PLAYERS | Daine Laurie

Panther 596

3 matches [2020]

0 points

Stats: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/players_laurie-daine20.htm

North Coast (Grafton) junior who was signed by the Panthers and started with the S.G. Ball team in 2017. In 2018, his performances in the Jersey Flegg saw him named the club’s player of the year in that competition.

In 2020, he earned a development spot in the NRL squad and in Round 13 made his NRL debut for the Panthers, coming off the bench in the second half in their big win over Canberra. After another appearance off the bench a couple of weeks later, his third and final appearance was as the starting fullback in their 42-0 record breaking victory against Canterbury in the final premiership round.

Soon after the completion of the season, he signed with the Wests Tigers for 2022 and beyond, however is still contracted with the Panthers for 2021 but may still be released to the Tigers before the start of the 2022 season.

PLAYERS | Charlie Staines

Panther 595

2 matches [2020]

24 points [6 tries]

Stats: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/players_staines-charlie.htm

Forbes junior who moved to Penrith in 2018, playing part in their SG Ball team. In 2019, he moved up to the Jersey Flegg competition and his performances saw him awarded the club’s Jersey Flegg player of the year as part of the Merv Cartwright Medal.

In 2020 he joined the NRL squad as a development player, making his NRL debut as a last-minute replacement on the wing versus Cronulla at Netstrata Jubilee Oval. After crossing for his debut try in the first half, a second half hat trick saw him bag a total of four in the 56-24 demolition of the Sharks – the highest try tally for a debutant since 2008.

However, he breached the COVID-19 “bubble” requirements and was forced into a 14-day self-isolation. Upon the end of this period, he was made available for the match versus Manly at Lottoland. A double inside the first 20 minutes, in which he showed his lightning speed and acrobatic finishing had him sitting on 6 tries in less than 100 minutes of his fledgling NRL career, but a hamstring injury sustained in the second try saw him sit out the remainder of the game.

Whilst he recovered, he was unable to crack it back in to the 17 for the remainder of the season. In September, he extended his stay at the Panthers until the end of 2023.

PLAYERS | Kurt Capewell

Panther 594

9 matches [2020]

16 points [4 tries]

Stats: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/players_capewell-kurt.htm

Born in Charleville, the utility played Under 20s with Brisbane and the Sydney Roosters before returning to Queensland and playing for Ipswich in the Queensland Cup. He was signed by Cronulla, making his NRL debut for the Sharks in 2016, making 64 appearances across four seasons. Not offered a new deal at the end of the 2019 season, he signed with Penrith in November for two seasons.

An injury sustained in the pre-season made him unavailable for the opening round and finally made his club debut for the Panthers upon the competition’s resumption in late May in the Round 3 match versus Newcastle. Starting in the second row, he scored a try in their golden point draw.

A knee injury suffered two weeks later versus Parramatta saw him miss 12 weeks, returning in the Round 17 match versus Brisbane. By season’s end he had become settled in the top 17 squad, and would alternate between starting second rower and bench forward throughout the finals series. Although just making a total of 9 appearances throughout a disrupted season, his form was rewarded with selection in the Queensland squad in the rescheduled State of Origin series, making his debut in Game 1 and figuring in all three matches as they won the series.

PLAYERS | Zane Tetevano

Panther 593

19 matches [2020]

0 points

Stats: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/players_tetevano-zane.htm

New Zealand born forward who debuted for Newcastle in 2011. After recording a conviction for assault in 2014, he was sacked by the Knights and after a stint with the Wyong Roos in the NSW Cup he returned to the NRL in 2017 with the Sydney Roosters. At the completion of the 2019 season he joined the Panthers.

He made his club debut for the Panthers in the opening round of the 2019 season as a starting front rower and retained the spot in the second round before the competition shut down for COVID-19.

Upon the resumption of the competition in late May, he was used as a bench forward. A knee injury saw him miss three weeks around the mid point of the premiership rounds but returned to be a regular part of the 17 as the Panthers marched towards the minor premiership. His time at the Roosters provided big game experience amongst the young Panthers squad and was only one of three players who had had previous grand final experience when the Panthers had qualified for the premiership decider.

WINS | [2020] Preliminary Final: Penrith 20 South Sydney 16

Saturday 17th October at ANZ Stadium

Penrith 20 – Tries: Edwards (1), May (1), To’o (1); Goals: Cleary (4) | South Sydney 16

More: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/match1276.htm

South Sydney opened the scoring with a penalty conversion in the opening minutes to lead 2-0 and was soon 6-0 through a try.

In the seventh minute, Brian To’o cleaned up a spilled Nathan Cleary bomb and powered his way over from 10 metres out. Cleary’s conversion tied it up at 6-all.

At the 26 minute mark, a pin-point Cleary bomb was caught by Tyrone May over the try line and simply had to ground it to post a four pointer under the uprights. Cleary’s extras made it 12-6.

In the shadows of half time, a penalty conversion extended the Panthers lead to 8 and remained 14-6 at the break.

Inside the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Rabbitohs had scored a converted try to reduce the lead to just 2 points.

In the 66th minute, Isaah Yeo busted the line 40 metres out and threw a perfectly timed pass when he drew the two on one to the fullback, finding Dylan Edwards on his inside and untouched scoring under the black dot, with the conversion once again restoring the 8 point half time lead.

South Sydney crossed with just under 8 minutes remaining, however it remained unconverted.

The Rabbitohs posed a number of defensive challenges in the closing minutes however they remained resolute and held on to qualify for their first grand final in 17 years.

WINS | [2020] Qualifying Final: Penrith 29 Sydney Roosters 28

Friday 2nd October at Panthers Stadium

Penrith 29 – Tries: Cleary (3), Crichton (1), Mansour (1); Goals: Cleary (4); Field goals: Cleary (1) | Sydney Roosters 28

More: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/match1275.htm

The fourth placed Roosters hit out of the blocks fast, scoring the first two tries to lead 10-0 inside the first 10 minutes.

The minor premiers posted their first points in the 15th minute when Viliame Kikau created a two on one passed to an unmarked Josh Mansour and acrobatically evaded the converging cover defence by leaping over in the far corner. It remained unconverted with the Roosters maintaining a 6 point lead.

This lead was soon wiped out when Dylan Edwards picked up a Liam Martin offload that dribbled on the ground and passed it to Nathan Cleary who sprinted through a defensive gap to cross adjacent to the right upright, with his conversion locking it up at 10-all.

Penrith had the lead just short of the 30 minute mark when a low Jarome Luai drubber towards the left upright was scooped up by Cleary only on metre short of the line and natural momentum from the dive carried him over the line adjacent to the upright pads.

Cleary had a first half hat trick with only four minutes remaining when Stephen Crichton ran on to an inside pass from Luai and broke the line 35 metres out, finding a looming Cleary in support to his right and a well timed pass had him cross over once again adjacent to the left upright. Cleary’s conversion made it 22-10 at half time.

Eight minutes after the resumption, a shallow cross field bomb at close range to the Roosters line was cleaned up by Tyrone May, who fired a pass to Crichton and threw a small dummy to create a small gap, which he duly sliced through to barge over.

Cleary’s conversion had completed a 28 unanswered points surge.

However, two Roosters converted tries had seen the Panthers lead cut down to just 6 heading into the final five minutes.

With just under three minutes remaining, Cleary calmly potted a field goal from about 25 metres to make it an all-important 7 point lead.

But the Panthers would concede a penalty on the restart when they did not allow the short kick off from the Roosters to travel the required 10 metres. From the ensuing set, the Roosters were able to score a converted try to reduce it to just 1with only two minutes remaining.

Inside the last minute of play, the Roosters were deep in the Panthers defensive half, and an unsuccessful field goal attempt was taken by Mansour in the field of play, and did the obligatory go slow inside the final 30 seconds as the Panthers held on for a one point victory, and earning a spot in the grand final qualifier two weeks later and also extend their remarkable winning streak to 16.

WINS | [2020] Round 20: Penrith 42 Canterbury 0

Saturday 26th September at ANZ Stadium

Penrith 42 – Tries: Capewell (2), Naden (2), Burton (1), Mansour (1), Tamou (1), To’o (1); Goals: Cleary (5) | Canterbury 0

More: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/match1274.htm

A Brian To’o try in the seventh minute opened the scoring for the contest, however it remained unconverted at 4-0.

Just after the half hour mark a short Jarome Luai kick close to the line was grounded by Kurt Capewell.

Soon after Luai broke the line and found in support Brent Naden on his inside, and whilst he had to juggle it to gain possession, held on to it and ran the ball in under the posts.

At 16-0 in the shadows of half time, Capewell had a double when he was the beneficiary of a lucky bounce from a Naden kick back inside, with the Panthers heading into the sheds up 22-0 at half time.

10 minutes after the restart, Josh Mansour spectacularly finished off a backline movement to dive in the corner and further extend the lead to 26-0.

Brent Naden had a double when a Cleary kick was kneed ahead by Capewell into the in goal and was grounded just short of the dead ball line.

At 32-0, Matt Burton was next to score when he took a short Luai pass at close range and barged his way over.

With four minutes remaining, captain James Tamou crossed for his first try of the season when he barged his way over taking the ball 10 metres out and planting it right under the black dot.

At 42-0, it marked the club’s biggest win over the Bulldogs as well as biggest score without conceding any points, with the Panthers awarded the JJ Giltinan Shield after full time to be officially crowned 2020 minor premiers.

WINS | [2020] Round 19: Penrith 32 North Queensland 12

Friday 18th September at Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Penrith 32 – Tries: Crichton (1), Kikau (1), Luai (1), Mansour (1), Naden (1), To’o (1); Goals: Cleary (4) | North Queensland 12

More: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/match1273.htm

A perfectly weighted and angled stab kick from Dylan Edwards was pounced on by an unmarked Brian To’o to score in the corner after only four minutes.

Soon after the lead was out to 10-0 when Viliame Kikau busted the line 30 metres out and found Stephen Crichton looming up in support on his inside and crossed adjacent to the left uprights.

The Panthers third try in the 14th minute saw Crichton taken out in the lead up however Josh Mansour managed to ground the ball before it travelled past the dead ball line – whilst it was called up to the NRL bunker as a possible penalty try to Crichton, it was Mansour that ended up being awarded the four pointer.

With just over 7 minutes remaining, the Panthers tried for a short drop out and successfully regained possession just short of their 20 metre line. In the ensuing set, they worked the ball up the field and a fifth tackle bomb from Jarome Luai was picked up by Crichton, and still on the last tackle, he managed an offload to a supporting Luai who crossed over.

Four unanswered tries in the half saw the visitors lead 20-0 at half time.

Four minutes after the resumption, a pin point Nathan Cleary bomb landed in the arms of Kikau only metres out from the line and barged his way over.

At 26-0, the home team finally posted their first points with a converted try.

However, this was soon countered with Penrith’s sixth try, when Crichton popped an offload to Cleary who then ran around the defensive line to run down the blind side and drew the two on one to find an unmarked Brent Naden on his inside who sprinted 20 metres to score. The Cowboys finished the scoring with a consolation try with around 10 minutes remaining, but it was a 14th straight victory for the Panthers as they secured their first minor premiership since 2003.

WINS | [2020] Round 18: Penrith 20 Parramatta 2

Friday 11th September at Panthers Stadium

Penrith 20 – Tries: Luai (1), Mansour (1), Martin (1); Goals: Cleary (4) | Parramatta 2

More: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/match1272.htm

After a scoreless opening half an hour, the Eels posted the first points with a penalty conversion to lead 2-0.

A rainbow pass to Josh Mansour was finished off with a dive in the corner with just seconds remaining in the half, with Nathan Cleary’s conversion making it 6-2 at the break.

On 55 minutes, Liam Martin spectacularly marked a shallow cross field bomb from Cleary on the run, catching it just over the try line and just had to land and ground the ball to score.

At 12-2, the Penrith were able to keep Parramatta at bay, and a second penalty conversion to Cleary with just over 2 minutes remaining stretched the lead out further.

On the stroke of full time, an individual effort from Jarome Luai where he stepped his way through the Eels defence to barge over placed an exclamation mark on the contest.

WINS | [2020] Round 17: Penrith 25 Brisbane 12

Thursday 3rd September at Suncorp Stadium

Penrith 25 – Tries: Capewell (1), Luai (1), Mansour (1), To’o (1); Goals: Cleary (4); Field goals: Cleary (1) | Brisbane 12

More: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/match1271.htm

The Broncos posted the first points to lead 6-0.

The Panthers equalised in the 24th minute when Jarome Luai ran the ball at the line and attracted a number of defenders which left Josh Mansour’s wing unmarked and strolled over in the left corner.

A penalty conversion soon after gave the Panthers an 8-6 lead.

With just over three minutes remaining, a perfectly weighted Nathan Cleary grubber aimed for the in goal was pounced on by replacement forward Kurt Capewell, with Cleary’s extras giving the Panthers a 14-6 lead at half time.

15 minutes after the resumption, the visitors forged further ahead when yet another Cleary kick aimed for the in goal saw Luai get just enough of a touch on the ball to legally ground it after a review from the NRL bunker.

At 20-6, the last placed Broncos refused to lie down and they scored the next try to make it 20-12 heading into the final 15 minutes.

Minutes later however a regulation backline sweep movement created numbers on the right edge with Brian To’o strolling over in the corner.

Up by 12 heading towards full time, the Panthers made doubly sure of banking another 2 premiership points with a Cleary field goal with just over three minutes remaining and extend their record breaking winning streak to 12.

Penrith Panthers – from chocolate soldiers to black magic