NRL 2022: Clive Churchill medallist Dylan Edwards ignored by Penrith Panthers, mocked by Nathan Cleary
Eagle-eyed rugby league fans believe Penrith fullback Dylan Edwards was brutally snubbed by his Panthers teammates after the NRL Grand Final.
Penrith dominated Parramatta in 28-12 to claim back-to-back premierships in emphatic style on Sunday night.
Watch every match of the Rugby League World Cup LIVE & Exclusive to Fox Sports, on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Edwards played a superb all round game with 291 run metres, nine tackle breaks as well as a try assist — and was awarded the Clive Churchill medal.
But when it was announced during the post-game presentation he had won the prestigious honour, his Panthers teammates seemed to completely ignore him.
Not one player congratulated, applauded or even gave Edwards a pat on the back — and the stunned fullback could only give his teammates a wry smile and shake his head at them as he walked up to the stage.
Only the reserve grade Penrith players looked happy for him and enthusiastically clapped him on.
It was in stark contrast to when Nathan Cleary was mobbed by his teammates when he was named the Clive Churchill medallist in Penrith’s premiership win last year.
The surprising snub has gone viral in a TikTok captioned: “He looked so sad. His teammates didn’t even congratulate him”, which has racked up 3.7 million views.
“Bruh lost respect for the rest of the panthers players they didn’t look at him,” one person commented on the video.
One fan tweeted: “Watching back on the post game ceremony last night and the fact that when Dylan Edwards won the Clive Churchill medal his teammates didn’t get around him and congratulations him but last year when Cleary did they all went crazy.
“Sad as f***. Dylan deserves better.”
Rugby league fans were taken aback by the awkward scenes and made their disapproval clear on a photo of Edwards on Penrith’s Instagram account.
“Didn’t even look like the boys were happy for him when they called out his name,” one follower said.
Another commented: “Bruh no one even clapped for him”
“Jeez nice to see the boys get around him,” another added.
Edwards produced the play of the game when he tackled Parramatta’s Bailey Simonsson into touch, bringing back memories of Scott Sattler’s similar effort for Penrith in the 2003 NRL Grand Final.
Panthers players rushed to congratulate him for the try saving tackle and embraced him during their lap of honour around Accor Stadium — making their presentation snub even more peculiar.
Then in the post-match press conference, Cleary mocked Edwards by rolling his eyes and pretending to snore when the Clive Churchill medallist deflected the attention back to his team, too humble to accept the plaudits.
“It’s a bit surreal at the moment,” Edwards said.
“Honestly it’s a credit to the rest of the team. They make my job incredibly easy.”
With Cleary sitting next to Edwards teasing him, he nudged the halfback and said: “Nah, it’s true! They do. I’m lucky to be a part of this team.
“These are my brothers and I love going to work with them each week.”
But Cleary later praised Edwards on social media and Penrith players lauded the 26-year-old for his performance on Monday.
“The year he had he sort of deserved something in the Dally M’s, it’s obviously hard with such great fullbacks and obviously Nicho had a great year,” Cleary told Fox Sports.
“But I’m just so pumped that he could top it off in the Clive Churchill.”
Jarome Luai added: “He’s stuck to what he knows and stuck true so he’s the flag bearer of this culture at Penrith, he’s reaping the rewards now.”
Despite his Grand Final heroics, Edwards wasn’t named in Australia’s squad for the Rugby League World Cup.
Originally published as ‘Deserves better’: Dylan Edwards ignored by Panthers teammates, mocked by Nathan Cleary