‘It will be difficult to find a replacement’: The ex-Panthers standout whose departure from the Dogs will leave a significant void.

Panthers captain Isaah Yeo has emphasized that former teammate Stephen Crichton’s departure will pose the toughest challenge for the Penrith team in years.

Under Ivan Cleary’s leadership, the Panthers have clinched three consecutive premierships, attracting interest from rival clubs seeking to recruit top-tier talent. Despite the departures of key players like Viliame Kikau, Matt Burton, Api Koroisau, Kurt Capewell, and Spencer Leniu to the Roosters in 2024, Yeo believes Crichton’s absence will be the most keenly felt.

In an interview with the SMH, Yeo acknowledged Crichton’s invaluable contributions, citing his 100-game milestone and stellar performances in crucial moments. He noted Crichton’s consistency in major matches, highlighting his impactful displays in State of Origin games, grand finals, and even his decisive field goal for Samoa in the World Cup final.

Yeo underlined that Crichton’s influence extended beyond his on-field performances, emphasizing his positive energy, professionalism, and leadership, which were instrumental in guiding younger players within the team.

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