Penrith Panthers teammates Jarome Luai and Jaeman Salmon in heated argument after loss to Brisbane Broncos
Cameras spotted Panthers team-mates Jarome Luai and Jaeman Salmon in a heated argument following Penrith’s season-opening loss to Brisbane on Friday night.
As Panthers players lingered on the field at Penrith Stadium following the club’s shock 13-12 loss to the Broncos, Channel Nine cameras caught Luai approaching Salmon and expressing his frustration.
Salmon fired back at Penrith’s five-eights as the argument turned into a swear-laden back-and-forth.
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But Sharks great Paul Gallen played down the seriousness of the clash when brought up on Nine’s post-match show.
“It’s no problem. It’s rugby league, mate. You know what? I understand we like 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,” Gallen said.
“These guys compete for a living, that’s what they do, they’re such competitive, testosterone-packed dudes who are trained to compete on every game for 80 minutes of play.
“When something is wrong, they want to know why and they discuss it. Who cares?”
Gallen likened the argument to the encounter involving Dragons teammates Mikaele Ravalawa and Zane Musgrove, who got into a fight at 6 a.m. after Charity Shield’s 42-24 loss to the Rabbitohs in February.
The Dragons players had a pre-scheduled night out at Mudgee, before Ravalawa and Musgrove butted heads after heading back to the team hotel.
“Yeah, they probably shouldn’t have had a drink at six in the morning, but they had a fight after a game,” Gallen said.
“Who cares? Forget it! I don’t understand why we have to dive into this. I know we want it and I know it’s a good conversation, but honestly, who cares? to fall.”
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Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston suggested the row between Luai and Salmon was healthy, as well as a product of the Panthers’ phenomenal success in recent years.
“They’ve excelled the last two years, they’ve played perfect football pretty much every time, so when someone misses their mission you want to know why you weren’t there,” Thurston said.
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“I think that’s part and parcel of rugby league. You have these conversations, you’re men, when you have these conversations you bury them and then you move on.”
Gallen continued to downplay the hoo-ha.
“I’ve seen hundreds (of arguments), I’ve seen punches in practice, all kinds of stuff. Who cares?” he said.
“It’s just part of the game.
“It means they care, it means they care.
“If I’m a Panthers fan, I don’t mind. Maybe at first you think, ‘OK’. But they care about the outcome, they care about the game.
“So drop it.”
Penrith have been eclipsed in their last two games, losing to Brisbane after a 13-12 loss in the World Club Challenge last Saturday night.
The Panthers are striving to become the first club in the NRL era to win three Premierships in a row.
They host the Rabbitohs at Penrith in the second round opener next Thursday night.
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