WINS | [2012] rOUND 2: pENRITH 18 sYDNEY rOOSTERS 0

Sunday 11th March at Allianz Stadium

Penrith 18 – Tries: Jennings (2), McKendry (1); Goals: Walsh (3) | Sydney Roosters 0

More: themightypanthers.com/match1056.htm

The Panthers opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Sam McKendry barged through the line 25 metres out and sprinted to the line. Luke Walsh’s conversion made it 6-0.

With just over seven minutes remaining in the half, Walsh ran the ball and crabbed across the field, finding a hard running Danny Galea who then passed it back inside to Michael Jennings who powered his way over the line. Wah’s conversion made it 12-0 at half time.

In the 56th minute, Jennings picked up a loose Roosters pass on the halfway line and sprinted 50 metres untouched down the left flank to further extend the lead, with Walsh adding the extras.

Whilst the Roosters had opportunities to score, the Panthers defensive line remained resolute and achieved their first shutout since 2003.

PLAYERS | Josaia Dakuitoga

Panther 362

7 matches [1994-1995]

4 points [1 try]

Stats: themightypanthers.com/players_dakuitoga-josaia.htm

Fiji born winger who appeared for the national team at the 1992 World Sevens pre-tournament.

He was recruited by the Panthers in 1994 alongside teammate Livai Nalagilagi, making his first grade debut in the Round 9 clash versus Western Suburbs at Campbelltown, coming off the bench.

He made a total of 6 appearances, scoring a try in his second appearance in the 26-all draw versus Illawarra the week after his debut.

He would be part of the 1995 squad but would make just the solitary appearance in the final round match versus Parramatta.

Named in the 1995 Fiji World Cup squad, he would remain in England after the tournament where he ran out for Sheffield in the 1995/96 Championship season.

After retirement, he would be named the Fiji national coach – firstly for the 2008 World Cup tournament and has been recently has returned to the role for the upcoming 2021 edition.

PLAYERS | Livai Nalagilagi

Panther 364

11 matches [1994]

8 points [2 tries]

Stats: themightypanthers.com/players_nalagilagi-livai.htm

Fiji born back who appeared for the national team at the 1992 World Sevens pre-tournament.

He was recruited by the Panthers in 1994, making his first grade debut in the Round 11 clash versus Canterbury at Concord Oval, starting in the centres.

He made a total of 11 appearances in the second half of the season, mostly as a starting centre, scoring two tries in the last three rounds.

It would be his only season at the club, leaving at the end of the year.

He would later be a part of the 1995 Fijian World Cup squad.

WINS | [1967] Round 11: Penrith 13 Cronulla 10

Tuesday 25th April at Sutherland Oval

Penrith 13 – Tries: Applebee (1), Peckham (1), Raper (1); Goals: Moran (2) | Cronulla 10

More: themightypanthers.com/match0011.htm

Grahame Moran kicked a penalty conversion to have Penrith lead 2-0, and was soon after extended to 7-0 when Maurie Raper crossed for a try that was converted by Moran.

Four consecutive penalty conversions to Cronulla had them leading 8-7 early in the second half, but Penrith would post the next two tries to regain the lead, firstly to Dave Applebee and then later to Wayne Peckham off a lobbed Moran pass from a penalty restart to close out a win in their first ever meeting in the top division.

WINS | [2004] Round 15: Penrith 32 Cronulla 12

Sunday 20th June at Toyota Park

Penrith 32 – Tries: Priddis (1), Pritchard (1), Robert (1), Rooney (1), Waterhouse (1), Wesser (1); Goals: Roberts (4) | Cronulla 12

More: themightypanthers.com/match0872.htm

The Panthers opened the scoring in the fifth minute through a Rhys Wesser try that was converted by Amos Roberts to make it 6-0 after as many minutes.

However, the Sharks would first of all level it up and then draw ahead to lead 12-6 at half time.

Eleven minutes after the break, Penrith reduced it to a two point deficit with a try to Luke Priddis.

This was the start of a four try surge in ten minutes, with a 70 metre effort to Amos Roberts virtually from the restart, quickly followed by tries to Frank Pritchard and Luke Ronney regathering a Roberts grubber to cross under the posts. At the end of the surge, the visitors had turned a 2 point deficit into a 14 point lead.

With five minutes remaining, the Panthers sealed the win with a try to Trent Waterhouse that was converted by Roberts.

WINS | [2006] Round 24: Penrith 32 Cronulla 28

Saturday 19th August at Toyota Park

Penrith 32 – Tries: Wesser (2), Gordon (1), Hookey (1), Rooney (1), Stapleton (1); Goals: Campbell (4) | Cronulla 28

More: themightypanthers.com/match0930.htm

The Panthers held an 8-0 lead after 20 minutes with unconverted tries to Michael Gordon and Luke Rooney.

However, the hosts would hit back with two tries of their own to lead 10-8.

Three more quick tries after the resumption had Cronulla up 28-8.

When Rhys Wesser crossed over for a try in the 64th minute, the Sharks lead had been reduced to 14 points.

In the space of two minutes, between the 70th and 72nd, this was reduced to just two, with converted tries to Craig Stapleton and a second to Wesser.

With just three minutes remaining, the 20-point deficit had been wiped when Lee Hookey crossed in the corner, with Preston Campbell’s conversion pushing them ahead by 4.

Whilst the Sharks rallied late to retain their lead, it was too late as the Panthers pulled of one of the greatest comebacks in their history.

WINS | [2008] Round 5: Penrith 21 Cronulla 20

Saturday 19th April at Toyota Stadium

Penrith 21 – Tries: Gordon (1), Jennings (1), Rooney (1), Smith (1); Goals: Sammut (3); Field goals: Sammut (1) | Cronulla 20

More: themightypanthers.com/match0962.htm

The Panthers capitalised on a Sharks knock on at close range with Nathan Smith scoring under the black dot, with Jarrad Sammut’s conversion making it 6-0.

However, the Sharks would soon cross over to two quick fire tries to hold a 10-6 lead at half time, and soon after the resumption further extended it to 14-6.

In the 52nd minute the visitors clawed back the deficit through a try to Michael Jennings to make it 14-10, but the Sharks once again pushed it out to 20-10 on the 60 minute mark.

Two Panthers tries, the first to Michael Gordon three minutes later and then to Luke Rooney with only four minutes remaining narrowed it just two, with Sammut’s conversion leveling it up at 20-all.

With the match heading into golden point, the Sharks had the first chance to break the deadlock but the field goal was disallowed, only for Sammut to nail home the winner off his boot in the third minute of extra time.

PLAYERS | Fa’ausu Afoa

Panther 372

22 matches [1995-1997]

4 points [1 try]

Stats: themightypanthers.com/players_afoa-faausu.htm

Samoan born forward who played for Bradford Northern in the English Championship in 1993/94 and for the North Harbour Sea Eagles in the NZ Lion Red Cup in 1994 before being scouted and recruited by the Panthers.

He made his Panthers debut as a starting front rower in the Round 7 loss to the Sydney Tigers. He would make a total of 13 appearances in 1995, alternating between the front and second rows and also coming off the bench a couple of times. At the end of the season, he was selected for the Western Samoa World Cup squad, making two appearances.

He would be in the first grade squad over the 1996 and 1997, making a total of 9 appearances across the two seasons. However, he would be released at the end of the 1997 season.

WINS | [2014] Round 17: Penrith 26 Wests Tigers 10

Sunday 6th July at Leichhardt Oval

Penrith 26 – Tries: Whare (2), Idris (1), Moylan (1), Naiqama (1); Goals: Soward (3) | Wests Tigers 10

More: themightypanthers.com/match1117.htm

The visitors opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Matt Moylan ran at the line on the zero tackle and sidestepped and jinked his way through the defensive line from 20 metres out, finishing with a swan dive in the in goal. Jamie Soward’s conversion made it 6-0.

Ten minutes later, the Panthers further pushed out their lead when Dean Whare split the gap from a well-timed Moylan pass and sidestepped the last line of defence to cross in the corner.

The Tigers would soon after be denied a try from a knock on the lead up, with Penrith holding a 12-0 lead at half time.

Eight minutes after the resumption, Moylan once again provided a try assist to Kevin Naiqama who despite the attention of the cover defence managed to acrobatically plant the ball one handed before being bundled into the touch in goal area. The conversion was unsuccessful and remained 16-0.

The Tigers finally crossed for their first try to reduce the lead to 10.

However, after the 55 minute mark, Penrith further extended their lead when Tyrone Peachey crabbed across field and found a rampaging Jamal Idris who sliced through the sliding Tigers defensive line to cross over.

Shortly after, Whare was over for a double when he ran through a yawning gap on the right edge.

At 26-6, the home team scored a consolation try with just under four minutes remaining to make the full time score 26-10.

WINS | [2004] Round 12: Penrith 40 Bulldogs 29

Sunday 30th May at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 40 – Tries: Waterhouse (2), Galea (1), Galuvao (1), Girdler (1), Lewis (1), Priddis (1); Goals: Campbell (2), Girdler (2), Roberts (2) | Bulldogs 29

More: themightypanthers.com/match0869.htm

The Bulldogs opened the scoring with an unconverted try, but the Panthers countered in the 12th minute when Luke Priddis burrowed over from dummy half, with Ryan Girdler’s sideline conversion making it 6-4.

Three minutes later, Luke Lewis hit a wide gap from a Preston Campbell cut out pass, and with the two on one fooled the Bulldogs cover defence to cross over adjacent to the uprights. Girdler’s extras made it 12-4.

A converted try and penalty conversion to the visitors had it locked up at 12-all after 23 minutes, and then regained the lead with yet another converted try to make it 18-12 after 29 minutes.

Girdler snatched an intercept and ran 90 metres to scramble to the try line but sustained a hamstring injury on the run. Unable to take the conversion, Campbell stepped in and nailed the sideline conversion to make it 18-all.

However, a converted try and then field goal to the Bulldogs pushed them ahead again, and hold a 25-18 lead at half time.

Three minutes after the resumption, the Panthers reduced the advantage when an Amos Roberts grubber kick at close range ricocheted off the Bulldogs defensive line and fell into Trent Waterhouse’s hands, and he strolled through a gap. Campbell’s conversion made it 25-24.

The Bulldogs replied soon after with a try to make it 29-24.

In the 55th minute, Penrith hit back again with a try to Danny Galea who ran a hard line back inside off a Priddis pass only metres from the try line. However, the conversion was unsuccessful and the Bulldogs retained their slender 29-28 lead.

For the next 20 minutes, it was an enthralling grind as both teams tried to win the arm wrestle.

In the 75th minute, the Panthers at close range swung the ball to the left and Priddis was able to draw two defenders towards him, and with the gap created held out a pass to Waterhouse who hit the hole and crossed over. With Campbell off the field, Amos Roberts took over the goal kicking duties, and made it 34-29.

The Bulldogs were able to regain possession off the restart, but their fifth tackle kick was taken by Luke Rooney in the field of play. At the end of that set, a Priddis cross field bomb was taken by Galea, and with the tackle set not restarted, he shovelled the ball off to Joe Galuvao who barged his way over the make it 38-29. Roberts’ conversion iced a captivating come from behind victory.

Penrith Panthers – from chocolate soldiers to black magic