Brett Kimmorley lashes out over 'disrespectful' Penrith Panthers act

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·Sports Reporter
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Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley (pictured right) during a press conference and (pictured left) Penrith Pantherscoach Ivan Cleary.
Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley (pictured right) said it was 'disrespectful' of the Panthers to rest so many Origin players in their clash. (Images: Getty Images/Fox Sports)

Wests Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley has called out the Panthers for resting seven State of Origin players in his team's 18-16 loss to the ladder leaders.

Coach Ivan Cleary opted to rest NSW players Isaah Yeo, Brian To'o, Jarome Luai, Liam Martin, Api Koroisau, Stephen Crichton and Nathan Cleary, but were still able to overcome a spirited Tigers outfit.

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Penrith's performance was easily their sloppiest of the year, especially in the 20-minute period after half-time when they committed six errors.

But the Panthers' left edge, intact despite the Origin outs, produced two early tries to give them the lead at the break.

When stand-in co-captain James Fisher-Harris crashed over late in his 150th game, victory was sealed.

While the Tigers will be disappointed they couldn't take the chance to claim two points against a depleted Penrith outfit, stand-in coach Kimmorley labelled the move from the Panthers to rest so many players as 'disrespectful'.

“They are a really good organisation that are entitled to rest their players, but we thought it wasn’t respectful,” Kimmorley said post-match.

“But it got us up, which helped us as well. That is something you have got to use as a coach about how you get your players up.

“We had the chance to win it. The challenge now is to make sure that we don’t fall off the cliff a little bit and compete again next week and we will get that win eventually.”

Kimmorley was asked to expand on why he labelled the Panthers as 'disrespectful'.

The former halfback said it was important he was able to hype up his players for the game.

Jackson Hastings (pictured right) talks to Royce Simmons (pictured) after the round 18 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Penrith Panthers.
Jackson Hastings (pictured right) talks to Royce Simmons (pictured) after the round 18 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Penrith Panthers. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

“Um . . . as I said they are the Premiers and their guys are playing big minutes, but they were the only club that rested their players before the team sheet came out,” Kimmorley said.

“My job as a coach is to be a story teller and I used that for us during the week.

“They can do whatever they want, so I don’t want you to make a headline that I am disrespecting what Penrith are doing.

“I needed to be able to sell the story to my players about how we can get up this week and that is my role as a coach."

The Tigers coach said his team only fell short in the game because of self-discipline, which saw his team disallowed two tries.

Wests Tigers announce Benji Marshall appointment

Kimmorley's disappointment comes in the same week the Tigers announced Tim Sheens would be taking the reins as of 2023.

He will be joined by Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah as assistant coaches.

Marshall is set to take over as head coach from Sheens in 2025, after two years learning the role under his former mentor.

The Panthers, meanwhile, have consolidated their spot at the top.

For the Panthers not to claim the minor premiership, they'll have to lose at least four games on the run home.

Since the start of last season, they've lost only five.

with AAP

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