Wests Tigers captain James Tamou praises Leichhardt Oval faithful as Panthers versus Tigers rivalry heats up

Wests Tigers captain James Tamou has praised the club’s passionate Leichhardt Oval faithful despite some supporters crossing the line with anti-social behaviour towards Penrith fans.

The Tigers lent on the Leichhardt faithful’s energy to beat an Origin-impacted Panthers, but all the post-game discussion was about the crowd.

The joint-venture club has launched an investigation into allegations Penrith fans were abused and had beer cans thrown at them.

Some Panthers fans claimed they left Leichhardt in disgust at being targeted by Wests Tigers fans and have vowed to never return.

Wests Tigers captain James Tamou has praised the Leichhardt Oval faithful as the Panthers versus Tigers rivalry heats up. Picture: Gregg Porteous / NRL PhotosSource:Supplied

Tigers fans chanted “Cleary is a w**ker” after their side won, the fans refusing to forgive the coach for walking out on their club to join Penrith after 2018.

The Tigers faithful will also remember a game last year when Cleary, after his Panthers had won 19-12 at Bankwest Stadium, blew kisses at frustrated Wests Tigers supporters.

Tamou, though, insists the rivalry between the Tigers and Panthers is good for rugby league.

“I love Leichhardt Oval – the fans are close to the field, and it helped us get over the line,” Tamou said.

“It is just one of those things that creates rivalries for the NRL, which is great for the game and the fans.

“It is just healthy for the game.”

Tamou, who played 97 NRL games for Penrith between 2017 and 2020, wants to add fuel to the rivalry against the Panthers now he is a Tiger.

“I guess that is mine to adopt and I have now being a Tiger, and that is what makes it all sweeter to get that win,” he said.

“There is a bit of history there that runs deeper than a few players coming here (to the Tigers) and obviously Ivan and all the coaching stuff.

“The emotions got a bit wild there with the history of these two teams, but it was good fun, and it was good to be out there.

“I think so, being two Western Sydney teams and all the bad blood as I mentioned.”

Tamou believes the tension between the two clubs is a positive for the game. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Tigers centre Adam Douhei also received a major boost from the Leichhardt fans during last Friday’s win over Penrith.

“They are a good bunch – they are passionate the Tigers fans, especially at Leichhardt,” Douhei said.

“It is a special place for us.”

The Tigers may have been impressive in their win over Penrith, but Douhei knows his side must be more consistent.

He believes it’s s challenge that starts with a blockbuster clash against the third-placed Parramatta Eels at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday.

“Parra is another challenge for us, so we are going to need another big performance,” he said.

“Every week is a big test for us. We aren’t in the top eight at the moment, so the more teams we verse the better we’ll get.”

Source: Read Full Article