Why was Turuva axed for Penrith’s win over Cowboys?

Why was Turuva axed for Penrith's win over Cowboys?

Panthers coach explains Turuva’s shock axing

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary has revealed that Sunia Turuva’s contract negotiations became a distraction, leading to his shock axing for the team’s 26-20 win over the North Queensland Cowboys.

Contract negotiations a distraction

Just a day after announcing a three-year contract with the Wests Tigers, Turuva was sensationally dropped for the Panthers’ win in Townsville. Paul Alamoti, wearing jersey No.19, proved a capable replacement, running for 181 meters and scoring a vital intercept try just on the stroke of halftime.

“Sunia didn’t play mainly because he was going through his contract decision and still negotiating,” Cleary said.

“So it was something that has been sort of going on for a few weeks. I think people don’t quite understand how much that can take out of someone, especially a young man with such a big decision.”

Cleary emphasized that the decision was not solely based on Turuva’s performance but rather on the emotional toll that the contract negotiations were taking on him.

Alamoti impresses in unexpected call-up

Despite the unexpected call-up, Cleary praised Alamoti’s performance. “I thought he showed plenty,” Cleary said. “There’s a few things that he can learn as well. There was a huge play made on the stroke of halftime, but he ran the ball strongly, came up with some other good plays as well.

“He’s a young man learning what we value, and I think he’s gonna be a good player for us.”

Cowboys frustrated despite strong showing

The Cowboys enjoyed 56% of possession and had all the momentum in the dying moments but were unable to convert their advantages into a win.

“I was pleased, really frustrated too,” said Cowboys coach Todd Payten.

“But what worries me is what could potentially happen later tonight. We go to the leagues club, get messages from fans and text messages and whatnot about, what a great effort, but don’t be happy with that.”

“We’re not happy with that. We’ve lost three of the last four, I just can’t be happy with being close.”

also read:What is Sunia Turuva’s decision regarding joining NRL in 2025 as per latest news?

By Divya

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