Penrith star Jarome Luai has sensationally fired back at critics of the Panthers' post-season celebrations.
The NRL premiers landed in hot water for their post-Grand Final antics, that were slammed by the likes of reporter Paul Kent.
James Fisher-Harris claimed the 2022 squad were the ‘best ever’ Panthers team while telling fans ‘Parra are our sons’.
Meanwhile, Wests Tigers-bound hooker Apisai Koroisau took an ‘unnecessary’ dig at his future employer.
The Grand Final winners were also slammed as lacking ‘class’ when they joined in and egged on chants of ‘We hate Parra’ at the fan day the following Monday morning.
However, Luai gave a stark response to those who had a problem with the Panthers' behaviour.
He told 9 News: “I’ve sort of got a saying for myself: ‘If you’re not hated you’re not doing it right’ so I’m sort of embracing that.
“We are just being who we are as people. I know whoever knows us face to face and person to person knows we are good people.
“We are just enjoying this ride.”
The five-eighth also irked Paul Kent after posting an image with teammate Jaeman Salmon with the caption: “My N****.”
The NRL 360 panellist took aim at the post, saying: “It’s a well-known racial term which Penrith claim is a term of endearment, which is ridiculous.
“Honestly, at some point, these blokes have got to be asked to act like men. They’re carrying on like 16-year-old schoolboys the way they’re carrying on with this victory.”
The post was quickly deleted by Luai, who also admits he took it too far.
He said: “It was just a mate-on-mate thing and I was just embracing one of my boys in the celebrations, but I realised when I woke up to the phone call.
"Took it down straight away.
"I know it caught a bit of headlines.
"Just grateful that I get to participate in the first couple of days (of the World Cup).
"I understand that it was the wrong thing to do and wrong thing to post.
"With the influence we have as big NRL players, we need to watch what we say, as well, so that's definitely a lesson learned for me."
It had been reported that Luai was facing a ban at the Rugby League World Cup for the post, but has since been cleared to play.
Samoa kick off their campaign on Sunday morning local time against England.
Featured Image Credit: NRL/Supplied. Jarome Luai/Instagram.
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