Victorious Panthers take NRL trophy to the beach for a sunrise celebration after a late night party as club legend Greg Alexander collapses watching his beloved team win
- Panthers players partied all night after their heart-pounding Grand Final
- Nathan Cleary posted videos of players drinking and partying on the beach
- Club legend Greg Alexander plunged into the air live after the heart-pounding victory
Penrith Panthers legend Greg Alexander plunged into the air live after the club’s heart-pounding win in the NRL Grand Final, as the players partied all night.
The Panthers defeated South Sydney 14-12 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday night, claiming their first premiership since 2003 in a game that came to the last minutes.
Alexander, who led the club to its first-ever premiership in 1991, was overcome with emotion during the post-match show on Fox Sports, barely able to speak.
‘I can not believe it. Those were the worst 10 minutes of my life,” he said. ‘I’m so proud of them. It’s so beautiful, I don’t know what to say.’
Panthers players were spotted on a Queensland beach Monday morning as their premiership festivities stretched through the night
Meanwhile, early Monday morning, the players flocked to a beach in Queensland, where they drank beer and basked in the rising sun with the premiership trophy.
Brisbane hosted its first-ever NRL Grand Final on Sunday night, with 39,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium, 13,500 of them due to Covid restrictions.
Penrith captain Nathan Cleary, who won the Clive Churchill Medal for Best Player in the Grand Final, posted videos to his Instagram story on Monday morning showing the Panthers players watching the sun rise from a beach in Queensland.
Players sprawled out on the sand and on a walkway with crates of beer and wine bottles as their celebrations continued all night.
Cleary posted another video hours later showing several players still partying, with Villiame Kikau sharing a beer with the trophy while star prop James Fisher Harris danced in sunglasses.
Captain Nathan Cleary posted videos to his Instagram story Monday morning showing the Panthers players watching the sun rise from a Queensland beach with the premiership trophy
The premiership was the club’s third and first since beating the Roosters in the 2003 final
Alexander, who is on the board of the Panthers, described the tense final moments as the “worst 10 minutes of his life” and said he thought South Sydney would storm home for the win.
“I can’t believe they persisted. We talked about their efforts in the final, to beat a fully fit Melbourne busted and to do it again tonight against Souths, who looked dangerous every time they touched the ball,” he said.
“They just didn’t allow Souths the field position it needed to win, they didn’t allow it. They showed up when they seemed gone.
“They won the game, I just can’t believe it.”
Cleary posted another video showing several players still partying, with Villiame Kikau sharing a beer with the trophy while star prop James Fisher Harris danced in sunglasses
Alexander reflected emotionally on the Panthers epic Grand Final victory, describing the final moments as the ‘worst 10 minutes of his life’
Stephen Crichton scored an intercept try with less than 15 minutes left to break the 8-8 deadlock, before the Rabbitohs scored via the game’s leading try scorer Alex Johnston with seven minutes to go.
Outgoing captain Adam Reynolds was unable to add the conversion, with Souths trailing two points in the closing seconds.
The Rabbitohs had one last chance, forcing a gold run with Reynolds delivering a two point field goal with a minute left to play but the local junior was unable to convert.
The young Panthers team has a chance to create a dynasty, with the vast majority of their roster on long-term contracts.
Winger and local junior Brian To’o proposed to his girlfriend on the sidelines immediately after the game as Penrith celebrated their first win in 18 years.
Nathan Cleary and his coach and father Ivan hold the NRL premiership trophy after both took their first title