer, who was particularly close to Ben, would tell The Sydney Morning Herald years later that the pain still lingers. “It is something you never really get over. Even 17

Ben Alexander

This time every year we remember Ben Alexander. He will never be forgotten.

years on I still haven’t got over what happened to Ben,” he said. Many stories, myths and theories surround what happened on that night 22 years ago, but the only thing worth taking out of the tragedy is that rugby league lost a rising star, and the Alexander family lost a brother and a son. Around this time every year, we remember the short career of Ben Alexander, and that fateful night in 1992 that claimed his life. His name will never, ever be forgotten in the history of the Penrith Panthers.

WW7368


Country Brewer

13

more than just homebrew

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• Cheese Kits • Beer Making Kits • Jerky Making Kits • Smoker Boxes

• Bacon Kits • Spirit and Liqueur Essences • Chocolate Making Kits

218 Great Western Hwy Kingswood PH: 02 4731 5444

www.countrybrewer.com.au

Categories

Friday 20 June 2014 the western weekender

Home Brew Beer, Spirits and Liqueurs, Distilling, Cheese Making, Yoghurt Making, Sausage Making, Coffee Roasting, Food Preserving, Chocolate Making Supplies, Advice and Information

Country Brewer ................................................................. Epicurean ................................................................. Roberts Confectionery ................................................................. Wyeast ................................................................. Fowlers Vacola ................................................................. A Taste of the Bush ................................................................. Andale ................................................................. Coopers ................................................................. Weyermann ................................................................. Joe White ................................................................. See all brands .................................................................

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POPULAR BRANDS


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PANTHERS IN PICTURES Caption Photo:

Tribute to a true legend

Phil Gould has spoken at western Sydney business functions and is willing to help out the community in any capacity

Last week, Panthers boss Phil Gould was honoured with an AM for his ongoing services to rugby league as a coach, player and media personality. Today, we celebrate the man who is leading Penrith’s resurgence in the NRL. @wwpenrith

Friday 20 June 2014 the western weekender

Save $200 on this 3 seat swing reduced

$

Swing in to Just Patio Furniture and SAVE

Available in Charcoal frame & black frame

Penrith Homemaker Centre 4733 1444 (between Harvey Norman & Bunnings) www.justpatiofurniture.com.au OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

299

Bella Vista Outlet Store 8814

7801

Shop 143, 24 – 32 Lexington Drive, Bella Vista ONLY Thursday – Saturday 10am – 5pm Sunday 10 - 4pm

Not Available With Any Other Offer - Must Present This Coupon To Redeem Discount Not Redeemable For Cash

WW9062


3

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1. It’s all business at Sportingbet Stadium 2. Phil Gould meets with a local family 3. Phil Gould is a regular guest speaker at local events and functions 4. The Panthers stalwart makes a visit to Westfield Penrith for a player meet and greet opportunity

2

4 Mary Anne Lowery

Chiropractor

& Massage Therapy

So if you are fine tuning your performance, think seriously about ensuring your body is working the way it was designed, for enquiries or to book an appointment call 4721 2143. WW7354

44 Castlereagh Street, Penrith Tel: 4721 2143

www.malchiro.com.au

Friday 20 June 2014 the western weekender

To perform better, heal quickly you need: • a healthy nervous system • well balanced mobile joints • correct body mechanics


N O O PE W N

Do it Yourself HYDROBATH Coin or token operated. BYO towel

2&3/117 Coreen Ave PENRITH www.cavets.com.au

4731 3055 WW10170


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