38 matches [2000-2021]
24 wins, 14 losses
The Panthers rivalry with the Wests Tigers is one of the recently established match ups in the club’s history. However the sum of their parts, the Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers, whom were foundation clubs founded in 1908, had rivalries with Penrith going all the way back to the debut season in 1967. These two clubs merged at the end of the 1990s, with their debut season being in 2000.
The first meeting with the new Wests Tigers outfit was at Leichhardt Oval on 5 March 2000. The Tigers struck first in this rivalry, recording a 22-10 victory.
The return match was at Penrith in early June, and was one of the more memorable matches in Penrith’s history – after 55 minutes, the Tigers led 31-8 and on their way to a comfortable victory. However, the Panthers would score four converted tries, but a remarkable passage in where the Panthers scored 4 unanswered converted tries in a 12 minute period. To this day, it is the biggest fight back in the club’s history.
From 2001 to 2006, the Panthers would win 8 of the 9 matches. The only loss would be at Penrith Stadium in 2002.
The biggest of those wins was a 44-10 victory at Penrith Stadium in 2001. At the time, it was the biggest win over the Tigers.
The best of these wins was in the final round of the 2005 season. With nothing to play for after being officially knocked out of finals contention the previous night, the Panthers looked like it was exiting the season with a massive loss after trailing 16-0 after 15 minutes. However, it fought back to score the next 32 and end up winning 38-22. It would be one of only two losses inflicted on the Tigers in a red hot 14 match streak that culminated in them being crowned premiers.
The Wests Tigers won both meetings in 2007 – a tight one point win at Penrith, and then a more comprehensive 43-26 victory later in the season at Telstra Stadium, in which the Panthers blew a 20-4 lead.
In the ongoing head to head record between the two big cats from western Sydney, these 2 wins seem to be nothing more than a minor blip, as the Panthers would draw ahead again by winning the next 5 matches, spanning both seasons in 2008 and 2009 (three matches at Penrith and one each at Campbelltown and Leichhardt).
The Tigers crushing 43-16 victory at Campbelltown late in the 2010 season started a 7 match streak that extended through to the end of the 2013 season, which included a 30-0 shut out at Centrebet Stadium in 2012.
Since 2014, the trend has once again swung in Penrith’s favour – it broke the streak at Leichhardt Oval in 2014 with a convincing 24-10 victory.
From 2015 to 2019, the Panthers have won 7 of the 8 meetings. A few of these wins have been quite convincing in Penrith’s favour, with a 35-12 victory at Leichhardt Oval in 2015, a 40-10 victory at Pepper Stadium in 2016, and a crushing 36-2 at Campbelltown in 2017, which equaled the 34 point winning margin recorded at Penrith in 2001.
With the return of Ivan Cleary as coach in 2019, who had been the coach at the Wests Tigers in 2017 and 2018, and the ugly fall out from his departure, it all of a sudden added some additional spite to these contests.
In early 2019, the Panthers recorded a scrappy 9-8 win it Panthers Stadium, where Penrith were down 8-2 in the dying minutes before a late converted try forced it into golden point and then a Nathan Cleary field goal in the first half of extra time gave the home team the premiership points. However, weeks later the Tigers would post a large win during the inaugural Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.
Penrith would win both matches in 2020 – a rather heated 19-12 win at Bankwest Stadium in Round 8, and a more comprehensive 30-6 win later in the season at Panthers Stadium.
In 2021, the Tigers put halt to the Panthers 12 match winning streak to open the season with a 26-6 win at Leichhardt Oval – although Penrith were substantially undermanned with a number of key players unavailable for selection due to being in the State of Origin squads. In the penultimate round at Redcliffe, the Panthers would register a more comprehensive 30-16 win, with a couple of late Tigers tries making the score line look more respectable.
Last updated 19 November 2021