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Panthers eager to put Stuart-Salmon saga behind them

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary says the Panthers are ready to move on from Ricky Stuart's post-match verbal attack on Jaeman Salmon now that the Canberra coach has been sanctioned by the NRL.

Stuart has been banned from NRL duties for a week and personally fined $25,000 for calling Salmon a "weak-gutted dog" after the Panthers' Round-21 defeat of the Raiders.

Salmon kicked Tom Starling in the groin during the game, sparking the reaction from Stuart, who has known the Panthers five-eighth since he was a teammate of his son's as a pre-teen.

Cleary said he felt the NRL's punishment for Stuart was sufficient.

"As a club, we support the NRL," Cleary said.

"It's been handled pretty well by the NRL. I think (the penalty) is fair.

"We've been sticking close to Jaeman this week and hopefully he and everyone else can move on."

With Jarome Luai still injured, Salmon will reprise his role as starting five-eighth when the Panthers meet Melbourne at home on Thursday night.

Penrith have the chance to seal their second minor premiership in three seasons with a victory and Cleary said the saga would not affect Salmon's preparation for his second start as a Panther.

"We certainly thought it was best if he just kept his head down and just let it blow over and got on with his footy," Cleary said.

"It's a really important game for him and the club tomorrow night."

The club has spent the week rallying around Salmon and his family, who on Sunday released a statement urging the NRL to take action against Stuart.

Cleary said Salmon had been affected by the comments in the aftermath of the game but had been in better spirits at training on Tuesday.

"He was a bit rattled on the night," Cleary said.

"He was also a bit concerned about his family. They were quite upset, so I guess when that happens, it brings it to another level.

"But this week he's seemed OK ... He's shown he's pretty strong-minded.

"He's a really popular member of the team on and off the field. We love him."