Nine skips NSW Cup decision
It is nothing short of ridiculous that the NSW Cup Grand Final will not be televised this weekend.
Channel Nine has the rights to broadcast Sunday afternoon’s game but will instead show the two NRLW semi-finals already being shown simultaneously by Fox League.
Over on GEM, Nine is showing the UCI Road World Cycling Championships.
Anyone who wants to see Penrith decide the Jersey Flegg or the NSW Cup must stream him on the NSWRL website or Facebook page.
I’m not sure who’s to blame here, but we shouldn’t have been put in a position where the state’s premier competition isn’t televised and it’s clear that scheduling conflicts could have been avoided with a little forethought.
It is understood that Nine asked the NSWRL if they would move the Grand Finals to Saturday, but they would not budge.
Radio 2GB will be broadcasting live from CommBank Stadium on Sunday but will not name the Grand Finals, just providing a score update service. We asked ABC if they were calling the games but we heard nothing.
A Nine spokesman told me: “We would have liked to have broadcast the NSW Cup Grand Final live and free of charge for our audience, but scheduling conflicts on Sunday with already four live games in a row prevented us from doing so. The Host Plus Cup grand final will be broadcast live on Channel 9 for Queensland viewers on Saturday.”
Louai’s media ban
Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai is said to have declared The Daily Telegraph a no-go zone for interviews for the remainder of the season.
Unhappy with an article by Paul Kent in the newspaper last Saturday, Luai will not speak to the Telegraph again this year.
The Panthers will be placing orders for a Grand Final shirt very soon after full-time on Saturday night should the team topple the Rabbitohs and qualify for the playoff. The kits will land during the week of the Grand Finals, making them a must-have garment when the Panthers return to Accor Stadium on October 2nd.
On the buses
The club are preparing for a cavalcade of buses to travel between the Panthers and Accor Stadium on Grand Final Day should Ivan Cleary’s side make the decision.
With the 2021 Grand Final taking place in Brisbane and the 2020 game facing COVID restrictions, 2022 will present many fans with their first opportunity to attend a season decider in a while.
A record number of buses is expected to be needed.
In his father’s footsteps
Max Jorgensen, the son of former Panthers aviator Peter Jorgensen, has signed a lucrative contract with the NSW Waratahs.
Jorgensen is currently in Year 12 at St Joseph’s College and has spent three years in the NSW system representing Waratahs Academy at the U15, U16 and U18 ages.
Waratahs head coach Darren Coleman said: “Securing Max is a positive result not only for the Waratahs but also for Australian rugby as he is one of the elite students in the Class of 2022 and is in great demand.”
Peter Jorgensen (pictured) played 69 games for the Panthers between 1997 and 2001, scoring 32 tries for the club.
Panther enforcer Liam Martin enjoys breakfast at the High Street Depot in Penrith over the weekend.
The Panthers will move forward with a planned Grand Final Lunch for sponsors next Friday, even if the team doesn’t make the decision.
Indeed, the club is following the lead of several other NRL teams and making the Grand Final Lunch a fixture on the calendar for sponsors and corporate partners whether Penrith is in the big dance or not.
2 GB Sunday desk
While there has been some confusion over the 2022 season schedule, I have been told that 2GB will definitely be calling the 4pm Sunday game starting next year. You’ve been calling the 2 p.m. game for a number of years, which is often the worse of the Sunday games.
Hadley on deck
Ray Hadley will continue his foray back into the big game broadcast box this weekend. He will be at Accor Stadium on Saturday night to call the 2GB blockbuster Panthers v Rabbitohs.
Buzz blocks Weekender
Veteran News Corp journalist Phil “Buzz” Rothfield has blocked the Weekender and some of our writers on Twitter.
In a podcast last week, “Buzz” said the weekender was too much cheering for the Panthers.
Given that Penrith has lost 10 NRL games in three seasons, is on the verge of making his third straight Grand Final, won the SG Ball title earlier this year and this weekend defeated decisions by the Jersey Flegg and of the NSW Cup whilst the Leagues Club have made a strong recovery from COVID we believe there is much to celebrate.