Penrith Panthers teammates Jarome Luai, Jaeman Salmon in heated argument after loss to Brisbane Broncos
Cameras spotted Panthers teammates Jarome Luai and Jaeman Salmon in a heated argument following Penrith’s season-opening defeat to Brisbane on Friday night.
As Panthers players lingered on the field at Penrith Stadium after the club’s shock 13-12 loss to the Broncos, Channel Nine cameras captured Luai approaching Salmon and venting his frustration.
Salmon hit back at the Penrith five-eighth as the argument developed into an expletive-laden back-and-forth.
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But Sharks great Paul Gallen played down the seriousness of the clash when it was raised on Nine’s post-match show.
“There’s no issue. It’s rugby league, mate. You know what? I understand we love 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, it’s what they do, they’re so competitive, testosterone-fuelled blokes that are trained to compete on every single play for 80 minutes of the game.
“When something doesn’t go right they want to know why and they have a discussion about it. Who cares?”
Gallen compared the argument to the encounter involving Dragons teammates Mikaele Ravalawa and Zane Musgrove, who had a scuffle at 6am following the 42-24 Charity Shield loss to the Rabbitohs in February.
Dragons players had a pre-scheduled night out in Mudgee, before Ravalawa and Musgrove butted heads after returning to the team hotel.
“Yeah, they probably shouldn’t have been on the drink at six in the morning, but they’ve had an argument after a game,” Gallen said.
“Who cares? Let it go! I don’t understand why we’ve got to delve into it. I know we want to and I know it’s good chat, but honestly, who cares? Let it go.”
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Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston suggested the argument 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 footy just about every time, so when someone misses their assignment you want to know why you weren’t there,” Thurston said.
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“I think it’s just part and parcel of rugby league. You have those conversations, you’re men, when you have those conversations you bury it and then you just move on.”
Gallen continued to play down the hoo-ha.
“I’ve seen hundreds (of arguments), I’ve seen punch-ups at training, all sorts of things. Who cares?” he said.
“It’s just part of the game.
“Let’s just get on with it.
“It means they care, it means they care.
“If I’m a Panthers fan, I don’t mind it. Maybe initially you think, ‘OK’. But they care about the result, they care about the game.
“So just let it go.”
Penrith has been upstaged in its last two games, with the defeat to Brisbane following 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 will host the Rabbitohs in Penrith in the opening game of round two next Thursday night.
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