NRL Rd 9 - Panthers v Eels
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06: Viliame Kikau of the Panthers is tackled by Mitchell Moses of the Eels during the round nine NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at BlueBet Stadium on May 06, 2022, in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

He received some welcome news this weekend with confirmation that he would escape suspension for his preliminary final shoulder charge, but the Penrith Panthers have fresh injury concerns over barnstorming back-rower Viliame Kikau ahead of Sunday’s Grand Final.

The Daily Telegraph has confirmed that while Kikau maintained he was ‘fine’ after the Panthers’ win over South Sydney, questions over his fitness for next weekend’s game were met with uncertainty after the Fijian was spotted with a brace on his left hand and questions about the condition were reportedly shut down.

A Panthers spokesperson has since confirmed that the brace was to address a pre-existing injury Kikau had carried into last weekend and that it was simply a precautionary matter.

After avoiding the possibility of a long Tuesday night in front of the judiciary, Kikau’s relief was matched only by his excitement about an all-Western Sydney grand final.

“I don’t think there’s anything bigger than this. It’s going to be a beauty,” Kikau told the Telegraph.

“Parra people hate Penrith, and Penrith people (feel) the same. It’s going to be a blockbuster.

“They’ve beaten us twice this year and we got them once, so it’ll be another big one next week.

“It’s great for the fans and great for the game as well, the atmosphere is unreal.

“There’s going to be a lot going on and the fans are going to be in the streets. We just need to go through the week with everything that needs to be done and get ready for the game.”

Personally, Kikau can’t think of a better way to end his six years at Penrith before moving to the Bulldogs.

“Every game this year I’ve played it like it’s my last. Obviously this is going to be the last last next week.

“I’m going to give everything, and the goal is to keep my head calm through the week and not think about it too much.”