Peachey's uneasy wait for Panthers' match-winner
Penrith Panthers star Tyrone Peachey admits his frustrations almost got the better of him as he waited 62 minutes before getting a crack at South Sydney and eventually landing the knockout blow in Saturday's 18-14 come-from-behind classic.
With Anthony Griffin's side slumping to a 14-point deficit for the second straight week, the Panthers faithful started chanting Peachey's name as the home side struggled to crack a resolute Rabbitohs defence and the livewire utility bided his time on the bench.
Peachey had been named to start but found himself relegated to the pine when New Zealand Test centre Dean Whare was passed fit for the Bunnies clash 24 hours before kick-off.
The 26-year-old paced up and down the sideline as his teammates gradually worked their way back into the contest, before his 18-minute cameo was crowned with a match-winning try in the 75th minute.
Peachey's charge onto a Nathan Cleary pop pass brought the house down, despite his struggles to keep his emotions in check while watching the nail biting action from afar.
"It was pretty tough," Peachey told NRL.com afterwards.
"I knew I wasn't going to get long so I wanted to get involved when I was on there and we ended up getting lucky at the end there.
"I was restless and I just wanted to get out there. I just want to play footy.
"... I'm trying my best to stay calm on the sideline. Waiting for my chance to get on there, it's not the easiest."
Match: Panthers vs Rabbitohs
Venue: Panthers Stadium
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
Peachey is off to the Gold Coast Titans on a lucrative three-year deal in 2019, and has previously hosed down suggestions that a falling out with Griffin prompted a push for an early release this season.
Debate has raged for much of his career about his best position considering his rare ability with ball in hand can be countered by defensive lapses when he has played at centre.
Injected at lock against the Rabbitohs, Peachey said he would "need to get my fitness up, but I wouldn't mind playing there."
For Griffin though the proof is in his side's 2-0 pudding to start the season, with Whare shoring up his defensive left edge and Peachey breaking the game open when he was eventually thrown into it.
"Dean Whare's back fit and Dean's a Test centre, he deserves it and there's a bit of competition for spots," Griffin said of his selection call.
"[Peachey's] role in the team today was as a utility. Sometimes you don't use your 17th man if he's a utility like that until later in the game. But when he came on he did a really good job obviously."