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.