PLAYERS | Joe O’Hehir

Panther 99

3 matches [1973; 1976]

0 points


Warrimoo junior who played Jersey Flegg with the Panthers in 1971 and 1972 before being graded for the 1973 season.

He started the season in the Under 23s, and he made his first grade debut in the final round of the season, starting at hooker in the 20-10 loss to Newtown at Penrith Park.

Over the next three seasons, he would alternate between the Under 23s and reserve grade, and late in the 1976 season he made returned to first grade, making two consecutive appearances as a replacement, versus South Sydney and Balmain at Penrith Park.

1977 would be his final season at Penrith, where he was a regular in the Under 23s.


PLAYERS | John Maxwell

Panther 97

4 matches [1973-1974]

0 points


Fullback / half who made his fist grade debut in 1968 for Western Suburbs. After five seasons at the Magpies, he signed with Penrith for the 1973 season.

He started the season in the halves in reserve grade (on occasion alternating at fullback), and made his club debut for the Panthers in the penultimate round of the season, playing the last two matches of the season at fullback.

In 1974 he started the season once again reserve grade, and once again was selected for first grade in the final two matches of the season at fullback. His final match for the Panthers was the reserve grade semi final loss to Canterbury.

WINS | [1990] Round 19: Penrith 20 Newcastle 6

Sunday 5th August at Newcastle International Sports Centre

Penrith 20 – Tries: Clarke (1), Fittler (1), Willis (1); Goals: G Alexander (4); | Newcastle 6


A penalty conversion from Greg Alexander opened the scoring to make it 2-0 to the visitors after 15 minutes.

Whilst Newcastle would score the first try to lead 4-2, a fortuitous try to Brad Fittler with three minutes left in the half, converted by Alexander, saw Penrith hold an 8-4 lead at half time.

The Knights narrowed the margin to two with a penalty conversion seven minutes after the resumption, but the four point cushion would soon be restored with a penalty conversion off the boot of Alexander.

John Cartwright broke the line and a round the corner pass found Darren Willis in support, who ran 35 metres down the sideline to score in the corner.

The Panthers secured the two premiership points when Alexander held up a pass for Paul Clarke who ran 15 metres to score with just over 10 minutes remaining.

WINS | [1991] Round 17: Penrith 26 Newcastle 12

Sunday 21st July at Newcastle International Sports Ground

Penrith 26 – Tries: Mackay (3), G Alexander (1), Carter (1); Goals: G Alexander (4) | Newcastle 12


The Panthers held an 18-0 lead after 22 minutes through tries to Greg Alexander, Steve Carter and Graham Mackay, all converted by Alexander.

The Knights would post their first try to reduce it to a 12 point lead at half time.

The visitors would pull further away with a second try to Mackay soon after the resumption to make it 22-6, and whilst Newcastle would once again narrow gap with a converted try on the 60 minute mark, Penrith secured the premiership points when Mackay completed a hat trick with eight minutes remaining.

WINS | [1993] Round 14: Penrith 24 Newcastle 13

Sunday 4th July at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 24 – Tries: Barnes (2), P Adamson (1), Carter (1); Goals: Alexander (4) | Newcastle 13


Nathan Barnes scored the first try after four minutes when the Knights defence had allowed a bomb to bounce, and simply had to just pick up the ball for a unobstructed run to the try line in the corner.

Newcastle equalized soon after, and a penalty conversion in the shadows of half time saw the visitors lead 6-4 at the break.

Six minutes after the restart, Steve Carter won the air contest in the goal area off a Greg Alexander bomb, and grounded it to claim a try. Alexander’s extras made it 10-6, and edged further ahead soon after with a penalty conversion to make it 12-6.

A converted try to Newcastle after 52 minutes locked it up at 12 apiece, and then the Knights edged ahead with nine minutes remaining with a field goal to make it 13-12.

However, two minutes later, Brad Fittler would regather possession for the home team after he forced a defensive error from the Knights off his own kick. Two tackles later, Phil Adamson broke through some weak Newcastle defence to score, with Alexander’s conversion making it 18-13.

Then with three minutes remaining, Alexander regathered a mid-field bomb, ran towards the wing and then threw a pass to Barnes who sprinted 35 metres to cross for his second try, and thus secured the premiership points for the Panthers.

WINS | [2000] Round 14: Penrith 32 Newcastle 26

Sunday 7th May at Marathon Stadium

Penrith 32 – Tries: Beckett (2), Hicks (2), Jorgensen (2), Puletua (1); Goals: Hicks (2) | Newcastle 12


A converted try to Newcastle gave them a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.

Six minute later saw Penrith provide a reply with a try to Peter Jorgensen, however, was not converted and the Knights retained their lead. It would be lost five minutes later when Jody Gall busted the line and offloaded to Shane Elford in support. He then passed it to Chris Hicks who still had a lot of work to do when he received the ball around 30 metres out, and fooled the defending fullback with a dummy pass to score in the corner.

This was the first of a three try burst in seven minutes, with Robbie Beckett crossing and then Hicks crossing for a second to make it 16-6 to Penrith.

A converted Knights try reduced it to 16-12, and a penalty conversion on the stroke of half time reduced the visitors advantage to just two.

Two converted tries to the Knights saw them regain and then hold a 26-16 lead on the 60 minute mark.

Beckett was rewarded for his support play soon after to cross for his second try, with Hicks’ first conversion from his fifth attempt reducing the deficit to four.

Tony Puletua then plunged over the lock it at 26-all, with Hicks’ second conversion giving the Panthers the lead. When Jorgensen powered over to be the third Penrith player to bag a double, it made it a converted try lead, and the visitors held on to record their first win in Newcastle since 1991.

WINS | [1996] Round 20: Penrith 18 Manly 14

Sunday 18th August at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 19 – Tries: Catic (1), Gower (1); Goals: Girdler (5) | Manly 14


Two penalty conversions off the boot of Ryan Girdler saw Penrith lead 4-0 after 12 minutes.

However, Manly would cross for the first try of the match to equalise and then convert to lead 6-4.

Soon after, a third penalty conversion from Girdler tied it up at 6-all, and the Panthers would head into the half time break with a 12-6 lead through a try to Craig Gower, with Girdler’s fourth goal for the half being the extras.

The Sea Eagles scored soon after the resumption to narrow it to 12-10, and with 15 minutes remaining the competition leaders hit edged ahead 14-12 with another try.

But five minutes later, Bobby Thompson kicked ahead into the in goal, and replacement Ned Catic was on the spot to ground the ball in the goal after it was not properly defended by Manly, and Penrith regained the lead. Girdler’s fifth goal made it 18-14.

Manly had a number of opportunities to steal victory in the dying minutes, however, Penrith hung on to record a well-deserved four point win.

WINS | [1999] Round 22: Penrith 52 Manly 10

Saturday 31st July at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 32 – Tries: Girdler (3), Beckett (2), Gower (2), Cross (1), Geyer (1); Goals: Girdler (8) | Manly 10


A penalty conversion from Ryan Girder opened the scoring in the fourth minute, and in the set after the restart, the Panthers extended their lead when Craig Gower was in, and Girdler’s conversion made it 8-0.

On the 20 minute mark, a Girdler try made it 12-0 and was then soon after extended to 18-0 when Robbie Beckett scored a try which was converted by Girdler.

Manly were next to score to reduce it to a 12 point margin.

An individual effort from Gower saw him bag his second in the 36th minute, whilst Girdler also got his second through an intercept with only a minute remaining in the half. Girdler converted both to blow out the score to 30-6 at the break.
The scoreline early in the second half continued to grow when Girdler crossed for a hat trick and then Beckett added himself to double try scorers list early in the second half. In the 57th minute Mark Geyer ran off a pass from Brad Drew to make the margin an even 40.

Whilst the Sea Eagles were able to break the procession with a second try, the Panthers had the final say on the scoreboard when John Cross crossed over and crack the half century. Girdler’s conversion was his eighth, and combined with his three tries finished with a personal tally of 28 points, which set a new club record for most points in a match by a Penrith player.

WINS | [2003] Round 8: Penrith 30 Manly 29

Saturday 3rd May at Penrith Stadium

Penrith 30 – Tries: Wesser (2), Galuvao (1), Lewis (1), Priddis (1); Goals: Campbell (5) | Manly 29


One penalty conversion apiece inside the first 10 minutes had it level at 2-all.

The Panthers posted the first try in the 16th minute when Joe Galuvao took a pass and stepped to his left in one motion 10 metres out, broke the defensive line and scored untouched.

On the 20 minute mark, Luke Lewis steamed onto a Luke Priddis pass on an angled run back towards the middle of the field and powered his way over. Preston Campbell’’s conversion made it 12-2

Priddis then himself got on to the score sheet when he was in support on the inside and took an offload from Luke Swain to touch down, with Campbell adding the extras to make it 18-2 after 28 minutes, and would remain so until half time.

However, the visitors would surge back into the contest early in the second half, scoring four unanswered tries to lead 24-18 after 57 minutes.

In the 64th minute, a Campbell line break on the halfway mark ended in points for the Panthers when he found Rhys Wesser looming in support to his inside and scored under the posts, with Campbell’s conversion locking it up 24-all.

With 10 minutes remaining, Manly edged ahead with a field goal to make it 25-24, before Wesser got a second try when he took a pass 10 metres out, and stepped his way through and despite the Manly cover defence attempting to stop him, had enough strength to plant the ball over the line to claim a try. Campbell’s conversion made it a 5 point margin with just over five minutes left to play.

With 30 second remaining, a try to the visitors made it 30-29. The conversion after the full time siren was missed and the Panthers held on to register a victory by the barest of margins.

WINS | [2003] Round 25: Penrith 52 Manly 26

Saturday 30th August at Brookvale Oval

Penrith 52 – Tries: Campbell (2), Lewis (2), Galea (1), Priddis (1), Puletua (1), Sattler (1), Wesser (1); Goals: Campbell (6), Girdler (2) | Manly 26


Penrith scored first when Luke Priddis burrowed over from dummy half, with Ryan Girdler’s conversion making it 6-0.

This lead was doubled soon after Manly were running the ball from a kick reception, and a loose pass went to ground only metres out. Preston Campbell was on the spot, picked it up and only had to run a few metres to plant the ball down under the uprights.

However, the home team would score the next five tries and hold a 26-12 lead at half time.

The visitors would be first to score in the second half when replacement forward Danny Galea powered his way over after 48 minutes, and soon after Tony Puletua punched through the defence to score, with the margin reduced to just two.

In the 61st minute, the Panthers had regained the lead when Campbell stepped his way through a massive defensive gap close to the Manly line and took full advantage to score to claim his second four pointer.

Scott Sattler continued the rage when he ran off a Craig Gower pass to get on to the score sheet, with Campbell’s conversion extending the Panthers lead to 10.

Rhys Wesser was next to join in when he steamed on to a pass from dummy half, spotting a gap under the uprights and successfully completing his mission.

Luke Lewis then bagged a late double – the first stepping back inside off the wing, and the second bargiingover in the corner off the end of a chain off kick passes off a scrum to hit 50 and also complete the rout, scoring 38 unanswered points in the second half.

Penrith Panthers – from chocolate soldiers to black magic