Penrith Panthers star’s interview cut after ‘disrespect’
NSW State of Origin star Tyrone Peachey has become the latest innocent casualty in the ongoing storm surrounding the future of Nathan Cleary and Ivan Cleary.
The Penrith utility's scheduled media interview at Panthers Stadium on Monday morning turned into a two-minute fiasco when club officials removed him.
A large media contingent showed up at the Panthers' home ground for their main media opportunity this week, with the club still reeling from last week's bombshell decision to sack former coach Anthony Griffin.
Peachey, one of several star players scheduled to hold group interviews with the assembled press, was just a handful of questions into his interview when a Panthers official pulled him from the microphone and told reporters the interview was over.
The intervention was reportedly in response to several networks picking up their television cameras in the middle of the interview to capture footage of star halfback Cleary.
Fox Sports cameras captured the moment the interview was shut down, showing a large pack of reporters continued to give Cleary their full attention despite the interruption of some cameramen pulling up stumps.
"Peachey is done now you've decided to pull your cameras in the middle of an interview," a staff member said.
"Everyone else has decided to run off in the middle of an interview, that's pretty disrespectful.
"Peach, you're done mate."
Peachey didn't appear upset about the decision to cut the interview.
He was at the microphone for only two minutes.
In that two minutes, he sidestepped questions surrounding his relationship with sacked coach Griffin, but stressed his relationship with the former Broncos coach was not the reason he signed a deal earlier this year to go to the Titans in 2019.
"It was all right. I got along good with him," Peachey said, according to foxsports.com.au.
"I wasn't too happy when he put me on the bench, but when I was starting everything was all good."
Penrith centre Dean Whare also sidestepped questions surrounding his relationship with Griffin - but stressed the veteran mentor had not "lost the dressing room" as reported last week.
He said the playing group had noticed the influence and responsibility of interim coach Cameron Ciraldo continued to grow throughout the 2018 season and suggested players were more engaged when dealing with their former assistant coach.
"I think Ciro is a little more vocal than he (Griffin) was," Whare said.
"(Griffin) hadn't really lost the sheds, just the way the boys responded to Ciro and to Hook was a bit different.
"The way he directed us as an assistant coach, especially in attack and the way we run around.
"Overall, Hook took over everything else and sort of sat back and let Ciro take over.
"Nothing has to change too much as a playing group. Ourselves, we've just got to work on our defence, and everything else that was put in place is the same now."
The Panthers returned to training on Monday after claiming another come-from-behind win, 17-16 over the Gold Coast on Saturday in Ciraldo's first game in charge.
Whare admitted the group had in some way seen Griffin's axing coming after a season of speculation and internal rumblings.
"It's been on the cards for a while now," he said.
"It's a bit of everything. The media, just through the club and the way Ciro has been taking over in the past year.
"It's a bit of a mix of everything."
- with AAP