Wests Tigers star Daine Laurie pictured celebrating Penrith Panthers’ grand victory
Wests Tigers full-back Daine Laurie was pictured wearing the former club Penrith jersey as he celebrated the Panthers’ big final victory on Sunday night.
In the same week he was named a Joint Kelly-Barnes Medalist alongside Luke Brooks as the Tigers’ Player of the Year, images emerged of Laurie winning the grand final result in full outfit from the Panthers. The photos angered diehard Tigers fans, who took to social media to question where Laurie’s allegiances lie.
Laurie made her freshman debut for the Panthers in the 13th round of last year, making two more NRL appearances for the club before signing with the Tigers. Stuck behind first-choice full-backs Dylan Edwards, Charlie Staines and Stephen Crichton at the foot of the mountains, he was granted early release to take the No.1 jersey for the Tigers.
On a deal worth just $ 140,000 for 2021, Laurie was a Buy-of-the-Year candidate. The 22-year-old has played 19 games under Michael Maguire, scored seven tries and defeated teammates Adam Doueihi, Stefano Utoikamanu and Luciano Leilua to share Player of the Year honors.
Although he has put in an unqualified performance for the Tigers, it looks like he still has a soft spot for the Panthers. The jersey he was pictured in, leaning out of a car with friends, is the one he made his NRL debut in.
The Tigers’ power brokers don’t question his engagement, but privately concede it’s a bad look.
Ironically, Laurie didn’t seem to have any broken allegiances about the big end result; in an interview with the Herald in May, he revealed he had grown up as a South Sydney fan.
“I used to go to the Rabbitohs when I was younger and when [Maguire] won the grand final with them, to be coached by him now, he’s so passionate about winning, ”Laurie said at the time.