SEASONS | 2008

24 matches: 10 wins, 13 losses, 1 draw

Top point scorer: Michael Gordon – 120 [11 tries, 38 goals]

Top try scorer: Michael Jennings – 12

Player of the Year: Petero Civoniceva

Stats: themightypanthers.com/season2008.htm

The key change to the squad for 2008 was the arrival of representative forward Petero Civoniceva from Brisbane and was appointed as club captain ahead of the new season.

Keen to atone for their wooden spoon finish last year, it was an inauspicious start in Australia’s centenary season, losing heavily to the Broncos in the opening round and a second, albeit much narrower loss the next week having the Panthers at the bottom of the table.

Although their first victory was less than convincing, it set up an eight week stretch where they would only lose twice and had climbed up into the top 8 at the end of Round 12. However, a string of losses plus a draw would see them fall out of the top 8, but once again they rebounded to win three of the next four and once again sit inside the eight heading into the final six weeks of the season.

A horror 74-12 loss to the Raiders in early August, which was only 1 point shy of their heaviest ever defeat saw them fall out of the eight, and whilst they produced an astounding 98-point turnaround less than a week later when they put 50 on the bottom placed Bulldogs, it did little to arrest a late season slide that finished with three heavy defeats, including to eventual grand finalists Melbourne and Manly, by an average margin of 24 points.

It was better news in the lower grades, with both the Windsor Wolves in the NSW Cup and the inaugural Under 20s teams making the finals however would both be eliminated in week 2.

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