24 matches: 19 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw
Top point scorer: Greg Alexander – 139 [9 tries, 50 goals, 3 goals]
Top try scorer: Graham Mackay – 16
Player of the year: Steve Carter
1991 saw a complete relaunch of the Panthers identity – gone was the brown and white, and in came a predominantly black design, with red, green, gold and white stripes. The red and white signified the eyes, tongue and teeth of the panther, and the green and gold was a purely patriotic move, being for Australia.
It would become affectionately known as the “licorice all sorts” jersey, named after the popular confection of the same name.
The Panthers made the pre-season final for the second consecutive year and once again finished runners up, this time to Brisbane.
Penrith were the dominant team throughout the premiership rounds, losing only four matches (as well as a draw). They finished six points clear of second placed Manly to secure their first ever minor premiership.
After a week off, they came up against North Sydney in the semi-final. In a tight affair, with Penrith holding on for a 16-14 victory – however, it must be said that the result would have been different as the Bears only landed 1 of their 5 conversion attempts.
For the second year straight, the Canberra Raiders would be their opponents in the “big one”. The Panthers scored the first try, but trailed 12-6 at half time. Midway through the second half, Penrith scored the equaliser, and soon after hit the lead with Greg Alexander striking a field goal to edge ahead 13-12. In the dying minutes, Canberra tried a short drop out, which was latched on by Mark Geyer, one of the many local juniors in the team that day, who then passed it to Royce Simmons, club captain for much of the 1980s and playing his 233rd and last match for the Panthers, who crossed over in the corner. Alexander’s conversion from the sideline made it a 19-12 lead with only minutes remaining.
After 25 years, the Panthers were finally crowned as the kings of rugby league, with the iconic Winfield Cup trophy being lifted by Greg Alexander.