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No respect for the west: Gould slams scheduling ‘stuff up’

Penrith supremo Phil Gould has unloaded on the NRL over its scheduling of the traditional clash with local rivals Parramatta, declaring: “They’ve got no respect for the west whatsoever.”

The Panthers-Eels clash is one of the biggest events for both clubs, although the fixture will be staged just once in 2017. The blue and golds will host the mountain men at ANZ Stadium at 3pm on Saturday, but Penrith will have to wait until next year to stage the local derby at Pepper Stadium.

Speaking on the Six Tackles with Gus podcast on Nine’s wwos.nine成都夜总会招聘.au website, Gould fired a broadside at the NRL’s scheduling of the marquee clash.

“They’re only playing each other once this year and it’s at ANZ Stadium, Homebush, at 3pm on a Saturday when junior league is being played all over western Sydney,” Gould said.

“Could you pick a worse time to pick a game between the western Sydney derby? And why haven’t Penrith got Parramatta at Penrith this year? Why don’t those two teams they play each other twice?

“They talk about western Sydney strategy but they’ve got no respect for the west whatsoever; you couldn’t stuff it up more if you tried.”

Gould has been a long-term critic of the governing body, believing not enough respect is paid to the heartland area of western Sydney.

“I keep telling people Homebush is not western Sydney; it’s nowhere near western Sydney,” Gould said.

“Some people think anything west of ANZAC Parade is western Sydney.”

The outcome of the Eels-Panthers clash will have huge ramifications for both clubs. The Panthers are sitting on 13th spot on the ladder after opening their season with just two wins from seven matches. Another loss, to Parramatta, could effectively end their season just two months after they began their campaign as bookmaker favourites.

Parramatta forward Daniel Alvaro said his side would be equally desperate to stay within touching distance of the frontrunners after notching just one additional win.

“They are a good quality forward pack, it will be a good challenge for us this weekend,” Alvaro said.

“We’re not happy with our start, we know how much better we can be, so the boys are keen to get out there and show that.”

Gould held court on a number of topics during the podcast. Melbourne and the Warriors are among the suitors for playmaker Kieran Foran but “Gus” predicted he would end up in Sydney.

“My mail is that he wants to live in Sydney, end of story,” Gould said.

“Wherever he goes I hope he stays there for the rest of his career. If you want my personal opinion I’d say he would want to be with his former coach Des Hasler [at Canterbury].”

The Storm will attempt to bring Gareth Widdop back to the club if they miss out on Foran, but Gould believes the Dragons must keep him.

“St George can’t let him [Widdop] go, surely!” he said.

“He’d be the perfect replacement for the Melbourne Storm.

“I can’t believe the Dragons would be thinking of replacing him.”

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