Friday, January 27, 2023
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Kikau’s departure will weaken Panthers

The departure of Viliame Kikau to Canterbury Bulldogs, hooker Api Koroisau moving to the Wests Tigers and former assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo stepping down will result in the Panthers being unable to achieve a three-peat in 2023.

This is the opinion of  Daily Telegraph’s rugby league journalist Michael Carayannis.

Speaking highly of Kikau, Carayannis is fearing that Panthers’ depth will be tested in the upcoming season which is set to kick start in March.

“They are going to be hard to beat and be the competition front runners,” Carayannis said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“However, they are going to miss Koroisau so much.”

“The club changer that he can be for the Wests Tigers (is huge) and I really think they will miss his creativity.”

“There isn’t a like-for-like replacement like him at all in their squad or in the league.”

“I think Koroisau is a huge loss for them.”

“Kikau is such an outstanding player and defensively he has been so underrated.”

“His ability to play consistently at a top level for the last two years has made a difference to his game.”

“The unknown for Penrith is what they’ve got coming through (their juniors).”

“That’s the unknown.”

The Panthers have also lost J’Maine Hopgood, Sean O’Sullivan, Charlie Staines and Robert Jennings to rival clubs and the significance of these outs will mean that Panthers could slide down the ladder.

“I see them finishing in the top four,” he concluded.

“I don’t have them going to the Grand Final.”

The Panthers begin their premiership defense against the Brisbane Broncos on 3rd March at BlueBet Stadium.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com
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