South Sydney Rabbitohs Vs Penrith Panthers, Cody Walker confrontation, John Cartwright life ban, trainer drama, sledge revealed

South Sydney officials have claimed an ugly sledge directed at former Panthers player Jed Cartwright sparked the post-game confrontation on Saturday night.

Souths playmaker Cody Walker was held back after he launched a verbal tirade at head Panthers physiotherapist Pete Green.

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But South Sydney have claimed via the Sydney Morning Herald that Walker was defending Cartwright, who had gone to speak to Green about an alleged sledge during the match.

The Rabbitohs have not yet lodged a complaint with the NRL but said Green crossed a line, accusing Green of sledging Cartwright about a broken back he sustained playing for the Panthers.

“When you’re in a privileged position, you should never speak to another player from an opposition team let alone say the things that were said,” a ‘high ranking South Sydney official’ told the Herald. “It’s the height of disrespect.”

The Panthers claimed Green was telling his player to “get back” in the line.

Cartwright came of the bench for Souths in the clash and has played 15 games for the Rabbitohs over the past three season, after managing just the one game for the Panthers in 2019.

The son of former Australian International, NSW Origin and Panthers legend John Cartwright, Jed has suffered countless injuries over the years and told Code Sports he suffered chronic pain for four years.

John has called for Green to be banned for life if the allegation was proved correct.

“If it’s true that a trainer was sledging an opposition player then he should be banned for life,” Cartwright said via CODE Sports.

“It’s the lowest act in the game – the lowest of the low. That’s not on. You shouldn’t have to cop any sledge off a f***ing trainer.

“The game is hard enough without copping it from someone you can’t have a crack back at. It’s the height of being a coward.

“You cop sledges from opposition players, which is fair enough – you can say what you like. But you don’t need it off a bloke you can’t tackle or be tackled by.

“If there’s a bloke out there running with privilege, and he is privileged to be doing the job that he does, but if he’s sledging opposition players, then, as I said, he should be barred for life. I thought Jed had a great game – he didn’t deserve that.“ If player sledges and gets under the skin of an opponent and they give away a penalty then that is all fair. But not a trainer bringing water out.”

John said he was proud Jed didn’t “cop it on the chin”.

Last season, Green was banned for the final matches of the season when he stopped the match late in the semi-final clash between the Panthers and Eels with five minutes remaining for an injured player well behind the play while Parramatta were attacking the Penrith line.

But the calls have grown after NRL 360 hosts Paul Kent and Braith Anasta hit out at the act.

“He was treating him for a medical condition as a physio, and he was sledging him about it during the game,” Kent said.

“As John Cartwright says, a player shouldn’t have to cop a sledge off some bloke running a water bottle.

“The trainer should not be allowed to say one word to the opposition… he should be out of this week straight away.”

The Panthers are playing the Eels in the grand final on Sunday night.

“The trainer should shut up, he has nothing to do with the game, why is he talking to a first grade rugby league player while on the field?” Anasta added.

Daily Telegraph journalist Phil Rothfield also pointed out Green wasn’t the only Penrith trainer to engage with opposition players.

Former Penrith player Shane Elford gave Eels hooker Reed Mahoney as send off in the first week of the finals, an act Rothfield called “unnecessary”.

“I know the tactical point, try and get them off their game, Reed Mahoney, good on him, told him to shove it up the you know what,” Kent said.

“Why do they deserve to be there… nothing should have been said.”

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