Up the Pahs! Panthers delete controversial post, apologise to Warriors

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The Penrith Panthers have deleted a controversial celebration post from their qualifying final win over the Warriors, issuing a formal apology to their opponents on Sunday morning.

Panthers rugby league chief executive Matt Cameron phoned New Zealand boss Cameron George on Sunday to apologise on behalf of the club for the video that was viewed by some to be mocking the Warriors’ new phrase, “Up the Wahs”, replacing it with “Up the Pahs”.

The Panthers on Saturday night posted a video of their players celebrating the 32-6 win over the Warriors in the qualifying final at BlueBet Stadium to the backdrop of a song created by one of the club’s fans during the week.

It was a parody of the 1995 song How Bizarre, sung by New Zealand group OMC. The song wasn’t created by the Panthers, but used by the club as the background to shots of celebrations in the dressing room led by Stephen Crichton, Spencer Leniu and Sunia Turuva.

The parody lyrics were: “Up the Pahs! We’re going for a three-peat, we’re turning up the heat. We’re never panicked, we have Nathan Cleary. Shaun Johnson out the game on Saturday, it’s an oh no, therefore five tries on Brian To’o. Up the Pahs. Up the Pahs, up the Pahs.”

The club deleted the post on Sunday morning after public backlash, criticising the sportsmanship and humility of the back-to-back champions.

The Warriors were outclassed by Penrith on Saturday.Credit: NRL Photos

Cameron told the Herald he was unaware of the video’s release when it was brought to his attention and apologised for the post.

“I’ve spoken to the Warriors and issued an apology on behalf of the club,” Cameron said.

“We apologise for any offence caused as a result of our post. It has since been taken down.”

Five-eighth Jarome Luai also reposted the scoreline from the game on his Instagram account with the words “Up the Pahs” added in.

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