SEASONS | 2016

2016.png

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

Stats: http://mightypanthers.webs.com/season2016.htm


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.

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