Penrith Panthers manager Pete Green is in hot water, demanding he be suspended over an ugly incident during Saturday night’s provisional final win over South Sydney.
Cody Walker had to be pulled away from Green in ugly scenes after the Rabbitohs’ 32-12 loss to the Panthers, with an alleged Penrith coach’s sled being said to be the focus of the drama.
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Green is accused of berating Rabbitohs backing man Jed Cartwright over his history of back injuries, which is said to have sparked the explosive aftermath of Saturday night’s final.
The two know each other from their time with the Panthers, where it is known that Green was the physical therapist treating Cartwright’s back problems at the time.
It’s not entirely clear what was said on Saturday night, but Jed’s father and league icon John Cartwright says Green grossly overshot the target and should be banned for life.
“It’s the lowest storyline in the game – the lowest of the low. That’s not on. They shouldn’t have to have a trainer tow a sled,” John Cartwright told The Daily Telegraph.
“The game is tough enough without getting it from someone you can’t defend against. It’s the height of being a coward.
“If there’s a guy out there running with privilege and he has privilege to do the work he does but if he sled opposing players then like I said he should be banned for life. I thought Jed made a great game – he didn’t deserve it.
Discussing the controversy on Monday night’s NRL 360, league journalist Paul Kent stopped supporting a life ban for Green but agreed the Penrith coach should be relieved of his big closing duties on Sunday if the Panthers attempt it to create back. Premierships back against the Eels.
“He (Green) was treating him (Cartwright) as a physical therapist for an illness and he pushed him over it during the game,” Kent said on NRL360 Monday night.
“As John Cartwright says, a player shouldn’t have to tow a sled from a guy who’s carrying a water bottle.
“The coach shouldn’t be allowed to say a word to the opponent… he should be out this week straight away.”
NRL 360 co-host Braith Anasta added: “The manager should shut up, he has nothing to do with the game why is he talking to a top rugby league player while he’s on the field.”
Panthers say trainer Pete Green didn’t sled anyone
Southern officials said Cartwright faced a “series of verbal barbs” over a broken back he suffered while he was in Penrith.
The slide is said to have happened in the 69th minute when Green was on the field and dealt with Panthers full-back Dylan Edwards after a tackle from Cartwright.
The Panthers allege that Green simply told a Panthers player to “go back” in line instead of sledding someone.
Cartwright then approached Green after full-time before Walker interfered and fired a spray at the Penrith coach.
South Sydney has yet to file an official complaint with the NRL but claim Green went too far when he ‘attacked’ Cartwright.
“When you are in a privileged position you should never speak to another player on an opposing team, let alone say the things that have been said,” a South Sydney official reportedly told the Herald.
“This is the height of disrespect.”
Walker is believed to have sided with Cartwright, with teammates Cameron Murray and Davvy Moale and Chief Operating Officer Brock Schaefer intervening and pulling Walker away.
Green was escorted off the field by Penrith officers after the exchange with Walker.
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