'They're done': Panthers' perfect response to Paul Kent remark

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Pictured here, Fox Sports' Paul Kent and Penrith's victorious grand final stars.
Paul Kent was made to eat his words after writing off the Panthers in the wake of their week one defeat in the NRL finals. Pic: Fox Sports/Getty

There's a saying about being wary of the wounded animal and a battered and bruised Panthers side were the embodiment of it in a nail-biting grand final victory over the Rabbitohs.

Having been beaten by South Sydney in the opening week of the NRL finals, Penrith were written off by some league experts ahead of Sunday night's decider at Suncorp Stadium.

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It was a fact more than one of the players were quick to bring up in the hours after clinching the club's third premiership, courtesy of a 14-12 win over the Rabbitohs.

Fox League expert Paul Kent infamously declared that Penrith's premiership hopes were "done" after their loss to the Rabbitohs in the first week of the finals.

Kent's declaration clearly irked the Panthers camp and co-captain Isaah Yeo was happy to remind him about it after the grand final.

Taking to social media to celebrate his side's premiership triumph, Yeo decided to share a picture post of the quote from Kent.

Yeo accompanied the post with three zipper face emojis in a brutal swipe at Kent and the other critics who'd written the Panthers off.

Viliame Kikau also took aim at Kent after posting: "They're done" #kenty" alongside a photo of the Penrith forward sitting with the NRL trophy.

Viliame Kikau couldn't resist a dig at Paul Kent after he wrote the Panthers off. Pic: Instagram
Viliame Kikau couldn't resist a dig at Paul Kent after he wrote the Panthers off. Pic: Instagram

In fairness to Kent and many others who'd dismissed Penrith's chances, even coach Ivan Cleary admitted he was amazed that his side battled through so many injuries on their way to the premiership.

Cleary said he'd endured a sleepless night on the eve of the grand final, fearing the repercussions of his club's mounting injury toll and the fact it could bring his team undone.

"There was at least five who shouldn't have been playing today," the Panthers coach said on Sunday night.

"It was a calculated risk on a lot of boys. I woke up at 2am (Sunday) and couldn't get back to sleep.

"Thinking three or four of them could have been gone by 10 minutes. They just refused not to play."

James Fisher-Harris battled a knee injury in grand final week and Moses Leota a calf strain, while Nathan Cleary's shoulder issues have been well documented before his Clive Churchill Medal win.

Brian To'o has fought lingering syndesmosis issues throughout the finals, before totalling 235 metres against Souths to continually start Penrith's sets in a powerful fashion.

But it was the attitude of Dylan Edwards that is likely to be most remembered as the fullback churned through 217 metres with fractures in his foot and made a crucial last-ditch tackle on Cameron Murray late on in the courageous victory.

Speaking after the triumph, Yeo said Penrith's adversity had helped galvanise his side.

Panthers defy injury toll to claim premiership 

“Pretty much since the Origin period we’ve been backs against the wall a little bit,” Yeo told reporters.

“We’ve never had the same team on the park for two weeks in a row, but I was always looking at it as a positive.

“We were just going to be so battle hardened if we got to this point.

“We’ve had some close games like Parramatta, and everyone wrote us off against the Storm just because of how much juice it took out of us.

“But we spoke about it at the start of the week, and we just felt so confident.

Some players weren’t training, but that was happening for the past month as well, so we just felt like we were so ready to do it.”

Dylan Edwards had been on crutches with a broken foot in the lead-up to Sunday night's grand final victory. Pic: AAP
Dylan Edwards had been on crutches with a broken foot in the lead-up to Sunday night's grand final victory. Pic: AAP

Edwards revealed that fractures developed before the first week of the finals due to ongoing stress, forcing him into a moon boot and crutches throughout the week.

It meant not training before any of the Panthers' finals games and suiting up through pain to get the job done.

"It's all right, it's just a couple of little fractures I suppose," Edwards said, revealing he he relied on painkillers to get through.

"You've just got to give yourself to the team.

"There's 16 other blokes out there willing to put their body on the line, so you've just got to put your body on the line and get the job done.

"You just look at the person next to you battling things ... or they've got injuries that you don't know about, you've just got to do what you can do."

with agencies

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