Spencer Leniu and Taylan May have been omitted from the squad for the final round of the regular season.
Final side - Martin to start, Billy on the bench.
Uninspiring first half. We have looked good at times, but have also made some basic errors. Maybe we are guilty of thinking a week ahead.
Much better second half, to finish the regular season in good shape. Bring on the finals!!!
A great finals trial in the first half, then we went up a gear in the second.
Bring on the Bunnies!
Panther Pride Man of the Match voting is now open here.
The eels gave us a good hitout in the first half without ever really threatening too much. They had a good period thru good kicking that applied some filed postion pressure, but the boys defended well.
Bad luck for Sorenson with the injury, but otherwise we seem to have got through without injury or charges.
Our mojo seems on the way back & it is great to see the boys playing footy and enjoying the game. Tough and uncompromising up front and very effective out wider. Not a bad player, so we head to the finals with a great chance.
C’mon boys - we can do this.
Before I start, full credit to Parramatta. A group of fringe first graders that had a point to prove and for a fair part of the first half really gave the Panthers a run for their money.
The second half saw all that collapse and the Panthers rode out the early pressure and put on 34 unanswered points.
I’m sure I have said this before but Brain To’o is a beast. If we walk away from the 2021 season with the premiership, I am damn sure he would have had something to do with it. 243 run metres, 78 post contact metres, 10 tackle breaks, 3 line breaks, 1 try assist, and 3 tries. My god that is impressive, and he has only been back on the field for 2 games now.
I think it was a good game for the team, you could tell the aim was to get the combinations set and work on some game time together. I think they will be better for the hit out yesterday.
Anyway… regular season over… bring on the FINALS.
P.S: On a side note, anybody catch Furgo’s captains challenge for the kick out on the full. For the life of me I couldn’t work out how he thought he had more insight from almost 40 metres away than the touch judge within about a metre from the ball. I couldn’t stop laughing.
Must have been looking down his nose.
To’o is like no other player of seen before.
And a shout out to Leota - 44 minutes, 14 runs, 156m, 1 missed tackle.
It was only last year he was coming off the bench for 20-25 minutes.
To be in the form he is in coming into the finals sees us in good stead, who would of thought after 19 and 20 he would be out performing Fish (not that Fish is in bad form by any means).
I hope (injures permitting) we persist with Martin starting and Kiks off the bench. We haven’t had such a 1-2 punch off the bench since the days of 03.
On the injury front, I see Sorensen going two ways - either it can be popped back in and he play with bracing and painkillers (as the likes of Gower and Wallace did) or he will be out for the season. If we want no upset to team structure we need to play Tago or Hopgood (2nd rowers) with Martin continuing to start on the she and shift to the middle when Kiks comes on. The other option is a middle such as Eisenhuth (maybe still a couple of weeks away) or Spencer (who hasn’t played much and in all honesty needs to improve his game).
The third option would be to bring Kenny into the side, and use May in the second row.
Now for the negative. Capewell is certainly not the same as pre origin, 55minutes, 3 runs 22m. Kiks had less time on the field and ran for 81m, Martin 105m. Those stats are downright woeful for Capewell.
For all his talk during the week (about wanting to emulate Turbo), Crighton couldn’t walk the walk. Good game in defense (excepting his lack of haste during their try), and great under the high ball and kick return, however for all his talk of moving in field to look for the ball there was no of that. I thought the plan may have been to use Crighton on the wing in defense and in the centres in attack, but also “no pass” Momo was in the attacking line at Centre.
Unfortunately if a team in the finals shuts down our left side, our try’s will only come through the middle. Good thing our forwards know how to play.
I do hope Spencer is watching how TPJ is playing. His performance so far is as good a role model as any.
You had me until you mentioned May in the 2nd row.
You know, I always felt as if Crichton was crowded on the left, so I was happy for him to get a go on the right. But yeah, another obstacle, Momirovski. We’ve left it late to experiment with right wing options since we no longer favour Staines. Crichton (and Staines) need room
to shine, c’mon Cleary find him space.
Tell Crichton to step ‘em then blast off, instead of pretending to be To’o and running through everybody.
May in the 2nd row would certainly not be my option, but after all he is someone’s best friend lol
Much like the week before, the other mob were never going to win and it was more how we won.
Better best describes our effort and oddly enough the longer the game went the Eels played us more into form.
We still had a few misfires but there some gems like the set plays from the scrum which showed up Fergusons poor defensive reads.Hard to believe he was sucker punched 3 times with the same play
Leota looked awesome and outshone JFH
I feel terribly sorry for Sorenson and football can be a cruel game , and anyone else think Cleary was “cautious” during the game
Anyway…we meet Souths again and looking forward i think Eagles will get Storm and we will get Souths which means we will have to meet Storm to make it to the GF
The week off will be brilliant for us and i believe we are peaking at the right time.
3 games to go!!!
The best is ahead of us.