Plenty was made of Phil Gould’s controversial statement ahead of the World Club Challenge when he said that Penrith Panthers would be able to declare at halftime against St Helens.
Gould, who is also a key operator at the Canterbury Bulldogs, took to Twitter before the Saints defeated Penrith in Australia to say that the NRL Champions would be able to declare at halftime in the world title decider.
He also somewhat mocked them for playing their strongest team against St George Illawarra Dragons the week before.
Making matters worse, this came after he said “England can’t beat Samoa” before Shaun Wane’s side battered them in the World Cup opener.
Furthermore, he also called for the NRL to buy Super League back in 2020.
However, he was eventually proven right in the semi-finals.
That said, despite the anti-Saints and anti-England narrative that people began to associate him with, Gould met coach Paul Wellens and Mike Rush in a meal before the World Club Challenge.
Gould revealed what the two said to him prior to the clash on Six Tackles:
“St Helens came out in the camp for three weeks, they made a big deal out of this and they got themselves ready. We actually had dinner with Mike Rush, Paul Wellens and the CEO the night before in Canterbury.
“Mike Rush said ‘we’ll be hard to beat’, and Paul Wellens said ‘yeah we’re really ready, we’ve gone about it the right way with coming over, we’ve planned for three weeks, had a trial game and they’re going to know they’re in a game’.
“Putting it bluntly they didn’t put their best foot forward at all and St Helens did, that’s what you have to do in the big games and they deserve the trophy. They’ve got it on the plane home and they can stick it to me all they like, good luck to them.”
This serves to show the two sides of one of the best pundits in rugby league because of his openness and the fact he can deliver insight into the Bulldogs and other clubs.
However, now some NRL clubs are calling for action against Gould.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that multiple clubs want Gould and the Bulldogs to face breach notices for his comments throughout both social media and broadcasting.
Clubs will attempt to present their evidence of Gould as a deterrent if the league tries to fine them for any comments says reports from The Herald.
This comes as NRL clubs look to stop what they believe is double standards around Gould compared to others.