The Panthers' James Maloney inspires confidence in his younger teammates. Picture: Getty Images
The Panthers' James Maloney inspires confidence in his younger teammates. Picture: Getty Images

‘It’s like a family tree’: Maloney’s homecoming tour

PANTHERS star James Maloney is set for a star-crossed collision course with four of his former clubs on the way to a potential fourth grand final appearance.

A bizarre draw anomaly could see James Maloney play four of his former teams in a row on the way to the NRL grand final.

The win over his former club the Warriors, who he took to the grand final in 2011 kicked off his finals campaign.

Maloney's Panthers will now play his former side the Sharks, who he led to the 2016 premiership, in week two of the finals.

Shaun Johnson of the Warriors and James Maloney of the Panthers.
Shaun Johnson of the Warriors and James Maloney of the Panthers.

A win over the Sharks would pit Maloney up against another old team in the Storm in the preliminary final.

If the Panthers advance to the grand final, they could clash with the Roosters, who Maloney led to the 2013 title.

"I've played all my old clubs throughout the season and now I could play them all the finals," Maloney said.

"I find that quite ironic. I've had the Warriors and now Cronulla.

"If we progress we hit Melbourne and then the Roosters potentially.

"I find that quite interesting. It's like a family tree."

Maloney won't be the only player coming up against a former club when the Sharks take on the Panthers at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

James Segeyaro, Matt Moylan and Luke Lewis are all former Panthers who will run out for the Sharks.

The clash of players coming up against old teams often adds spice to the rivalry according to Maloney.

"I don't know if we hate Sharks, but there is a lot of ex-Penrith players out there now, Maloney said.

"They have been let go for different reasons, so they have their own individual feelings.

"Guys could well have points to prove when they come up against old clubs, especially if they were let go and didn't agree with why they were let go.

"But I don't think there is a genuine hatred."



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