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Home / Sport / Edwards in doubt as Pangai jnr reveals why he ruled himself out of grand final

Edwards in doubt as Pangai jnr reveals why he ruled himself out of grand final

“This is like nothing to me. I lost my daughter. I’ve had worse experiences than missing a grand final. There’s more to life than missing a game of footy. It’s a team sport. I hope the boys get the job done.

“There probably was a slight chance I could have played, but there’s a young hungry player in Spencer Leniu who will do a good job and is a very powerful player.”

While the Panthers will be without Pangai for the decider, the club does not regret the investment to lure him from the Broncos on his way to Canterbury next year.

“Irrespective of the media speculation of the value of the deal, the Panthers were comfortable with what we thought Tevita could bring to the footy program for the back end of the year,” Penrith general manager Matt Cameron said.

“It’s incredibly disappointing he’s not eligible for selection in the grand final, but his contribution in helping us get there has been invaluable.”

The Panthers had a meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss whether to carry Pangai for the rest of the week to give him a chance of playing. Pangai pulled the pin himself.

Pangai’s manager Matt Desira said his client’s commitment and dedication to people he met only two months ago spoke volumes of his character.

“You wouldn’t have known that he’s only known those blokes for two months judging by the way he spoke about them,” Desira said.

Tevita Pangai jnr gets attention for his injured knee last week.

Tevita Pangai jnr gets attention for his injured knee last week.Credit:Getty

“He has loved every minute of his time there and has learnt a lot being in that environment. It hasn’t finished the way he would have hoped, but he was brought to the club to help them win a premiership. I think his performance in the opening quarter of the preliminary final helped give them a strong chance to do that.”

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Bulldogs general manager Phil Gould, who will welcome Pangai to Belmore in the offseason, was delighted both he and Matt Burton have experienced a finals campaign with the Panthers before linking with Canterbury.

“It’s going to be wonderful for the Bulldogs that he’s played with that side up to this point in the season,” Gould said on Nine’s 100% Footy. “It’s going to be far better than had he sat out the rest of the year waiting for his Bulldogs assignment.

“You’re going to have Matt Burton and Tevita Pangai jnr coming to the Bulldogs next year who have experienced a run up to a grand final. From my understanding, he’s really learnt a lot since he’s been there.”

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