PLAYERS | Arana Taumata


Panther 514

2 matches [2012]

4 points [1 try] 


New Zealand (Wellington) junior who had made his NRL debut with Canterbury in 2008, and after stints at Melbourne, Wests Tigers and North Queensland, he signed with the Panthers for the 2011 season.

He would play the entire season for the Windsor Wolves in the NSW Cup and despite committing a criminal act that season, the Panthers made the decision to re-sign him for the 2012 season as part of a rehabilitation program. His performances for the Wolves early in the 2012 season saw him earn a return to the NRL for the first time since his time at the Cowboys in 2012. Primarily a half for the Wolves, he was selected off the bench versus the Gold Coast Titans and although the Panthers were thoroughly outclassed that day, he scored a second half try to mark his return. He would make one more appearance two weeks later against South Sydney.

Taumata however would be released in 2013, joining the Newtown Jets in the NSW Cup. He has since stayed in the game, including a stints with Tumut in the Group 9 as captain-coach and is currently contracted with Wentworthville in the NSW Cup.


PLAYERS | Matthew Robinson


Panther 512

32 matches [2012-2014]

16 points [4 tries] 


Auckland junior who played Under 20s and NSW Cup for the Warriors before being signed by the Panthers for the 2012 season.

After starting the season for the Windsor Wolves in 2012, he made his NRL debut in Round 7 versus the Wests Tigers, coming off the bench. Robinson would make 12 appearances for Penrith that season, chiefly off the bench but started in one match in the second row.

Over the following two seasons, he would be a semi-regular player in the NRL squad, making 20 appearances, mostly as a starting second rower.

His last appearance for the Panthers was their preliminary final loss to the Bulldogs in 2014, signing a two year deal with the Gold Coast Titans. After two seasons, he headed to France playing for the Limoux Grizzlies in the top flight Elite One competition before returning to Australia and is currently with the Burleigh Bears in the Queensland Cup.

PLAYERS | Mitch Achurch


Panther 511

11 matches [2012]

0 points 


Balmain junior who played lower grades at both the North Queensland Cowboys and the Tigers before being signed by the Panthers for the 2012 season.

He made his debut early in the season against the Eels, coming off the bench. The tall forward would make 11 appearances, all off the bench, including the last seven matches of the season. Midway through the season, he had a stint in the NSW Cup team as a starting front rower.

However, he would spend just the one season at Penrith, heading off to England in 2013 when he signed with the Leeds Rhinos in the Super League.

He returned to Australia in 2017 and is currently playing for the Guildford Owls in the third tier Ron Massey Cup.

WINS | [2016] Round 5: Penrith 20 Parramatta 16

Sunday 3rd April at Pirtek Stadium

Penrith 20: Cartwright (2), Mansour (1), Wallace (1); Goals: Soward (2) |  Parramatta 16


After both teams were denied the opportunity to score the opening try through the video referee, the Eels finally scored the first try after 22 minutes to lead 6-0.

However, in the shadows of half time the Panthers struck back when Bryce Cartwright crashed his way over the line and despite looking like he was held up over the line was able to still out stretch the arm and plant the ball down, and tie it up at 6 apiece at the break.

Two minutes after the resumption, Peter Wallace ran the ball from dummy half on the fifth tackle and spotted a gap in the defensive line close to the try line and burrowed over. Jamie Soward’s conversion gave the visitors a 12-6 lead.

A loose carry from Josh Mansour saw Penrith turn over the ball and Parramatta capitalised on the error and made it 10-6. A penalty conversion at the 64 minute mark to the Eels locked it up at 12-all. Minutes later they made it 18-12.

With less than 5 minutes left, the Panthers swung the ball to the left and Mansour crashed over in the corner. Soward was unable to convert it from the sideline and still trailed by 2.

With less than 10 seconds remaining, the Panthers were attacking the Eels line, and a Soward cross field bomb from about 10 metres was taken by Waqa Blake, who then off loaded to Cartwright – with the overlap, he simplied dummied and crossed over for his second with the full time siren just sounding. The come from behind victory was confirmed once it was passed by the video referee.

SEASONS | 2016


26 matches: 15 wins, 11 losses

Top point scorer: Nathan Cleary – 116 [3 tries, 52 goals]

Top try scorer: Josh Mansour – 16

Merv Cartwright Medal: Trent Merrin


In February, the Panthers failed to advance past the group stage in the Auckland Nines.

2016 was the club’s fiftieth season since gaining promotion in 1967 and was used as a season to commemorate the club’s achievements. This included reunions for the inaugural 1967 squad earlier in the season in the home match versus Canterbury, and later in the season there were also reunions for the 1991 and 2003 premiership winning teams. There was the launch of a Hall of Fame in June, with the initial inductees being Grahame Moran, Royce Simmons, Greg Alexander and Craig Gower.

On the field, this was also reflected in their playing strip, with gold trimming and all players who had played 50 matches or more subliminated in the design.

In 2016 the Panthers only played 10 matches, with one match being their annual visit to Bathurst, and the following week hosting a match in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Under new coach Anthony Griffin and newly appointed captain Matt Moylan, the Panthers started the season steadily, with an even win/loss record in the opening 10 rounds – and with that one of the narrowest win/loss margins in premiership history (average of 3 after 9 rounds). At the mid way point, Penrith sat in 11th spot, but lost only 3 of the last 12 matches, including winning the last 5 to surge to a sixth spot finish, and qualify for the club’s eleventh finals series.

In the first week of the finals, they overpowered a limp looking Canterbury in the second half with some scintillating attack, however, their season was over the next week with a semi final loss to Canberra.

In the lower grades, the NSW Cup team qualified for the finals but was eliminated in the first week. In the Under 20s, the Panthers were runaway minor premiers, but would blow a 28-6 half time lead in the grand final to lose to the Sydney Roosters.

On the representative scene, Matt Moylan became the 19th Panther to represent Australia, playing on the end of season Four Nations tour in the UK. Earlier in the season, Moylan and Josh Mansour both debuted for New South Wales in the State of Origin, with both playing all three matches.

PLAYERS | Ryan Simpkins


Panther 510

27 matches [2012-2013]

12 points [3 tries]


Tweed Heads junior who captained the Gold Coast Titans Under 20s team in 2008 before moving to the Tweed Heads Seagulls in the Queensland Cup. It was from there that he was signed by the Panthers for the 2012 season.

Making his NRL debut early in the 2012 season off the bench, the forward would make a total of 17 appearances in his first season in the top grade, later being a starting second rower as well as lock and scoring two tries.

After starting the 2013 season in the NSW Cup, where he would be the starting hooker, he would return to the NRL team midway through the season, making 10 more appearances, once again mostly off the bench but finishing the season as the starting lock.

Whilst he was contracted to the Panthers in 2014, he was not able to crack it into the NRL squad, however, he played a large role in the Panthers winning the NSW Cup grand final and was named as the lock of the year for that competition.

Citing further opportunities in the NRL, Simpkins returned to the Titans in 2015, where he would make 25 appearances across four seasons before retiring at the end of the 2018 season.


PLAYERS | Etu Uaisele


Panther 509

14 matches [2012]

20 points [5 tries]


Tongan born winger who grew up in New Zealand and made his first grade debut with Parramatta in 2009. After 16 appearances across three seasons, he headed further west to Penrith in 2012, signing a one year deal with the Panthers.

Uaisele made his club debut in Round 2 in their 18-0 win over the Roosters. Two weeks later he crossed for a hat trick against the Eels in the Panthers big 39-6 win at Parramatta Stadium. He would make 14 appearances across the 2012 season, all starting on the wing and scoring a total of 5 tries.

However, he would not be offered a contract for the 2013. He went to England, playing for a number of teams in the second tier Championship before returning to Australia where he is currently playing for the Albury Thunder in the Group 9 competition.

Penrith Panthers – from chocolate soldiers to black magic