Cheer girls spark massive NRL bust-up

NOW it's pom-poms at 10 paces.

On the back of a weekend of thrilling finals football when complaints were made about everything from referees to where they actually play the games, no one has been spared.

The cheerleaders are now under fire after Manly boss Scott Penn questioned why Penrith's Pantherettes were allowed to perform at the Sea Eagles' "home game" on Saturday at Allianz Stadium.

After the Panthers beat his Sea Eagles 22-10, Penn went on a rant about why his club should have been allowed to play at Lottoland, then bizarrely took aim at the rival cheerleaders, asking: "Why were they there if it's our home final?''

Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher defended the Pantherettes last night.

The Pantherette's cheerleader group perform ahead of kick off.
The Pantherette's cheerleader group perform ahead of kick off. AAP Image - Dean Lewins

"He's drawing a long bow if he's complaining about our cheerleaders,'' Fletcher said.

"As for playing at Allianz Stadium, we finished in front of Canterbury last year and had to play them there in week one, not Pepper Stadium.

"It's not like these rules happened overnight.

"It's just his club haven't played finals football in that long. His team went off a week early.''

Laura Harrison, who runs the Pantherettes, said the squad had performed at several finals in recent years.

The NRL confirmed it was in charge of all finals games - not home teams - and cheerleaders from both clubs were allowed to participate.

"The NRL run it, they invited us, and we were more than happy to do it,'' Harrison said. "We've been involved in finals games over the years. Last year (week one) was in Sydney and we were there and the Bulldogs cheer squad was there.''

Fox Sports commentator Andrew Voss took to Twitter to express his dismay at the amount of whingeing in the "sport I love''.

He even referred to Penn's cheerleaders dummy spit, to which the official Penrith Panthers account responded: "Those Seabirds were just salty they got schooled by our Pantherettes.''

The Seabirds lodged a formal complaint over the Panthers' tweet, demanding an apology.

The rivalry continued on the field when Manly's Dylan Walker was again involved in several fiery exchanges.

Topics:  cheerleaders editors picks nrl

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