HEAD TO HEAD | St. George Illawarra Dragons


37 matches [1999-2022]

17 wins, 20 losses

Stats: themightypanthers.com/results_headtohead_stgeorgeillawarra.htm

The Panthers rivalry with the St. George Illawarra Dragons goes back to the late 1990s, when two clubs, St. George Dragons and Illawarra Steelers merged at the end of 1998.

The first meeting was on 8 May 1999 at Penrith Stadium. The Panthers played a near perfect first half to lead 18-0 at half time, and finished with a quite commanding 27-6 victory.

The Dragons would win the next two matches, both away from Penrith – firstly the return match at Kogarah later that season and then at the Sydney Football Stadium in 2000.

Their fourth meeting was at Penrith Stadium in July 2000. In a match where Ryan Girdler over took Greg Alexander’s club record for most points, the home team led 20-0 at half time, which was soon extended to 26-0 soon after the resumption, and ran out 42-12 winners. It remains the biggest ever win for Penrith against St. George Illawarra.

The Dragons would win the next 3, across both the 2001 and 2002 seasons. The Panthers would claw back the ledger with a 30-26 win at Penrith Stadium in May 2003, in which St. George Illawarra outscored Penrith 5 tries to 4, but were let down with the goal kicking. In August, in their first meeting in Wollongong, the Dragons outlasted the Panthers in a high scoring contest, and were 1 of only 3 teams that inflicted a loss in a 14 match streak that culminated in the Panthers being crowned 2003 premiers.

In 2004, St. George Illawarra would win both regular season meetings, and would both finish in the top 8. Fourth placed Penrith hosted fifth placed St. George Illawarra at Penrith Stadium in the opening week of the finals series. The Panthers raced out to a 24-0 lead after around 20 minutes, but in the end were able to hold out a fast finishing Dragons with a narrow 31-30 victory. The win would see Penrith qualify for their second straight preliminary final, whilst a series of wins to the lower ranked teams that weekend saw the Dragons eliminated.

Penrith would win their next meeting, a rather dour 18-8 win at Penrith Stadium early in the 2005 season. The Dragons were more comprehensive in the return clash at Wollongong only weeks later, but the Panthers would return to the Dragons south coast home ground early in the 2006 season. Penrith held a 12-2 lead in the second half, only for that lead to completely disappear by full time and forcing the match into golden point. The visitors got the field goal that broke the deadlock, and had also continued a seven match winning streak that had started late in the 2005 season.

However, it would be the last win for four years – the Dragons won the next six, with the Panthers coming closest during that run with a narrow one point loss (in regulation time) at ANZ Stadium in mid-2008.

The two teams would meet just once in 2010, in an Origin effected Round 17 meeting at Kogarah – the Dragons were competition leaders and premiership favourites, whilst the Panthers had surprised many and held second spot on the ladder. Penrith grinded out a 12-8 victory in greasy conditions.

The solitary meeting in 2011 was at WIN Stadium, with the finals bound Dragons running out comfortable 32-12 winners.

However, Penrith would win the next 5 up to the end of the 2014 season. They would meet just the once again in 2012, with another tight encounter going into golden point at Centrebet Stadium, and the Panthers once again being victorious with a deadlock breaking field goal.

In 2013, Penrith held the Dragons to a 19-0 shut out at WIN Jubilee Stadium – the first time the Dragons had ever been kept scoreless at Kogarah since they started playing there in 1950. The next three (twice at Penrith and once at Wollongong) once again saw the Panthers the superior team on the scoreboard.

The Dragons countered that by winning the next four, to the end of the 2017 season. This included a demoralising 42-10 loss in the opening round of the 2017 season, which remains the Panthers heaviest loss in their head to head history.

But once again, the head to head ledger would see another streak, this time back in Penrith’s favour. From 2018 and 2021, they have met just once in the regular season, with Penrith winning all 4.

In 2018, the match at Panthers Stadium, just like 2010, was a top of the table clash, and saw victory once again to the Panthers, blowing open a tight contest in the second half with a 28-2 win – with victory ensuring that they leap frogged the Dragons to assume the competition lead.

Their meeting in 2019 at the same venue was amidst Penrith’s mid-season resurgence, thumping the Dragons by 30 points.

In 2020, their Round 2 encounter at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium was in the shadows of the looming COVID-19 outbreak, and held in front of a locked out crowd. In a see sawing affair which saw a number of lead changes, Penrith ran down and then outlasted St. George Illawarra late in the second half to record a 32-28 victory.

With the Sydney outbreak in 2021, the Dragons hosted the Panthers at Suncorp Stadium late in the season, with the Panthers overcoming the Dragons in the second half with a 34-16 win.

The Round 2 match at Kogarah was the only occasion they met each other in 2022, and whilst Penrith did not score a point in the second half, they prevailed with a 20-16 win.

Last updated 15 December 2022


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