NRL 2022: Latest news and reaction from Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers

A Melbourne Storm star has apologised for his involvement in a video mocking the upbringing of several Panthers players, which fuelled their upset finals win.

Melbourne Storm star Jahrome Hughes has apologised for his involvement in a video mocking the Mt Druitt upbringing of several Penrith players that was used as motivation for last year’s preliminary final upset.

Penrith assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo showed the Mt Druitt-raised players social media footage of the Storm making fun of their blue-collar up-bringing during grand final celebrations the previous year to motivate the side.

They identified Hughes as the chief antagonist in the video after it was initially thought Brandon Smith was the man the Panthers were most upset with.

The two powerhouse teams will clash again on Saturday in the Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.

Watch every game of Magic Round this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

Jahrome Hughes has apologised for his involvement in a video mocking Penrith players. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty Images
Jahrome Hughes has apologised for his involvement in a video mocking Penrith players. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty Images

The Storm halfback said on Wednesday he deeply regretted his actions in the video, which is believed to have been filmed in the days following Melbourne’s 2020 grand final win over the Panthers.

“I didn’t mean any disrespect by it and I didn’t know I was being videoed and I had a few drinks under my belt, probably for the last couple of days,” Hughes said on Wednesday.

“There was no disrespect to them or anyone in their area.

“I’m quite disappointed because I’m not that kind of guy either and I don’t want to be looked at like that either, so there was no disrespect on my behalf.

“They’re going to use it as motivation.

“I think they said they did that last year and they got over the top of us, so we just need to play our game.”

It was reported that Panthers players slammed Storm star Smith as a “dog c---” when he came from the field in the first half in the preliminary final.

“I think they said a few things during the game to myself, but I didn’t really know the full extent,” Hughes said.

“I can’t really remember what happened but I think they came out after and said they used a bit of a video (for motivation), but I didn’t mean anything by it and that’s not me and the type of person I am.

“Obviously I’m disappointed it gave them a bit of motivation because it gave them the chocolates.”

Hughes said he hadn’t reached out to any Panthers players after it became clear the footage of the video had leaked.

“I think they made it clear they were pretty disappointed by it and so am I,” he said.

“That’s not me and I didn’t mean any disrespect to them or any of their families.

“Now I know what it is, I apologise and didn’t mean anything disrespectful by it.” 

Originally published as NRL 2022: Latest news and reaction from Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers

Add your comment to this story

To join the conversation, please Don't have an account? Register

Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout