‘Why does he hate Melbourne?’ Nine commentator and Penrith legend Phil ‘Gus’ Gould slammed for ‘bias’ towards his old team in NRL Grand Final telecast
- Fans accused Gould, who used to manage the Panthers, of ‘biased’ commentary
- Club’s ex-GM said he thought Penrith were ‘on top’ despite 22-0 first-half deficit
- ‘Why does he hate Melbourne so much?’ one disbelieving footy fan wrote online
- ‘Ears are bleeding after listening to Phil Gould’s bias commentary,’ another said
Channel Nine commentator and Penrith legend Phil ‘Gus’ Gould has copped heavy criticism for ‘bias’ commentary towards his former team during their NRL Grand Final loss to the Melbourne Storm.
Penrith almost overcame a 26-point deficit before losing 26-20 to the Storm on Sunday night, but it was Gould’s commentary when Melbourne were dominating in the early stages that raised eyebrows among footy fans.
‘I honestly feel the Panthers are on top,’ the 62-year-old said at the interval despite the 22-0 scoreline.
‘The run of the play I feel like they’re doing better than the Melbourne Storm but the Storm have been able to keep the scoreboard kicking with penalty try and penalty goal and now intercept.’
His perceived favouritism led to a flurry of critical comments on social media, with one viewer asking ‘why does he hate Melbourne so much?’
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Legendary commentator Phil Gould was on the receiving end of criticism for his perceived ‘bias’ towards his former team the Penrith Panthers during the NRL Grand Final on Sunday night
One viewer asked ‘why does he hate Melbourne so much?’ after the 62-year-old said at the interval ‘I honestly feel the Panthers are on top’ despite his former side facing a huge first-half deficit
‘You should be ashamed of Phil Gould,’ another fan wrote in response to a tweet from Nine’s NRL account.
‘That you pay this bloke to basically barrack is pathetic. His bias tonight was disgraceful.’
Even at full-time, Gould – a former Panthers player and coach who became general manager of Penrith for nine years up until 2019 – was singing his old team’s praises, saying the Grand Final could ‘easily have gone’ to them.
‘Half-time score did not reflect first-half action,’ he said.
‘Panther 20-4 second half, showed possibilities. Panthers ran out of time. Cameron Smith [Melbourne captain] said “if it goes another two mins, I just don’t know”.’
‘Ears are bleeding after listening to Phil Gould’s blatantly bias commentary for 80 minutes. How good are the Panthers!?’ one fan wrote sarcastically.
Melbourne celebrate their 26-20 Grand Final win on Sunday night at ANZ Stadium in Sydney
One fan hit out at Channel Nine, writing his commentary was ‘disgraceful’ during Sunday’s grand final
Another joked not even the Panthers’ icon’s flattering commentary could get his former team over the line.
‘Phil Gould was embarrassing tonight! He has to own his bias commentary! Disgusting,’ another social media commenter said.
When contacted by Daily Mail Australia, a Channel Nine spokeswoman defended Gould’s performance.
‘Maybe go back and listen to it yourself again – he was brilliant as usual,’ the spokeswoman said.
The 62-year-old host said the western Sydney team were still in the game after they went 16-0 down by way of a Suliasi Vunivalu intercept try, and although that seemed very optimistic at the time, the second-half comeback proved that to be true.
Gould continued on to say ‘the scoreboard’s just not friendly’, while suggesting the struggling team were doing well.
He also struggled to contain his frustration with the referee; disagreeing with a knock-on call against Panthers player Viliame Kikau in the first half.
‘It wasn’t knocked on. He actually threw a pass that was knocked down by a Melbourne Storm player … The ruling’s wrong. The ruling’s wrong.’
Gould accidentally said ‘late s***’ after a Melbourne Storm player (in white and purple) received treatment following a late hit by Penrith Panthers rival James Fisher-Harris (middle, in black)
The Nine presenter also made an embarrassing slip of the tongue while commenting on a Storm player who was receiving treatment after a late hit by Panthers rival James Fisher-Harris.
Brandon Smith was badly injured and escorted off the field while his opponent was later placed on report.
But rather than saying Fisher-Harris made a late shot while viewing the graphics, Gould verbally stumbled and said he made a ‘late s***’.