Panthers skipper axed for booze breach

Matt Moylan of the Panthers. Photo / Getty
Matt Moylan of the Panthers. Photo / Getty

Penrith captain Matt Moylan has been axed and sent to play reserve grade after breaking team curfew following Saturday's NRL loss in Melbourne.

Moylan is one of three players cut from the side for Friday's clash with South Sydney following a "breach of team protocol", along with outside backs Peta Hiku and Waqa Blake.

It's understood the players were caught drinking late after their 28-6 defeat.

In a statement on Tuesday, the club said the trio will miss Friday night's home clash with South Sydney and will instead face Newcastle in the NSW Cup on Saturday.

The suspension is not the first time Anthony Griffin has stood a player down since his he began at the club last season.

Tyrone Peachey was stood down in 2016 for one match against Cronulla after he arrived late to a recovery session last July.

The axings cap off a bad day for the Panthers' outside backs, with centre Peachey ruled out indefinitely with a fractured rib.It leaves the Panthers struggling for numbers at the back.

Dylan Edwards has been named at fullback, with ex-Manly and Sydney Roosters player Michael Oldfield picked on the wing.

Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, the 25-year-old brother of Dallin, is set to make his debut on the wing, with his brother inside him in the centres.

The Panthers are already without injured Kangaroos winger Josh Mansour, who is not due to return from knee surgery until mid-year.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak signalled his intent to move into the No.1 jersey at some point after signing a three-year deal on Monday.

"That's my preferred position and one I want to play but I'm happy to play anywhere in the NRL," he said.

"You never know where you're going to end up and teams change every week.

"I'm ready for any position that comes towards me so I can better myself as a player."

Meanwhile lock James Fisher-Harris has also failed in his bid to return from a fractured cheekbone, while Bryce Cartwright will spend another week sidelined with an ankle problem.

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