16/04/2024

it is time. Picture: Penrith Panthers social media.

It is the question on everyone’s lips. Can the men from the foot of the mountains do it again or will expectations be too much?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips. Can they do it again?

Some say no but the boys from Penrith would be itching to prove them wrong. They want a premiership desperately and that October 25th loss would be haunting them – as much as they don’t want to admit it. There’s no doubt every single player that took that field that day would find themselves re-playing moments in their heads questioning what could have been. 

They want nothing more than to get out there and pick up where they left off. 

What to expect:

Simply, fans can expect a team with an agenda. They can expect a team going out there every week to prove that they are the real deal and that 2020 was not a fluke. 

Nathan Cleary played his best football in 2020 and to many, was the best player all year. A season that saw him rewarded with the captaincy for 2021, alongside Isaah Yeo. In many ways he orchestrated his team around the field and made it look effortless. With a lackluster, in ways, grand final and origin series at the back end of the season however, he would be feeling a lot of pressure. He’d be looking to carry that form into this season and cement himself as one of the best halfbacks in the game. 

On the opposite scale, the Penrith forward pack – now missing the likes of James Tamou and Zane Tetevano – dominated the league at times and this can be expected to continue. With the inclusion of Scott Sorenson and Matthew Eisenhuth, fans would be forgiven for expecting the same power. The likes of James Fisher-Harris, Viliame Kikau and Issah Yeo especially would be eager to leave the grand final in 2020. 

This is an exciting, young yet experienced side, with a lot to prove. Most importantly though, they want to prove it more than anything. 

Key Match Up:

We won’t see the Panthers truly challenged until round 3 for the grand final re-match against Premiers Melbourne Storm. This would be the game all of the players are itching for. With the Cowboys and Bulldogs in the opening rounds, the Panthers could very possibly roll into this game with 2 wins under their belt. 

At Penrith Stadium with the potential of a full crowd, this could be “the” moment for the Panthers. 

The grand final re-match is the biggest game of the season for some players as they’re looking to mend their wounds.

After all, who doesn’t love a second chance?

Squad:

Api Koroisau, Billy Burns, Brent Naden, Brian To’o, Charlie Staines, Dylan Edwards, Isaiah Yeo, Izack Tago, Jaeman Salmon, James Fisher-Harris, Jarome Luai, J’maine Hopgood, Kurt Capewell, Liam Martin, Lindsay Smith, Matt Burton, Matthew Eisenhuth, Mitch Kenny, Moses Leota, Nathan Cleary, Paul Momirovski, Robert Jennings, Scott Sorenson, Spencer Leniu, Stephen Crichton, Taylan May, Tyrone May, Viliame Kikau

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