Titans boss Graham Annesley has explained the real reason why Tyrone Peachey is hesitant to honour his deal on the Gold Coast.
Speaking after Peachey delivered mixed messages to various different media outlets, telling some journalists he wanted to stay in Penrith, while telling Channel 7 he would definitely be honouring his Gold Coast deal, Annesley told News Corp there were two reasons behind Peachey’s actions.
“Any suggestion that this is a welfare issue is an insult to our welfare staff who are recognised by the NRL as amongst the best in the game,” Annesley told News Corp.
“It’s also implausible that any genuine welfare issue would be raised publicly on the eve of one of the biggest games of Tyrone’s career.
“The reality is it’s nothing but a tactic to divert attention from the primary issue his manager has consistently raised with us over recent months, which is a demand for more money and a longer-term than he originally negotiated.
“How can anyone on one hand genuinely express concerns about coming, at the same time as demanding an extended term?
Annesley insisted the club wouldn’t be backing down.
“My job is to protect the interests of the Titans,” Annesley said.
“We will not be held to ransom just because someone now doesn’t like the terms they willingly agreed to six months ago.
“If we had simply rolled over and agreed to pay Tyrone more money, this issue would never have seen the light of day.”
Penrith ready to jump semi-final hurdle
Penrith are ready to put into practice their lessons from the past two years and clear the NRL semi-finals hurdle once and for all against Cronulla on Friday night.
Knocked out by Canberra and Brisbane at this point in 2016 and 2017, the Panthers endured a dramatic end to this year’s regular season but still find themselves in the same position as the past.
But this time under new coach Cameron Ciraldo they insist they are ready to stake their claim in September, no longer content with just playing finals football
“Hopefully we’ve learned from the past two years and take that into tomorrow and not make the same mistakes,” Ciraldo said.
“It’s a pretty similar position, it’s obviously the same week we’ve been in for the past few years.”
There are stark differences though to both 2016 and 2017.
Nathan Cleary is now a State of Origin winning halfback, while Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Tyrone Peachey also both made their NSW debuts alongside him this year.
And the big addition is James Maloney, who is now in his eighth finals series with a fourth club with two premierships already to his name and ready to take on his old side.
Maloney is well aware this is the stage of the year he was brought to the club for, and his experience was crucial in turning the tide against the Warriors last week with a 40-20 victory when the Panthers were down 12-2 early.
“Obviously a bit of leadership at this time of year, that becomes very important,” he said.
“I have to make sure I do my job and do it really well on the weekend.
“With younger guys you just find they do look up to you and look for advice in certain situations. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed this year.”
The other advantage at Penrith’s disposal this season is the quickly clicking spine Maloney has around him and Cleary.
While Dylan Edwards and Peter Wallace’s injuries decimated their fullback and hooker positions early, the halves pairing have won five of seven matches when joined by Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Sione Katoa in the other key positions.
“I felt like they clicked two weeks ago against Melbourne (in the last round),” Ciraldo said.
“They were really good there and have been building towards that.
“Our last two performances have been our best two. We’ve got to make sure we keep building on that the way they’re going.”