Penrith grants Matt Molyan chance to play against Raiders
UPDATE: The good news for the Panthers on Thursday was the NRL has granted fullback Matt Moylan an exemption to play against the Raiders in Canberra tomorrow night.
The bad news was the club was unsure when the promising youngster would be able to play again.
It was only on Wednesday that the club had forlorn hopes the 21-year-old would play again this season due to salary cap restraints.
That was after the NRL told Penrith officials Moylan could only play first grade if everyone from the top 25 that could play fullback was injured.
Miraculously, Panthers custodian and top-25 squad member Wes Naiqama was ruled out with an ankle injury late Thursday.
The western Sydney club was originally told by the NRL it could only play Geoff Daniela at centre, and either Dean Whare or David Simons at fullback.
However, officials were later informed Moylan had been granted an exemption to be Naiqama's replacement this week.
"It was a pleasant surprise, but we can only take things on a week-to-week basis - we need to apply for an exemption every week," a Panthers spokeswoman said.
Panthers Moylan would play for 'free' against Raiders
PANTHERS fullback Matt Moylan is so desperate to play against the Raiders this Saturday, he said he would take the field for free.
But because he was stood down last Sunday against the Tigers, with the Penrith club close to breaking the salary cap, that will not happen.
"He can say that, but we're still not allowed to play him," a Panthers spokesperson said.
"At the moment, we are only allowed to play Matt if everyone else from our top 25 that can play fullback gets injured.
"It's so frustrating, and we're shattered for him, because it wasn't as though he was playing badly, but we have to follow the rules."
Moylan was forced to play for the Windsor Wolves in the NSW Cup last weekend, with Wes Naiqama his replacement.
Naiqama got injured against Wests, and if he is ruled out of the Raiders clash at Canberra Stadium, Moylan will still not be allowed to take the field.
The Panthers have been told they must play Geoff Daniela at centre, and either Dean Whare or David Simmons at fullback, as an alternative.
NRL chief operating officer Jim Doyle will meet with salary cap auditor Ian Schubert this week, but the second-tier salary cap is now sure to become a priority, with the Panthers lobbying the NRL for change.