Panthers fans mock Canberra Raiders with ‘viking clap’ as Penrith move to 7-0 for NRL season

Panthers fans are clearly loving life, with another unbeaten start to the season, rubbing salt in Canberra’s wounds during Sunday’s drubbing of the Raiders.

After Nathan Cleary converted Viliame Kikau’s try to make it 36-6 with six minutes left at Penrith Stadium, the local fans starting a ‘viking clap’ as the Raiders jogged to halfway to kick off for the eighth time on the night.

Making matters worse, Corey Harawira-Naera booted his kick-off out on the full, consigning the exhausted Raiders to more defence and egging on the crowd further.

Already having been accused of arrogance during their near-immaculate performances since the start of 2020, Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai said after the game, “We don’t have much control over what the crowd does,” as he flashed a smile.

The slow-building ‘viking clap’ was adopted by the Raiders after it was made famous by Iceland fans at Euro 2016.

Since then, it has become a fixture at Canberra’s NRL matches, but has also become a target for rivals, with Michael Ennis taking the mickey when Cronulla beat them in a 2016 qualifying final.

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Coincidentally, Ennis was in commentary for Fox Sports as the Panthers fans emulated him.

Whether it was the mocking from the fans or the suffocating dominance of the Panthers, the Raiders’ frustrations boiled over on the full-time siren.

Cleary missed a shot at a field goal as the hooter sounded and, as he and his teammates were celebrating their seventh straight win to start the season, Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton and Panthers centre Stephen Crichton got tangled up.

Players ran from all over the park to get involved, with Penrith fullback Dylan Edwards bearing the most-fierce pushing and shoving from Wighton.

Stpehen Crichton (centre left) and Jack Wighton (centre right) got into a scuffle that attracted players from around the ground on full-time.(Getty Images: Matt Blyth)

Wighton said the referees had a quick word to him and Penrith skipper Isaah Yeo after the game, but it did not appear any punches were thrown, so there should not be any involvement from the match review committee.

Meanwhile, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart felt there were bigger things to worry about than the crowd’s actions after his team’s fourth straight loss, during which they have been outscored 67-8 in second halves.

“I’ve got no thoughts,” he said when asked for his thoughts on the fans’ clapping.

“Is that really a big focus point? F*** me dead.”

Reference-www.abc.net.au

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