AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 16: Adam Keighran of the Warriors scores a try during the round 1 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canterbury Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/2019 Getty Images)

Panthers supremo Phil Gould has revealed his role in facilitating Adam Keighran’s move to the Warriors and his NRL debut last weekend.

Keighran announced himself to the rugby league world by starring in the Warriors’ 40-6 thumping of the Bulldogs, scoring a brilliant solo try and kicking six goals in a scintillating first grade debut.

Just last season, Keighran was not even a first-choice half in the Panthers’ reserve grade team. As such, his move to the Warriors – shortly before the dramatic departure of Shaun Johnson – went largely unnoticed.

However, Gould has revealed he was reluctant to release Keighran to the Warriors without a guarantee that he would play first grade in 2019.

Speaking on his Six Tackles with Gus podcast, Gould detailed the discussions that took place which secured Keighran’s future as an NRL player.

“The Warriors came to us at the end of last year after they couldn’t get (Parramatta five-eighth Dylan Brown) and said, ‘would you release (Keighran)?'”, Gould revealed.

“I said, ‘yes, I think he’s ready for a crack at the NRL; why, do you want him?’. And they said ‘we think Shaun Johnson might be out the door’.

“(I asked) ‘will you guarantee me he will get a run in the NRL this year. Otherwise we’ll keep him here’. And they said yes.

“So, I said (to Keighran), you’re going to go to the Warriors and you’re going to get a chance to play in the NRL, and we think this is best for your career.

“I was sorry to lose him because I really rate the kid and he has great potential. Now he’s gone across there and kicked six goals and scored a try in his first game.”

While the Panthers lost a host of big-name players at the end of last season- including Tyrone Peachey, Trent Merrin and Corey Harawira-Naera – it looks like Keighran could be the biggest of them all if he continues to perform the way he did on debut.

And with Tyrone May and Liam Coleman both facing police charges, Keighran could have been a real commodity at the foot of the mountains right now.

Keighran makes his second NRL appearance this Sunday when the Warriors take on the Tigers. The Panthers, meanwhile, will be hoping for their first win of the season when they travel to Newcastle on Saturday.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Gus is soooo considerate of everyone else.

    It was just recently that he said he wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way if father and son Cleary wanted to team up together. (It wasn’t Gus’s intention that they ended up at Panthers.
    That’s preposterous to imply such a thing.)

    We will believe you Gus if you want to keep painting yourself as the maytr of the NRL.

    • They’ve been pretty kind to Manly in recent years. Letting players go with still a year to run on contracts.
      Koroisau was very good at hooker & as a stand in 5/8th at Penrith. When they bought him from Souths . It’s allowed Manly to have a good hooker. Let Brown go there a year early as well. No matter what you think of him now? Let them go when Fulton asked if they could buy those players.
      So they have been kind to your club as well. How we forget!
      Kev just likes to pick at any little thing with any story that has anything to do with Penrith.
      Makes me think that he tried playing for Penrith at some level? Wasn’t good enough & was dumped. Whatever the reason, still has a chip on his shoulder.

  2. Gus is a clown. This kid played well so I am going to tell everyone it was I that made it happen.
    There are so many choice words I could use for Gould but zero tackles PC brigade would stop me from posting it.

  3. Agree – I’m getting sick of Gus claiming credit for anything or anyone that does something good. Freddy Fittler is also doing the same. I need Foxtel!!!

  4. Penrith gave Keighran a chance to play last year after the Bulldogs let him go. He showed that he was a good player at centre & then when moved to 5/8th, in the ISP team.
    Penrith re signed Keighran at the end of last year. So to release him to go to the Warriors when they were short of halves, was crazy. Especially given that May isn’t available now. Keighran would have been an ideal utility player.
    Don’t know what he did wrong at the Bulldogs before going to Penrith? Surely he would have been a very useful player there as well?

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