A squirmish photo that went overlooked from the Panthers’ annihilation of Manly on Friday night shows the ugly side of a faster game.
A squirmish photo that went overlooked from the Panthers’ annihilation of Manly on Friday night shows the ugly side of a faster game.

Brutal photo exposes NRL truth

Brian To'o's right calf muscle did more to stop the Panthers winger than the entire Manly defence on Friday night.

The rising star bulldozed the Sea Eagles with a first half double during Penrith's 46-6 mauling at Brookvale Oval.

Penrith's left edge punished the home team throughout the night, with To'o and Viliame Kikau crossing for two tries each.

The glee of the slaughter was surely enough to compensate for the moment of pure anguish To'o must have felt when he went down with a brutal calf muscle cramp.

An image of the moment To'o's right leg seized up in the middle of a tackle left fans squirming on Friday night.

However, the 22-year-old had no issues getting back up and finishing out the match despite the ugly cramp.

 

Brian To'o's legs did more to stop him than the Manly defence.
Brian To'o's legs did more to stop him than the Manly defence.

To'o's ability to finish out the match with the grabbing muscle comes at a time when payers are under fire for finding fake reasons to lie on the ground in an attempt to slow the game down.

The NRL has been cracking down on time-waisting and players pretending to be injured this year after former Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu was hit with a $10,000 fine for trying to have a game stopped in the 76th minute during last year's finals series in a blatant attempt to give his teammates a chance to catch their breath.

Under the NRL rule changes announced in December a player must spend at least two minutes on the sideline if a trainer calls on the referee to stop the game as a result of a player needing medical attention.

However, players appear to be getting around the rule by convincing referees to stop the game instead, when they are not required to be taken from the field for that time.

To'o's refusal to let the cramp impact him shows the NRL was right to push ahead with the crack down.

The 46-6 drubbing was Manly's biggest ever defeat at Lottoland. To make matters worse, Sea Eagles forward Morgan Boyle dislocated his shoulder in the loss, while Moses Suli suffered what looked to be a back injury.

The defeat will likely keep the Sea Eagles at the bottom of the ladder, marking just the second time since 2015 they have finished a round in 16th spot.

The Sea Eagles will be hope star fullback Tom Trbojevic can ignite the side's sluggish attack when he returns from injury in the coming weeks.

It's unlikely "Turbo" will fix all of the side's problems though, with serious questions looming over the Sea Eagles' forward pack just weeks into the season.

Originally published as Brutal photo exposes NRL truth



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