NRL 2021: Penrith Panthers stars Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton’s thoughtful post-game gesture
A post-grand final gesture from Stephen Crichton and Brian To’o showed why the Panthers’ wingers are two of the league’s most beloved characters.
After their side’s 14-12 win over the Rabbitohs in the decider on Sunday, the pair gave their boots away to young fans in the crowd at Suncorp Stadium.
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Crichton’s boots in particular may go down as historic pieces of Panthers memorabilia – with the scores locked at 8-all in the 66th minute, the fleet-footed winger turned the game on its head by picking off a Cody Walker pass and sprinting to the tryline.
Crichton’s play gave the Panthers a game-winning lead heading into the final ten minutes and bore striking resemblance to Scott Sattler’s match-defining tackle in the Panthers’ 2003 grand final win.
With the scores tied at six-all in the second half, Sattler chased down Roosters winger Todd Byrne to prevent what would have been a crucial try.
Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary said Crichton’s four-pointer “won (Penrith) the game”.
“What a play. That just sums him up to a tee; he’s ready for the big moments,” Cleary said.
“You forget he’s 21 years old. To come up with a play like that is unbelievable. He won us the game.
“He’s been doing it since the finals series started; he’s been coming up with massive plays.”
Broadcast vision showed To’o also hand his boots to a father of a small boy, both of whom appeared to be Panthers fans.
It was a night to remember for the State of Origin star – as blood dripped from a battle wound on his forehead after the game, To’o popped the question and became engaged to partner Moesha.
The proposal capped off a remarkable year for To’o. The Penrith pocket-rocket led the competition in runs, metres gained and post-contact metres this season, made his State of Origin debut and was picked as one of two Dally M Wingers of the Year on Monday.
Originally published as NRL 2021: Penrith Panthers stars Brian To’o and Stephen Crichton’s thoughtful post-game gesture
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