SEASONS | 2000

28 matches: 15 wins, 13 losses

Top point scorer: Ryan Girdler – 10 [13 tries, 78 goals, 2 field goals]

Top try scorer: Ryan Girdler – 13

Player of the year: Craig Gower


After surviving the rationalisation process of the late 1990s, the Panthers were one of the 14 teams to participate in the first premiership season of the new century.

Penrith unveiled a new look to reflect its lease of life – a new logo and jersey which was a subtle nod back to the early 1990s. Later in the season they secured their first major sponsorship since 1996 when electronics company Sanyo signed a multi-year deal.

Due to the Sydney Olympics, the season started on the first weekend of February with an opening round win over North Queensland at Penrith Stadium. At the midway point of the season, the Panthers had only won five matches and sat in the bottom four but would turn it around to lose only three of their last 13, including six in a row to surge back into the top four, before finally finishing fifth. The undisputed highlight of the season was the Round 18 encounter versus Wests Tigers – Penrith were down 31-8 at the start of the second half before four unanswered tries saw them ambush the Tigers and win 32-31. It remains the biggest comeback in the club’s history.

The Panthers qualified for their first finals series since 1997 and the first in a unified competition since 1991. However, they would lose in straight sets, losing to Canberra in the first week qualifying final and then to Parramatta in week 2 semi final.

In the lower grades, the Panthers qualified for the First Division grand final, only to lose to the Bulldogs in the decider.


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