The Parramatta Eels don't begrudge the Penrith Panthers for their vigorous celebration of their NRL grand final win - but Shaun Lane has indicated the losing grand finalists aren't exactly happy about it either.
The bitter rivalry between the two Western Sydney NRL powerhouses had another chapter added to it as the Panthers toppled the Eels to claim a sweep of all four grand finals across the various different grades, a first in the 113-year history of the sport in Australia.
What followed was a boisterous week of celebrations as both Panthers players and their fans delighted in having the wood over their fierce rivals.
Included in the fallout were jibes of labelling Parramatta their sons, while usually quietly-spoken prop James Fisher-Harris posted "#Whoyadaddy" on social media.
The comments related to a quote from Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai in the lead up to the grand final, when asked then if Parramatta were still Penrith's big brother.
Penrith fans also chanted "We hate Parra" amid Monday's team reception at BlueBet Stadium.
Lane, who was named Parramatta's player of the year on Wednesday evening, said the Panthers' 'confident arrogance' worked for them, but was adamant such an attitude wasn't part of his club's culture.
His comments were echoed by back-rower Ryan Matterson, who admitted he found aspects of the Panthers' antics 'funny' once he removed himself from what had unfolded.
"They have a bit of confident arrogance about themselves and that seems to work for them," Lane said.
"It gives them confidence on the field also. And they've developed a great performance around that kind of culture.
"It really works for Penrith. They've had an outstanding team for the past three years.
"But I don't think you'd see that at Parramatta."
For what it’s worth … last night at the Eels awards night I asked a handful of players what they made of Penrith’s remarks such as “Parra are our sons” …
Not one of them was offended.
General consensus was “they won the comp. They can do what they want” followed by laughing.
— Zac Bailey (@ZacBailey14) October 4, 2022
Lane said he hadn't seen much of Penrith's post-grand final celebrations as he doesn't have social media, but added that he 'doesn't care' about what has been said about himself or the team.
"We're not going to be bitter about other people's comments," he said.
"They can say whatever they want. If it works for them, it works for them."
Parramatta Eels not troubled by Penrith barbs after NRL grand final
Similarly, Matterson said the Panthers were more than entitled to celebrate back to back premierships as they saw fit.
"At the end of the day, winners can do whatever they want," Matterson said.
"They have been the best side over the last couple of years and if they want to celebrate like that, they can.
"We haven't spoken about it. It was pretty humorous looking at it. It did make me laugh.
"If you take ourselves out of the situation and watch it as a whole, it was funny."
Both Lane and Matterson were also adamant Parramatta's premiership window was not closed now after the grand-final loss, with several stars leaving.
"We have a great culture and it's not about losing a few players here or there," Lane said.
"That's what dynasties are built on, the culture within the club.
"We have some great systems and development of players coming through. I am very confident we will still be a powerhouse going forward."
Jarome Luai has responded to a swipe from Matterson in the wake of the NRL grand final after being dragged into the Parramatta player's decision to take a three-match ban instead of a fine.
Matterson stunned the NRL world with his decision to sit out three matches next season rather than take a $4000 fine for a crusher tackle on Dylan Edwards in the grand final.
Declaring he had his reasons for not paying the fine, Matterson then questioned why Luai wasn't cited for supposedly kicking Eels star Isaiah Papali'i.
— SixOverCoverAgainstTheSpin (@toddyor73) October 2, 2022
"Considering Jarome Luai is kicking players and he didn't get cited. It makes you think 'Where is this game heading?'" Matterson asked.
Luai has since responded to Matterson's dig, reposting the Eels forward's comments on Instagram with three crying emojis.
He also added added the chorus of Kennyon Brown’s song 'Cry 4 You' as a background track.
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