Ex-Raider Purtell with point to prove - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ex-Raider Purtell with point to prove

By David Beniuk 12/03/2010 08:46:11 PM Comments (0)

Penrith will send several of their recruits into NRL action against Canberra on Saturday, but none will have a bigger point to prove than ex-Raider Adrian Purtell.

After a boom 2008 from the talented back, Purtell found himself in a Raiders feeder team when he was dropped midway through last year.

In unclear circumstances, the 25-year-old sought a release one year into a long-term deal with Canberra, which was granted before he was thrown a lifeline by former Raiders coach Matt Elliott at the Panthers.

Purtell has been named in the centres along with fellow new buys Travis Burns, Kevin Kingston and Nigel Plum, another ex-Raider.

"I don't think he'll be playing on just that emotion but that definitely would be in the back of his mind," Purtell's former captain at Canberra Alan Tongue told AAP on Friday.

"If you talked to Adrian he would probably say he needed a fresh change himself, he'd been in Canberra for a few years and he probably needed a bit of a change-up to get the best out of himself in regards to his footy.

"He definitely played some great footy there for us and we actually signed him up long-term.

"That's the way footy is I suppose, coaches rate guys in one area or the other and maybe they thought that they'd got the best out of him or he just needed that change himself so we move on with playing rosters."

Tongue, who will play hooker for the Raiders on Saturday, backed his former team-mate to bolster the Panthers' backs.

"I was having a chat to (Penrith captain) Petero Civoniceva, he's been really impressed with him," he said.

"He's definitely an aggressive centre, defensively very good and runs a good line there out wide so I know the Panthers will be really looking at him to stiffen up their defence out wide."

Purtell's move is the latest twist in a growing rivalry between the clubs that goes back to Elliott's own shift in 2007.

"It's been a few years now but I suppose, especially early on, there was a lot of feeling there," Tongue said.

"I know Matty always wants to do well against his old club as we want to go well against our old coach, but it doesn't go too much further than that, we all know it's business and we just get on with it."

They will attempt to break a deadlock of 27 wins each and a draw in their 55 clashes to date.

Meanwhile, Penrith announced a contract extension for halfback Luke Walsh on Friday, keeping him at the club until the end of 2012.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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