The Northern Territory news Sat 31 Jul 2021
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
50 SPORT NRL SATURDAY, JULY 31, 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Jarome urged to step up to the plate PANTHERS PANGAI TO SHELTER IN STORM PENRITH coach Ivan Cleary says the Tevita Pangai experiment will kick off in seven days against the Sydney Roosters, admitting his biggest test is getting the 117kg recruit up to speed defensively. After welcoming Pangai Jr into the Panthers Sunshine Coast bubble on Thursday, Cleary decided 48 hours was not enough time to ready him for Saturday nights clash against Melbourne. Already, Penrith are facing the reigning NRL champs without a host of stars including Nathan Cleary (shoulder), Isaah Yeo (concussion), Api Koroisau (suspension), Brian Too (ankle), Tyrone May (knee) and James FisherHarris, who headed back to Sydney for the birth of his child. Yet coach Cleary said the Brisbane Broncos import would be parachuted into the side for the following weeks Round 21 match against the Roosters. While the Tongan international has endured a tumultuous six years at Red Hill, which included his 2020 suspension for a Covid quarantine breach, the Panthers quietly believe they can get the best out of their new $120,000 recruit. Pangai Jr has long been touted as one of the games best young forwards. Asked why he would be the one to get the best of a footballer who comes with more than a few question marks, and was only recently dubbed a risky signing by NSW Origin great Laurie Daley, Cleary replied: Its really around Tevita fitting into what we already have here. And hes already said thats what he wants to do. He arrived Thursday and that was a big (training) day for us. So he saw lots. Felt lots in terms of how we do things. Thats the first part. Its also not just about what I do, its everyone. Hes only been here a day but has tried to absorb how we do things. Asked why he wasnt rushed in for Saturdays game against the Storm, Cleary continued: The way the contract went he wasnt available for this weekend. He could only get here yesterday (Thursday) and we decided that wasnt soon enough to get ready for a game. So he will be available for next week. He cant train until Monday with the team but hes already brought some new energy into the camp and Im looking forward to getting him into the team. Signed to the Canterbury Bulldogs on a three-year deal from next season, Pangai Jr suddenly looms as a genuine X-factor addition to a Panthers side plagued by withdrawals. Quizzed on the role Pangai Jr would play in his absence, Cleary continued: Weve got systems already in place. And we wont change those too much for one player coming in. But within those systems we encourage our players individual talents as well. We also have to get him used to our systems, particularly defensively. That will take a few weeks. Tevita hasnt played for four or five weeks. So we will have to ease him into it and see where he is at. The Panthers face a tough task against the Storm, who enter the game on a 15-game winning streak. NSW Origin star Jarome Luai has been ordered to step up and own the big moments as his side looks to overcome the longest odds of any Penrith side in six years. Set to face defending premiers the Melbourne Storm on Saturday without a host of stars including halfback Nathan Cleary, captain Isaah Yeo and suspended No.9 Api Koroisau the Panthers are a whopping $6.50 with the TAB. It is not only the longest Penrith have been in any premiership match betting since 2015, but the first time they have been outsiders since the 2020 NRL grand final. Yet while his beloved Mt Druitt may be suffering a Covid lockdown, the 24-year-old Panthers livewire has been urged by coach Ivan Cleary to break out and own what would be one of the Panthers greatest upset wins. Elsewhere, coach Cleary also revealed utility Tyrone May would likely miss up to five weeks after suffering a knee injury in their Round 19 win over Brisbane. And Yeo is recovering really well from a concussion suffered in the same match, despite the skippers publicised history with head knocks. While May started at No.7 in the Broncos win, his injury means Luai now moves into the halfback role, with Matt Burton going from centre back to fiveeighth. Yet Cleary left no doubt as to who he wants to run the side against Storm in their hyped showdown. Jaromes got more responsibility this week, the coach said. Its a big role for him. And Im looking forward to watching him take it on. Nathan is obviously our first choice halfback and runs the show. But Jarome has done it before too so he knows what to do. Jarome was a little quiet last week and he knows that. But he doesnt shy away from the big games. Or the big moments. And thats why we love him so much. Penrith was the last side to beat the Storm, back on March 25. Penrith has resisted the urge to play Tevita Pangai Jr against Melbourne, and he will instead tackle the Roosters the following week. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/ Getty NICK WALSHAW NICK WALSHAW Ivan Cleary. WESTS Tigers have blown a 10-0 lead to effectively end their own season as the Warriors roared home to pull off arguably the upset of the season with an 18-16 result. Michael Maguires future at the Tigers will come under intense scrutiny after they lost the unlosable game to a heavily depleted Warriors outfit. The Tigers led 10-0 at halftime before they failed to come out after halftime and let the Warriors score three straight tries, including a gift from a short drop out that landed in Euan Ait kens hands. Luke Brooks received backing from the club during the week, but he missed some big opportunities to win the game. Doubt on Madges future after Tigers fold Euan Aitken. after the break, the result looked to be sealed. The Cowboys refused to die and hit back through prolific tryscorer Kyle Feldt midway through the half. When the Origin winger crossed again minutes later, the home crowd became uneasy. That was, until The Bunker intervened. Scott Drinkwater split the Broncos defence on the fifth tackle and found Feldt, who looked to have planted the footy down for a try. The referee awarded the points on field and the try was confirmed by The Bunker. Sensationally, The Bunker then decided to re-examine the try as Drinkwater lined up for his conversion, leaving commentators baffled. On closer inspection, The Bunker overturned the decision on the grounds that Feldt had lost control of the ball. A CONTENTIOUS call from The Bunker has marred Friday nights Queensland derby between the Broncos and Cowboys, which Brisbane won 37-18. Brisbane hosted North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium and made the most of the homeground advantage early, running out to a 22-12 halftime lead. When the home side found the chalk through Kotoni Staggs shortly JASPER BRUCE Brisbane fans thank The Bunker for a close win