Penrith’s back-to-back NRL premiers have forcefully hit back at comments made by Brisbane Broncos legend Gorden Tallis who recently accused the team and other recent winners of abusing the NRL salary cap rules.
These remarks were aired on Fox Sports’ NRL 360 on Monday night, with Tallis seeming to defend Melbourne Storm‘s 2007 and 2009 premiership wins that were later stripped due to established salary cap violations.
“Can you win the NRL without cheating the salary cap?” Tallis questioned. Highlighting the disparity in team performance, he continued, “If the salary cap is fair, the talent should be fair, shouldn’t it?”
The Panthers, who have competed in the last three Grand Final events, taking out the championship in two of them, were outraged by Tallis’ insinuations. Brian Fletcher, Panthers Group Chief Executive, dismissed Tallis’ comments as “thoughtless, uninformed and highly disappointing”.
Fletcher went on to say, “To imply that this club is cheating the cap is an insult to the people at this club who work in cap management, roster management, recruitment and coaching. It’s an insult to our players as well who won the comps fair and square”.
Fletcher also noted that the Panthers follow the rules by making significant investments in player development and talent recruitment, even supplying players to other NRL clubs. He plainly stated, “We comply by the cap”.
Tallis was challenged on the programme to provide any evidence to substantiate his claims of salary cap infringements by any club but was unable to deliver.
The Dragons appear to be lenient about early player departures but the terms seem different for Hunt. Time is running short for him to act if he wants another club to accommodate him in their salary cap arrangements.
Meanwhile, the Roosters announced a new addition to their coaching squad – Justin Holbrook rounded out an eventful week by joining the team. Although Cronk’s future with the club remains uncertain, Head Coach Trent Robinson is a steady ally in his corner.
Phil Gould has further fueled the controversy around the Melbourne Storm’s past salary cap infringements, calling them a “massive cover-up” on a recent episode of 100% Footy. Gould expresses particular sympathy for the players at the time, describing the treatment they received as “an absolute disgrace”.
Finally, it seems that the Penrith Panthers‘ success has caught the attention of rival teams outside the NRL with Wallabies coach Eddie Jones and Super Rugby’s Chiefs coach Roger Randle recently taking tours of their facilities. It speaks to the commitment and the reputation the club has built in the league.