Dubbo product Isaah Yeo woke up a with headache on Sunday for two reasons.
One was because he took a severe knock to the head that required medical attention in Saturday night’s semi-final match against the Canberra Raiders, but also because his Penrith Panthers side was hurting after the loss in the nation’s capital ended any dreams of a premiership in 2016.
Yeo’s match appeared to be over when he was left knocked out by a Elliot Whitehead swinging arm, a hit which the Raiders back-rower was not charged by the match review panel for.
The former St John’s junior was left dazed and confused for several minutes but then passed his concussion test and returned and played all but five minutes of the second half.
But despite the best effort of the hard working back-rower, the Panthers were beaten 22-12.
Panthers coach Anthony Griffin was left disappointed after the match, saying his side’s errors cost his side a spot in the preliminary final but confessed his young side still had a successful 2016.
“You don’t like to look back because you’ve got a lot of disappointment right now but obviously the club, the players and everyone can be proud of the team we’ve got and the performances we’re putting in,” he said.
While one Dubbo junior is out, another remains with Kaide Ellis and his Panthers under-20s NYC side to play the Cowboys next Friday. The winner of the match match will meet either Tony Pellow’s St George Illawarra side or the Sydney Roosters in the grand final.