Penrith Panthers star wants Parramatta Eels to 'call us daddy' after NRL Grand Final
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We are just days away from the NRL’s deciding game and things are heating up in the rivalry between the Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels.
Western Sydney’s premiere sides will battle it out at Accor Stadium on Sunday (October 2) in what will be the first-ever grand final between the two sides.
With the Panthers' recent surge to cement their position as the top team in the NRL over the past few years, there’s certainly been a power shift between the two sides from the West.
And that fact wasn’t lost on Penrith star Jarome Luai when asked who he believed held the title as big brother between the two sides.
Luai quipped to Sydney Morning Herald: “You can call us daddy.”
Absolutely brutal sledging.
Throughout NRL history the Eels have been renowned as one of the best at producing homegrown talents.
However, with 14 players from the Panthers side making their NRL debut at the club, that accolade certainly now belongs to the side from Penrith.
More than half of the Panthers' side that will go out on Sunday night will be made up of local juniors.
The likes of Nathan Cleary, Moses Leota, Spencer Leniu, Izack Tago, Stephen Crichton, Mitch Kenny, Jarome Luai, and Brian To’o are all Penrith juniors.
And for winger extraordinaire To’o it’s a fantastic thing to see coming from the club.
He told Sydney Morning Herald: “Things have changed.
“There aren’t that many kids coming through the Parramatta system that are from the west. The majority of the people that are in the Parramatta team come from other countries or other parts of NSW ... or even Penrith.
“It’s pretty cool to see how many of us Penrith juniors have come through the lower grades up to the big leagues.
“It’s pretty special to see like Taylan May and Izack Tago come through this year.”
Luai noted that the impact of such a development system is massive for Western Sydney.
He added: “We represent our people. Western Sydney is our home. Every time we put this jersey on we represent our home.
“We just want to compare ourselves to the best. It's an awesome feeling when you've come through the grades and make your mark on the biggest stage.”