WINS | [2009] Round 19: Penrith 27 Canberra 14

Saturday 18th July at Credit Union Australia Stadium

Penrith 27 – Tries: Paulo (1), Puletua (1), Tia Kilifi (1), Tighe (1); Goals: Gordon (5); Field goals: Walsh (1) | Canberra 14


The home team scored two tries inside the first 20 minutes – the first to Frank Puletua and then to Junior Tia Kilifi – to lead 12-0 at the midway point of the first half.

This was further extended on the stroke of half time when Brad Tighe crossed under the posts, with Michael Gordon’s third conversion from as many attempts making it 18-0.

The visitors scored the first two tries of the second half – separated by a penalty conversion from Gordon, and Penrith led 20-10 in the 61st minute.

When Junior Paulo beat two defenders to score after taking a bat back from Tighe off a Luke Walsh pin point bomb, the Panthers led 26-10 after it was converted.

An unconverted Canberra try reduced it to a two converted try margin heading into the final 10 minutes, but the two premiership points were banked when Walsh kicked a field goal with three minutes remaining.


PLAYERS | Ron Mason

Panther 81

19 matches [1972- 1973]

3 points [1 try]


South Sydney junior who was graded with Penrith from local club Mount Druitt ahead of the 1972 season. Starting the season in reserve grade. He made his first grade debut for the Panthers in the Round 10 match versus Eastern Suburbs at Penrith Park, starting in the second row. He only missed one further match that season in first grade, making a total of 12 appearances in 1972, mostly in the second row. He scored a try Penrith’s 17-12 loss to St. George.

He was selected for an Indigenous team that toured New Zealand before the start of the 1973 season, and returned to the Panthers, earning selection in first grade for the opening premiership round. After the three matches, he was dropped back to reserve grade but made four more appearances throughout the season, with his last match in first grade being the club record loss to Manly at Penrith Park.

In 1974, he left Penrith, playing for St. Mary’s in the second division, and reportedly played up until his late 50s.

WINS | [1995] Round 1: Penrith 24 Parramatta 18

Sunday 12th March at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 24 – Tries: M Adamson (1), Freeman (1), Girdler (1), Moore (1); Goals: Girdler (4) | Parramatta 18


Marty Moore crossed over in the 10th minute to give Penrith a 4-0 lead.

Whilst Parramatta led 6-4 soon after through a converted try, the home team regained the lead soon after through a try that was scored by Matt Adamson and converted by Ryan Girdler to make it 10-6, and was pushed further out to 12-6 just before half time through a penalty conversion to Girdler.

Two tries in the opening 13 minutes – the first to Gary Freeman and then to Girdler, both of which were converted – made it 24-6.

Whilst Parramatta scored two converted tries, Penrith were never headed and they started the 1995 season with a win.

WINS | [1995] Round 22: Penrith 18 Parramatta 12

Sunday 27th August at Parramatta Stadium

Penrith 18 – Tries: Freeman (2), Farrar (1); Goals: Pethybridge (3) | Parramatta 12


Gary Freeman scored the opening try after 19 minutes, which was converted by Scott Pethybridge to give the visitors a 6-0 lead.

Whilst an Eels penalty conversion soon after made it 6-2, two Penrith tries in the last 10 minutes of the half – the first to Danny Farrar and then a double to Freeman, which were bot converted by Pethybridge – saw the Panthers make it 18-2 at the break.

Penrith were not able to cross the line in the second half, but restricted the Eels to just two tries to hold on for a six point win, and record a victory to close out the 1995 premiership season.

WINS | [1999] Round 5: Penrith 13 Parramatta 0

Sunday 4th April at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 13 – Tries: Girdler (2); Goals: Girdler (1); Field goas: Girdler (1) | Parramatta 0


The home team scored first in the fifth minute when John Cross broke the line about 45 metres out and looking for support passed to his right. It was toed ahead by Ryan Girdler towards the tryline and managed to regather and ground it in the corner. His conversion from near the sideline made it 6-0.

In the 13th minute, Girdler snatched an intercept as the Eels were moving the ball outside of their own line and ran 20 metres to cross for their second try. His second conversion made it 12-0, and remained that score up until half time.

The only score in the second half was a field goal off the boot of Girdler in the 57th minute to give the Panthers a more than two converted tries lead.

As well as Girdler scoring every point, it also completed Penrith’s first defensive shut out since 1996, and their first versus Parramatta.

WINS | [2000] Round 16: Penrith 16 Parramatta 14

Friday 19th May at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 40 – Tries: Elford (1), Jorgensen (1); Goals: Hicks (4) | Parramatta 14


Both Penrith and Parramatta kicked penalty conversions inside the first 20 minutes to make it 2-all.

The visitors edged further ahead with a try after 25 minutes, but with less than two minutes remaining in the half, Craig Gower threaded through a grubber kick on the second tackle into the in goal, and was grounded by Shane Elford in the in goal. It remained unconverted and thus was 6-all at half time.

The Eels kicked a penalty conversion after 49 minutes to lead 8-6, but was soon countered by a penalty conversion from Chris Hicks to have it 8-all after 61 minutes.

Parramatta made it 14-8 with a converted try only two minutes later, but once again was countered soon after through a try to Peter Jorgensen – that was cleared by the video referee -and then converted by Hicks to make it 14-all heading into the final 10 minutes.

A third penalty conversion off the boot of Hicks with eight minutes remaining gave the Panthers the lead, and they held on to record a two point victory.

WINS | [2003] Round 26: Penrith 40 Parramatta 22

Sunday 7th September at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 40 – Tries: Wesser (3), Gower (1), Rodney (1), Rooney (1), Swain (1) (1); Goals: Girdler (6) | Parramatta 22


The visitors scored twice in the opening eight minutes to lead 10-0 – albeit against a 12-man Panthers team after Ryan Girdler was sent to the sin bin in the third minute.

The Panthers got on to the scoreboard with a movement that started just inside their own half – Paul Whatuira split the Eels defensive line and then made more metres when he dummied to his right wing partner before finding a roaming Rhys Wesser in support on his left hand side and evaded the covering defence to touch down.

Wesser had his second seven minutes later when he ran through a gap off a Tony Puletua offload, and erase the 10 point deficit. Girdler’s second conversion made saw Penrith hit the lead.

Whilst Parramatta regained the lead at the midway point with a converted try, Penrith crossed twice in the final five minutes – firstly Craig Gower shrugged off one tackle and then stepped his way to power his way over the line, and then with only 15 seconds remaining, replacement forward Luke Swain from 10 metres out stepped his way through the defensive line to touch down adjacent to the right upright. Girdler converted both to have the home team up 24-16 at half time.

In the opening minute of the second half, Wesser had a hat trick when he completed a 70 metre scintillating individual effort which saw him slice the defensive line inside his own half and into open space, outpacing the Eels defenders.

In the 49th minute, the Panthers pushed the lead out further when Shane Rodney was on the spot to run off a Scott Sattler offload and straight into a gap and over the try line, with Girdler’s conversion making it 34-16.

The lead grew even further just after the one hour mark when the Girdler ran on an angle towards the left corner and passed back inside to Luke Rooney, who stepped and found a gap to dive over, and hold a four converted tries lead.

The Eels crossed with four minutes remaining for merely a consolation try, with the victory enough to secure the Panthers second ever minor premiership and also deny the Eels a spot in the finals.

WINS | [2004] Round 16: Penrith 26 Parramatta 16

Saturday 26th June at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 26 – Tries: Roberts (2), Wesser (1), Whatuira (1); Goals: Roberts (5) | Parramatta 16


Parramatta scored the first two tries to lead 10-0 after 27 minutes. With four minutes remaining, Penrith got on to the scoreboard when Amos Roberts powered his way over to score under the uprights. His conversion reduced it to a four point deficit at half time.

Two minutes after the resumption, Rhys Wesser scored and Roberts’ conversion made it 12-10.

A penalty conversion to the Eels six minutes later tied it up at 12 apiece, but on the 60 minute mark the home team once again regained the lead when Paul Whatuira crossed over. Soon after, Roberts had a double when he from a standing start 10 metres out jinked back inside and was enough to fool the Parramatta defence to stroll over adjacent to the left upright. He kicked his fourth conversion to make it 24-12.

An unconverted Parramatta try with less than five minutes remaining was merely nothing more than a consolation as Roberts’ fifth conversion in the 78th minute sealed a 10 point win.

WINS | [2006] Round 5: Penrith 44 Parramatta 18

Sunday 9th April at Parramatta Stadium

Penrith 44 – Tries: Wesser (2), Campbell (1), Gower, Hookey (1), Priddis (1), Rodney (1); Goals: Campbell (8) | Parramatta 18


Preston Campbell toed through a loose pass from dummy half to score the first try, which he converted and gave the visitors a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.

This was followed soon after by a try to Craig Gower to have Penrith lead 12-0 after 14 minutes.

However, the home team would score the next four tries, with the only points during this run from Penrith being a penalty conversion, and Parramatta would lead 18-14 at halftime.

Shane Rodney picked up an Eels pass that went to ground and crossed over untouched to tie it up at 18-all only four minutes after the resumption, with Campbell’s conversion seeing the Panthers regain the lead.

Penrith pressed further ahead with two tries in two minutes – the first to Lee Hookey and then on the first set after the restart, Rhys Wesser dummied a pass to his right at the line and sliced through the gap to touch down, to make it 32-18 after 55 minutes.

The Panthers finished off their neighbours with two more tries in the last 10 minutes – a second to Wesser when he grounded his own grubber kick into the in goal from short range, and then with only a minute remaining Luke Priddis touched down to complete a 30-0 second half and record a convincing come from behind win over the Eels.

WINS | [2006] Round 11: Penrith 30 Parramatta 20

Friday 19th May at Credit Union Australia Stadium

Penrith 30 – Tries: Priddis (2), Cross (1), Gordon (1), Wesser (1); Goals: Campbell (5) | Parramatta 20


Parramatta scored the first two tries to lead 10-0 after only seven minutes.

Luke Priddis burrowed over from dummy half in the 22nd minute, with Preston Campbell’s conversion making it 10-6.

Four minutes later, Priddis put Luke Lewis into the open space who then passed it to Rhys Wesser who raced down the left edge and grounded it just inside the dead ball line, and lock it up at 10-all. Campbell was successful with the conversion, and the home team led 12-10.

Two more tries – to rookie winger Michael Gordon in the corner and then a second to Priddis where he grounded a Luke Lewis kick into the in-goal had Penrith lead 22-10, only for the Eels to score on the stroke of half time to reduce it 22-16.

A penalty conversion from Campbell in the 46th minute made it an 8 point lead, and then was pushed out to 30-16 with 15 minutes remaining when Matthew Cross scored a converted try to make it 30-16.

An Eels try on full time was merely a consolation.

Penrith Panthers – from chocolate soldiers to black magic