NRL News: Panthers one step closer to ripping up May contract, Doueihi sheds tears after 441-day wait to return

Taylan May looks all but certain to be shown the door by Penrith after the controversial centre was served with a second breach notice by the club.

Unlike the first breach notice which related to a string of indiscretions over the past couple of years, this breach notice relates to the domestic violence charges he is contesting in court.

The 22-year-old is currently stood down by the NRL as he fights domestic violence charges, and is unlikely to play again this year with his next court hearing in March.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, May has been accused of bringing the club into disrepute by the domestic violence allegations but he has applied to the Federal Court for an injunction to prevent Penrith from sacking him.

May signed a two-year extension with Penrith worth close to $1.2 million in March, after knocking back interest from rival clubs to stay at the foot of the mountains.

He attracted headlines in April when he posted a video of himself in the passenger seat of a car that was travelling at 96 km/h past a school in a residential zone.

Defence lawyer Abdul Reslan is defending May in his domestic violence case, where the NRL star has denied claims he punched his wife in the face during an altercation in April.

Reslan is the same lawyer representing Jackson Topine in his high-profile civil suit against Canterbury.

If May’s contract is to be torn up, it is estimated that the three-time defending premiers would have close to $1.5 million free in their cap for next season.

Taylan May. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

On top of May’s situation, the Panthers have already agreed to release James Fisher-Harris from his contract on personal grounds to allow him to return to New Zealand.

Fisher-Harris was on a deal close to $900,000 a year, and will be replaced by Wests Tigers second-rower Isaiah Papali’i whose salary is closer to $650,000.

Jarome Luai will be heading the other way on a big-money deal, while Sunia Turuva is also bound for Concord.

Doueihi emotional after Tigers comeback

Adam Doueihi is happy to admit he shed a tear late in his NRL comeback match from a third ACL rupture.

After waiting 441 days to play first grade again, centre Doueihi latched onto an intercept late and ran 80 metres to score late in his West Tigers team’s 48-24 win over Canberra on Sunday.

Immediately, the 25-year-old was overcome by emotion.

“I looked up and saw my family and friends in the grandstand,” Doueihi said.

“They have rode the wave with me the past 14 months. The support from the crowd, and the whole NRL and Tigers community has been unreal for me.

“It’s a mixture of emotions. Fourteen months was a long time for me. With my history of injuries, it wasn’t a fun rehab. 

“To be back playing first grade was a goal of mine. Emotions were high, energy levels were high.”

Doueihi is a man who has been to hell and back through his NRL career.

He has not played anything close to a full season since 2020, with two knee reconstructions since then to go with another in 2018.

In Doueihi’s mind, he has been ready to return for some time.

He is adamant the injuries are now behind, and has been bugging coach Benji Marshall for the past month about getting back on the field.

Even on Saturday night, Marshall called him triple-checking that he was fine to come back into first grade after only one match in NSW Cup.

Doueihi never had any doubts, nor nerves over his fitness in reserve grade last week or the NRL on Sunday.

“I said (to Benji) no need to ask that. I’ve been ready to go for a while now,” Doueihi, who signed a one-year extension with the Tigers last week, said.

“It’s tough, but that (period in injury rehab), you just have to attack it. There is no point sitting and sooking about it. 

“I knew I wanted to come back to this position and get back playing again. Fourteen months can go slow, especially in that period. 

“But I stayed positive that whole time. I was just ripping in day by day and ticking off goals I was setting. Now back playing consistent footy, it’s all past me now.”

A fullback or five-eighth for most his career, Doueihi is happy to stay in the centres for now.  He looked dangerous on the left, and linked nicely with five-eighth Lachlan Galvin against Canberra.

The Lebanon international also spent time roaming at the back and on the right at different points in attack.

It was something the Tigers didn’t discuss before Sunday, but now looks likely to continue while Doueiji remains in the centres. “That’s just how the game felt,” Doueihi said. 

“The opportunity come up for me to roam on both sides. Benji said at halftime just keep doing that. He backs me.”

with AAP

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