- Penrith stars celebrated their premiership triumph
- Ivan Cleary made cheeky dig at Reece Walsh
- Players wore goggles to protect their eyes
Penrith’s 26-24 victory over Brisbane will go down as possibly the greatest decider ever played, and the team took to social media after the match to post photos of how they celebrated.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary gave an emotional post-game speech, thanking his team and their families.
‘Firstly, I want to thank everybody in this room and anyone who has ever supported us,’ Cleary said.
‘It’s been a long journey. I know this year’s team has been an incredible team, that’s one thing, but this is also part of three in a row.
Cleary made a sly dig at Brisbane’s polarising fullback Reece Walsh, who Nathan evaded in scoring the match-winner.
Panthers stars celebrated long into the night after their grand final victory
Nathan Cleary posed with his teammates, the Provan-Summons Trophy and the wrestling-style belt the side had made for the finals
Many players wore goggles to protect their eyes from the champagne being sprayed
‘He stepped past two or three defenders, I think it was Reece Walsh?’ the coach said before cheers erupted.
‘Reece Walsh is a phenomenal player. That kid’s going to have an amazing career,’ he added, before one fan responded with: ‘He’s a flog.’
Celebrations kicked off in earnest after this, with Nathan Cleary, who had orchestrated the late comeback, posting clips to his Instagram of the team singing and dancing in the sheds.
The superstar halfback also posted a photo of himself with a wrestling-style belt around his waist laying on the pitch.
The players worked under a theme of ‘undisputed champions’, after the idea was pitched to them by coaching staff late in the season.
A belt was made, with the Panthers having engraved on it the results of their matches as they marched through the finals.
To the left of centre is their 32-6 week-one scoreline over the Warriors, and to the right reads ‘Panthers 38, Storm 4’.
‘We added the Warriors in that first week and then Melbourne last week,’ utility Jack Cogger told AAP after Sunday night’s grand final.
The undisputed belt (pictured) has the scores of finals matches engraved on it
Jarome Luai doubled down on his controversial post earlier in the season with a cheeky post
Panthers stars sung songs, drank beer and celebrated an incredible victory over Brisbane
Panthers star Moses Leota celebrates with his daughter after the match
‘And then the final piece got put on it tonight.’
That final piece is a large gold logo that reads: 2023 NRL Premiers, Undisputed.
In various clips, Panthers players could be seen with goggles on their heads – and the reason is to their eyes from champagne.
It’s an American tradition for winning teams to wear the goggles because of the high alcohol content of the French bubbles which can do damage to the eyes.
It’s a longstanding American trend to wear goggles during wild premiership-winning celebrations to stop the French bubbles getting in their eyes.
NRL villain Jarome Luai doubled down on his controversial post earlier in the season, with a cheeky Instagram post in the early hours of Monday morning.
Luai shared a pic of himself and Sunia Thompson pointing at the camera with the caption, ‘Who’s got work tomorrow?’
The five-eighth sparked huge backlash when he wrote, ‘Chill, All you idiots have work tomorrow morning’ accompanied by several tears of joy emojis after the Blues lost Origin 2.