Tevita Pangai Junior to Penrith Panthers, reaction, Brisbane Broncos, James Fisher-Harris, transfer news, contract

Last year, Penrith broke all records with a 17-match winning streak en route to the final.

It only took 45 minutes to make it stop.

Fast-forward almost nine months and the Panthers have taken a bold step to ensure that they don’t face the same fate.

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Penrith’s subscription period is far from closing but a lot could change in a 12-month period – just ask Raiders.

In Signing Tevita Pangai Jr, the Panthers have made it clear that they are willing to go all out in challenging the Melbourne race car driver for top honors in 2021.

To do that, they took a big gamble even when it didn’t seem like it on the surface.


Sure, this group of Panthers is full of talent but their success is built on how tight the group is.

23 of Penrith’s current top 30 have either debuted their NRLs at the Panthers or have passed the system and are on the cusp of a level one call.

Pangai Jr has clear potential on the pitch but he also has history off the pitch.

Former Blues coach Laurie Daley says the Panthers are venturing into introducing a new personality to the team later this season.


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“I still think it’s a risk to leave him for that three-month period,” he said Sports Sky’ ‘Big sports breakfast’ on Thursday morning.

“You can mess with that apple cart and they don’t need to do that at the moment, Penrith. Things are going well for them.

“They have a great squad, they have some good young players there that tried to take their time, win a little bit to get in the final.

“You brought this guy into the club, just spent three months there and was part of your team. That tells me you are not confident in the other players you have in your squad. “


Panthers boss Brian Fletcher told SEN 1170 The club believed it was a “big body lacking” due to the short-term absence of James Fisher-Harris, so Pangai Jr pursued.

Penrith’s top rower will be leaving the bubble for the birth of her second child and will not be able to compete for three weeks.

Penrith initially left behind the 25-year-old but the salary cap won’t allow that for the rest of the season.

Once coach Ivan Cleary understood he would be without Fisher-Harris for three rounds, although he thought it better to approach Pangai Jr again.


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The Sydney Morning Heraldreports that the money that will now be used to sign the 25-year-old was originally budgeted to cover the 2022 contracts of their highest-paid players.

It is understood that Pangai Jr will cost the Panthers around $120,000 for the remainder of the season.

Again, this is a short game that Penrith is playing in pursuit of a title.

That $120,000 could also prove useful in future negotiations over the futures of Viliame Kikau, Apisai Koroisau and Dylan Edwards with all three out of contract at the end of next year.


With a focus on 2021 though, what will Pangai Jr’s involvement mean for the current roster?

Scott Sorensen and Spencer Leniu will most likely still be on the Penrith team while Fisher-Harris is not available.

However, the arrival of Pangai Jr means that either one will not be on the bench when the Kiwi international returns to the roster.

Daley warned it could “send a negative message” to unselected players despite working hard under Cleary’s supervision during the regular season,

“You only have to send a negative message or two to the team and if they feel unwanted or feel they have no big chance,” he added.

“The next thing you know they start gossiping and there might be some negativity around the group. That’s the only thing you have to watch out for. “

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The Daily Telegraph’s Dean Ritchie makes a similar point when talking about Fox League’s ‘NRL Tonight’ on Wednesday.

“You can see on the pitch how close they are and how they stick together as a unit, so I was surprised when they brought in someone like Pangai Jr who without a doubt. was a quality footballer but he had a chance,” he said.

“I am a bit surprised they risk destabilizing the rest of the club and those who are playing or have played in the lower grades like Scott Sorensen for example, who has been training all year and doing all the necessary and necessary work. Now he can be brushed aside when it comes to the final.

“Any player who comes in with a personality that is different from the one already at the club has the potential to destabilize the club and change the momentum they have built. I think Penrith’s current roster is more than good enough to take the lead. “


The Panthers locked down striker Isaah Yeo more prepared to face Pangai Jr when asked about his potential appearance on Tuesday, saying the club would welcome him with “open arms “.

Former NRL player Tim Mannah was asked if he believed the rookie could have a worrying impact on the team.

“I don’t think so,” he said on ‘NRL Tonight’.

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“You look at the side gel of the Panthers, the way they play their feet together. If I’m Pangai Jr or an outsider coming in, you have no choice but to buy into that culture and join in.

“I think he’s going to fit in and the players are going to hug him really well and the Panthers fans are going to be very excited about that.

“I know what is being said about integrating into a certain team and culture but I think he will be great. I think he will have a reason to prove it.”

That moves the discussion to exactly what Pangai Jr can offer Penrith.


Sure, there are concerns about how he will combine with the playing unit but concrete evidence suggests he will only strengthen Penrith’s chances of taking the top spot.

The Panthers have boasted plenty of impact from the bench in the form of NSW Origin forward Liam Martin while Tyrone May or Mitchell Kenny add valuable versatility.

Then there will be Leniu and Sorensen duel for the final spot on the bench, with the first being a rougher product with many advantages while the latter is more reliable and has speed. work strong.

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Add Pangai Jr and you suddenly have the best second-stage threat in the game, with the upcoming Bulldog scoring 49 offloads – 14 times more than any other player this year.

Let Jarome Luai, Nathan Cleary, Dylan Edwards and Apisai Koroisau play behind and Penrith just became more dangerous in attack.

“You look at what he can bring to the team and it’s scary for opposing teams,” Mannah said.

“You look at the strong squad the Panthers had and they can let Pangai Jr off the bench and say, ‘Here you go, you’ve got 20 minutes off the bench before half-time, let’s go. Go and wreak havoc on some’. It will be amazing to see what he can do. He just added another piece of equipment to their team. “


Of course, the challenge for Pangai Jr will be to read the situation, not just do it for good.

Again, it’s a different case of risk and reward – discipline and decision making under pressure are question marks but it’s well worth a try.

“Panthers are the absolute winners in all of this,” says Cooper Cronk Fox League’s ‘NRL 360’ on Wednesday night.

“To win a competition, they don’t need Tevita Pangai Jr, but think about his history at the Broncos. To me he is a follower he is not a leader.

“He had a big say in the Brisbane Broncos and he left out a few things.

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“At Penrith he will be overpowered by Nathan Cleary, James Fisher-Harris and Isaah Yeo and this guy will make an impact in the finals and he will play a big part in how Penrith tries to make things happen. what they want to do.”

Capable of playing in the second row or more like Martin, the Panthers now boast incredibly versatile position swapping.

That will only cause more trouble for opposing teams if it means getting the most out of Kikau.

“I think that’s better for Viliame Kikau,” Paul Kent added on ‘NRL 360’.

“When you think about his excellence, he is struggling to do it for more than 80 minutes. Take him out and let Tevita do his thing for 25 minutes and then put Kikau back in.

“You’ve got a hell of a combination there.”

https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/nrl-2021-tevita-pangai-junior-to-penrith-panthers-reaction-brisbane-broncos-james-fisherharris-transfer-news-contract/news-story/ebe77c109f625c9ad4069368179d3bf0 | Tevita Pangai Junior to Penrith Panthers, reaction, Brisbane Broncos, James Fisher-Harris, transfer news, contract


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