21 Jun 2011

Golud stamps mark on struggling NRL club

7:38 am on 21 June 2011

Five weeks into his reign at Penrith, the NRL club's new football supremo Phil Gould has stamped his authority, following up a move to have coach Matt Elliott step down with the sacking of Daine Laurie and the fining of Michael Jennings.

As Steve Georgallis was handed an audition for the head coaching job made vacant by Elliott and Gould spoke of instilling a new culture at the club, Laurie and Jennings were disciplined for alcohol-related off-field incidents.

Laurie, who was sacked by the Wests Tigers over off-field issues in 2009, was cut loose for drinking on a flight with Panthers feeder club Windsor to Auckland on Friday.

Officials said the serial bad boy was on a final warning from Gould.

Star centre Jennings was fined $10,000 for consuming alcohol during his recovery from an ankle injury and for not adhering to medical advice.

The injured NSW State of Origin star was told to keep his leg in a brace and to use crutches, advice officials said Jennings had ignored.

The stunning developments overshadowed the earlier announcement that Elliott, due to leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expired, had agreed to Gould's request to step down immediately.

Elliott departs the 10th-placed Panthers after a tumultuous four-and-a-half seasons since joining from Canberra in 2007.

The decision not to renew his contract was made in April after the Panthers won two of their opening seven games, despite finishing the 2010 regular season in second place.