Souths officials believe Cody Walker’s heated outburst with Panthers trainer Pete Green was justified after a tirade of sledges directed at former Penrith player Jed Cartwright.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Souths believes Cartwright was targeted with a series of verbal barbs relating to a broken back he suffered while at the Panthers.
Walker abused Green in the aftermath of Souths’ season ending 32-12 preliminary final loss to the Panthers and had to be held back by Rabbitohs players and staff in a fiery exchange with the Penrith trainer.
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Frustrated Rabbitohs officials defended Walker for sticking up for Cartwright, whose family goes back three generations at his former club the Panthers.
Souths are yet to make an official complaint to the NRL, but believe Green overstepped the mark by targeting one of their players with verbal abuse during a game.
“When you’re in a privileged position, you should never speak to another player from an opposition team let alone say the things that were said,” a high-ranking South Sydney official told the Herald.
“It’s the height of disrespect.”
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Souths revealed the sledge from Green related to a serious back injury Cartwright suffered at the Panthers before joining the Rabbitohs in 2020.
The sledge is believed to have sparked Walker’s fiery reaction, with teammates Cameron Murray, Davvy Moale and Rabbitohs chief operating officer Brock Schaefer having to intervene.
Green had to be escorted from the field by Panthers officials after the heated argument.
The sledge allegedly occurred when Green attended to fullback Dylan Edwards after a tackle from Cartwright in the 69th minute.
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Cartwright approached Green after the game to discuss the incident, before Walker interjected and unleashed a verbal spray on the Penrith trainer.
Walker declined to speak on the matter when approached after the game.
The Panthers claim Green told a Panthers player to “get back” in the line rather than directing a sledge over a back injury.