Semi Final, 2016: Raiders V Panthers

Saturday 17th September at GIO Stadium [Match #1178]

LOST 12-22 | Tries: Peachey (1), Watene-Zelezniak (1). Goals: Cleary (2).

In a match up between the two most potent attacking sides in the competition, the Raiders dominated field position and possession to hold a 12-0 lead at half time. Canberra scored again to make it 18-0 soon after the resumption, however, the Panthers fought back to score 2 converted tries to make it a 6 point game. Penrith had chances to draw level, but 2 late penalty conversions pushed the lead out again, ultimately finishing their season.

Matt Moylan (C), Josh Mansour, Zak Hardaker, Tyrone Peachey, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak; Bryce Cartwright, Nathan Cleary; Leilani Latu, Peter Wallace, Suaia Matagi, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Trent Merrin. Sitaleki Akauola,  Jeremy Latimore, Chris Grevsmuhl.

Elimination Final, 2016: Panthers v Bulldogs

Sunday 11th September at Allianz Stadium [Match #1177]

WON 28-12 | Tries: Blake (1), Mansour (1), Peachey (1), Wallace (1), Watene-Zelezniak (1). Goals: Cleary (4).

In a physical first half waged primarily in the forwards, the more experienced Bulldogs (in terms of finals appearances) crossed first but the Panthers pulled it back to trail 6-4 at half time. Four minutes into the second half, Penrith hit the lead. It was one of unanswered tries that catapulted the Panthers to lead 28-6, including a spectacular team try finished off by Wallace. Canterbury scored a late consolation try to reduce the winning margin.

Matt Moylan (C), Josh Mansour, Waqa Blake, Tyrone Peachey, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak; Bryce Cartwright, Nathan Cleary; Leilani Latu, Peter Wallace, Suaia Matagi, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Trent Merrin. Sitaleki Akauola,  Jeremy Latimore, Chris Grevsmuhl, Zak Hardaker.

Round 26, 2016: Panthers v Sea Eagles

Sunday 4th September at Pepper Stadium [Match #1176]

WON 36-6 | Tries: Mansour (2), Blake (1), Cartwright (1), Wallace (1), Watene-Zelezniak (1). Goals: Cleary (6)

On the back of a perfect completion rate, the Panthers blazed through the Sea Eagles in the first half with 5 unanswered converted tries to hold a 30-0 lead at half time. Soon after the resumption of play, an other converted try made it 36-0 to Penrith. However, the Panthers would not score another point, but the Panthers defence was able to concede the solitary try, as they recorded their fifth win a row and a nice tune up ahead of the finals series.

Matt Moylan (C), Josh Mansour, Waqa Blake, Tyrone Peachey, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak; Bryce Cartwright, Nathan Cleary; Leilani Latu, Peter Wallace, Suaia Matagi, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Trent Merrin. Sitaleki Akauola,  Regan Campbell-Gillard, Chris Grevsmuhl, Zak Hardaker.

Round 25, 2016: Titans v Panthers

Saturday 27th August at CBUS Super Stadium [Match #1175]

WON 15-14| Tries: Blake (1), Moylan (1). Goals: Cleary (3). Field goals: Moylan (1)

Penrith dominated the first half through two converted tries and a penalty conversion to hold a 14-0 lead at the half time break. The Titans sprung into action in the second stanza, and slowly bought themselves back to parity with two converted tries and also a penalty conversion to draw level 14-all with 5 minutes to go. A couple of minutes later, Moylan calmly potted a field goal to break the deadlock and ultimately lock in a finals appearance.

Matt Moylan (C), Josh Mansour, Waqa Blake, Tyrone Peachey, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak; Bryce Cartwright, Nathan Cleary; Leilani Latu, Peter Wallace, Suaia Matagi, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Trent Merrin. Sitaleki Akauola,  Regan Campbell-Gillard, Chris Grevsmuhl, Zak Hardaker.

Round 24, 2016: Panthers v Tigers

Friday 19th August at Pepper Stadium [Match #1174]

WON 401-10| Tries: Blake (1), Campbell-Gillard (1), Cartwright (1), Fisher-Harris (1), Merrin (1), Wallace (1), Yeo (1). Goals: Cleary (6)

The Tigers struck first through a series of dubious passes to lead 4-0, however the home team soon hit back to take a 6-4 with a try that went “coast to coast”. Another four tries had Penrith hold a very commanding 28-4 lead at half time. The Panthers continued to place their foot on the Tigers’ throat into the second half, scoring two more tries to lead 40-4 with 23 minutes to go, before the Tigers scored their second try with 17 minutes to go.

Matt Moylan (C), Josh Mansour, Waqa Blake, Tyrone Peachey, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak; Bryce Cartwright, Nathan Cleary; Leilani Latu, Peter Wallace, Suaia Matagi, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Trent Merrin. Sitaleki Akauola,  Regan Campbell-Gillard, Zak Hardaker, Chris Grevsmuhl.

Round 23, 2016: Knights v Panthers

Sunday 13th August at Hunter Stadium [Match #1173]

WON 42-6| Mansour (2), Watene-Zelezniak (2), Blake (1), Moylan (1), Peachey (1). Goals: Cleary (7)

The visitors scored the first, however bottom placed Newcastle soon after hit back at held a 6-4 lead. A penalty on the stroke of half time allowed Penrith to lock it up at 6-all at the break. The Panthers soon regained the lead, but then hit the accelerator to post another 5 unanswered tries in the final 25 minutes, to claim a record breaking win over the Knights, and also a much needed for and against boost in their quest for the finals.

Matt Moylan (C), Josh Mansour, Waqa Blake, Tyrone Peachey, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak; Bryce Cartwright, Nathan Cleary; Leilani Latu, Peter Wallace, Suaia Matagi, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Trent Merrin. Sitaleki Akauola, Jeremy Latimore, Zak Hardaker, Regan Campbell-Gillard.

Head to head | Newcastle

42 matches [1988-1996; 1998-2015]. Won 16, Lost 23, Drawn 3 [more]

The Panthers history with the Knights from Newcastle go back to Australia’s bicentennial year in 1988.

In their inaugural season, they met twice – on both occasions, the Panthers got the 2 points – a relatively tight 14-6 win at Penrith and then a more convincing 23-12 at Newcastle. The second match was coincidentally Penrith’s 500th premiership match.

The first eight meetings between the two clubs, from 1988 to 1991 resulted in 6 wins for Penrith and 2 draws – however, the biggest of these 6 wins was only by 14 points (at Newcastle in 1991).

In 1992, the Knights finally broke their duck, and recorded a 14-2 win at Penrith Stadium and repeated the dose with an even more comprehensive 26-4 win at Marathon Stadium. This itself started a 15 match stretch extending to 2002, in which Penrith would only win 2 matched (1993 at Penrith and 2000 in Newcastle) and a draw at Penrith in 1998.

There was also a gap in their head to head during 1997, as the Knights participated in the rival ARL competition.

The win in 2000 was a see-sawing affair, with Penrith racing out to a 16-6 lead, before Newcastle gained the ascendency to lead 26-16, before the Panthers finished with a wet sail to record a 32-26 victory.

One of the 12 losses was a 60-18 loss in the final round of 2001 at Energy Australia Stadium, the final act in a season where the Panthers were given the unwanted wooden spoon for finishing last. At the time, it was the club’s fourth heaviest defeat and only the second time they had conceded at least 60 points in a match. For Newcastle, it was an 11 try warm up for their finals assault, which would finish successfully be being crowned premiers on grand final night.

In 2003, the Panthers started redressing the win / loss ledger by winning both matches.

However, the one-off meetings in both 2004 and 2005 were once again wins to the Knights. In the opening round of 2004, they crashed the Panthers homecoming party after being crowned premiers the previous season, with a 22-14 win. The one-off meeting in 2005, once again at Penrith Stadium, saw the Panthers lead the Knights 14-0 before they stormed home for a 28-24 win – it was a significant result as it saw the Knights dramatically break a 13 match losing streak.

The trend of one off matches would continue to 2009, with some significant results. In late 2007, the two teams met as the two bottom teams – the Panthers would record a very comprehensive 46-12 win, but the Panthers would ultimately finish wooden spooners. In the final round of 2009, the Panthers once again came back to Newcastle with a winner takes all scenario – the winner would qualify for the finals. Penrith lost 35-0.

In 2010, the Panthers and Knights played home and away for the first time since 2003. And just like 2003, Penrith won both matches – in Round 4 at Energy Australia Stadium, Penrith fought back from a 24-6 halftime deficit to record a stirring 34-30 victory with the match winning try in the final minute, whilst in Round 13 at Credit Union Australia Stadium, it was a more convincing 28-10 win.

From 2011 to 2013, the Knights won all 5 matches.

In 2011, the two teams met in the opening round, with the Knights putting the Panthers to the sword to the tune of 42-8. In Round 15, Penrith put up more of a fight at Ausgrid Stadium but still lost 16-12.

Penrith, rather comfortably, won both matches in 2014, with a 30-8 win at Penrith in the opening round and meeting just 2 months later at Newcastle, running out 32-10 winners.

Both teams met again in 2015 – the Knights won at home in April, and then met again in the final round. Dubbed as the “spoon bowl”, where the loser would finish last, the Panthers pulled away in the second half to record a convincing 30-12 win.