Brett Kimmorley says Penrith has been “disrespectful” in letting its Origin players rest.


Wests Tigers coach Brett Kimmorley has accused Penrith of being disrespectful after the Panthers rested seven State of Origin stars for their Round 18 game.

The Panthers won the game 18-16, despite missing a host of first-choice players, leaving the defending premiers eight points clear at the top of the table.

The Tigers, meanwhile, languish in last place, having lost their last six matches.

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Kimmorley’s comments come just days after it was confirmed he will be out of work in 2023, with Tim Sheens returning as the club’s head coach.

“It’s a very good organization that has the right to rest its players, but we thought that was disrespectful,” Kimmorley said.

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“But it helped us, which also helped us. It’s something you have to use as a coach to get your players up.

“We were lucky to win it. The challenge now is to make sure we don’t fall off the cliff a bit and compete again next week and we’ll get that win eventually.”

“They are Premiers and their guys are playing long minutes but they were the only club to rest their players before the squad roster came out,” added Kimmorley.

“My job as a coach is to be a storyteller and I used that for us during the week.”

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said the decision to rest the players had nothing to do with them facing the Tigers.

“The decision was based on our team, not someone else’s,” he said.

“It didn’t matter who we were playing after the third Origin. It was the best time to rest guys. If you rest them during Origin, physically they might rest, but mentally they don’t.”

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