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Chambers' title dig no worry for Panthers

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Will Chambers has reminded Penrith players he’s won three premierships to their none in the first sign that rugby league’s most famous acid tongue is back on his NRL return.

Just two games into his NRL return at Cronulla, Chambers did not let a 48-0 flogging stop his verbal jousting at Bluebet Stadium on Friday.

The former Melbourne centre could be heard telling Nathan Cleary to “worry about winning one of those (premiership rings) bro” during a stoppage late in the game.

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It comes after Chambers’ Storm teammates ended the Panthers’ run of 17 straight wins in last year’s grand final.

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“I don’t think it was at me,” opposite number Stephen Crichton told AAP.

“Nathan was just backing us up. We were just standing there and he was mouthing off for some reason.

“The boys were saying, ‘He just came back and he was saying he has done it all’.

“He has won three premierships already and we haven’t won anything.

“I guess it’s just the start for us at Panthers. But we’re only going to keep getting better and better.”

Penrith Panthers celebrate

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Chambers was known for his inclination to sledge in his 13 seasons for Melbourne before leaving for rugby at the end of 2019.

Aside from the 48-0 scoreline, the Panthers clearly had the last laugh as they ran in four tries down Chambers’ edge.

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The way the Panthers are playing, it seems only a matter of time until they are fighting off for the premiership jewellery he spoke about at season’s end.

Winger Charlie Staines scored a hat trick in the big win, while Crichton bagged one in the second heaviest defeat in Cronulla’s history.

Chambers’ sledges were taken in good spirits, with the 32-year-old veteran seemingly changing his tune on full time.

“He’s a good guy outside the game, I spoke to him after the game,” Crichton said.

“He was just saying we have talent that can go all the way and things like that. But he’s real cool off the field.

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“I respect what he has done in the game.”

Cleary also said he had no issue with the sledges, after he could be seen laughing them off during the game.

“It was a bit of banter. He started talking, then a few of us returned serve,” the playmaker said.

“You have to respect everything he’s done in the game, he’s had a very successful career.

“It’s always good when there’s a bit of lip going around. It makes it pretty enjoyable.”

© AAP

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