Souths forward Jai Arrow gave Panthers counterpart Viliame Kikau a verbal barrage after the Penrith enforcer was placed on report for a high tackle in the first half of the grand final.
Arrow was collected high on the way down in a tackle before Kikau came over the top late, resulting in a penalty against his team.
“Jai Arrow came on his first run of the game, I don’t know if he got a tap, but he dropped the ball right away,” Ray Warren said on Cannel 9.
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“There’s nothing to worry about there, no, he just lost the ball. He just flips it over when it goes down.”
However, referee Gerard Sutton placed Kikau on report.
Phil Gould made no secret of what he thought of the call.
“But before that, he lost the ball,” Gould said. “He loses the ball, then there is contact with the head.”
“That’s a big biceps to cut,” Andrew Johns intervened.
“I’m sure you don’t want to get caught up in it. He is going for an HIA.”
As he left the field, you could see Arrow blasting toward the Panthers’ vanguard.
“Enough has been said by Jai Arrow, he was yelling at Kikau, so watch out when he comes on the field,” Johns said.
“I think Kikau just nodded and prayed for him. Jai Arrow may have been aggressive, but Vilame wasn’t.”
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There was confusion as to whether Arrow actually went off the field for an HIA after returning to the field just minutes later.
It left pundits and fans questioning the speed of his return to play, but Arrow was ruled a free exchange by match officials.
Then, in a surprising development, Arrow was later taken off the field with delayed concussion symptoms and subsequently failed his HIA.