[2022] R22 Panthers v Storm - Game Day Thread

I agree Jennings in the 17 is odd, I know Ivan is resting and rotating, but Jennings just doesn’t cut it for me.

A forward would have been a better choice (Smith or Smith?), Staines would have been a more comfortable back choice. If you wanted to blood anew guy, Jenkins and possibly Geyer say hello.

Gee I hate Thursday night games, good thing I work from home most days, so able to attend in person. Back pre 2020 I could never make Thursday night games.

Edwards ruled out. Staines comes in.
Hope we play Chricton at fullback.

Can’t really fault Staines, our edge and middle defence seems to have gone missing.

Crighton in particular is having an ordinary game.

Hope they get a good talking to at half time and turn this around.

Score line isn’t good, but also not a good reflection of the game. It is mostly luck that has contributed to the Storm points.

In saying that, we are really noticing our missing players tonight, especially in attack.

Hopefully Ivan has something up his sleeve to get the boys up.

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I can’t fault our effort, but as I alluded to at half time, we really noticed our missing players tonight.

Put it down as a learning experience, and start planning for next week.

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:mega: Panther Pride Man of the Match voting is now open here.

Watching from home it never felt like we were going to trouble the scoreboard. Seemed to have a good amount of possession and territory but ineffective in building pressure and getting across the line.

Kicking game wasn’t the strongest - often thought kicks were too shallow (5-10 m out from the try line seemed to be the common ploy). 2 out of 3 of the forced drop outs were from Api and Critter.

Not sure if it was my perception of this game only, but felt like the wingers were more cramped for space this game?

Still not sure why Falls isn’t in the side. Salmon deserves a spot in the side IMO, but I think that’s #14.

Hopefully Moses’ hamstring isn’t too bad. Looks like Martin might be struggling to play again.

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a shutout the first time in seven years eh. Injuries are catching up with us and it’s showing.

Can’t help feeling last week’s matchup and in particular, the 'stuart ’ incident took more out of us than we realise ! Mind you credit to Storm, they too have a significant casualty list.

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there was a lot of good, bad and ugly in that game last night

Lets deal with the good.

It was pleasing to see when they raced to 16, they were unable to add to that scoreline

Good to see Martin, Api and Yeo lead

The Bad

I am struggling to understand still after the game why you would play Staines at 1 and replace him with Crichton with a short time to go and bring on Jennings. If you wanted Staines at 1, leave him there, the game was lost when he went off.

Too as i have remarked looks wounded to me and has lost all ferocity in his runs. Leniu is not improving at all and offers nothing when he comes on, i am quite surprised by his lack of game time and his non improvement.

The very bad is we may have lost Martin for some time if not the season and i hope the scans today show he is better than feared.

The Ugly

i was always led to believe a defender had to clear the ruck once a tackle was complete and now i notice Storms players laying prostrate on the ground behind the attacker which impedes options from dummy half

Storm mysteriously had players feigning head injuries whenever under attack, giving time for them to reset.

That is about them, now about us

SOS was awful last night with almost all he did but he wasn’t alone, Crichton and Too were like strangers, Salmon who i had challenged about his passing game just doesn’t have one.

If it wasn’t for Api.Yeo and Martin we would have been lapped last night…god knows what we will do without Api next year.

The real ugly for us was how we couldn’t score…sure i get it we are missing key players but they were missing a few as well.

We looked worse than clunky, our options were terrible in attack.

Just listened to the press conference and Cleary used the old, the young blokes will learn from the game line, which is wearing a bit thin

Only young bloke in the side was the winger from Fiji…all others were either GF players or been in the system for some time

Edwards appears to be out again next week…maybe just maybe Cleary will stick Crichton at FB and leave Staines in the sheds along with Jennings

Put Sorenson at Centre and bring in Smith for Martin.

We need some more forwards badly because Lenui is coming up short Eisenhuth just cannot play big minutes and is almost just like Tamou, big but thats it.

I couldn’t care less about the minor premiership but we need to start getting our game in order before the finals series.

at the moment we are heading in the wrong direction IMO and we need a reset and fast because losing can become as infectious as winning and we have 2 really tough games to come against Souths and Cowboys where they will not show any respect to us.


Curious to me we always suffer injuries at the pointed end of the season.
Is it just because the opposition lifts, we relax, or our fitness levels decline ?
Sure there has been some squad rotation and suspensions
to contend with but bloody Nora, we are stale and need to freshen up.

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Agree with your analysis here. We are really going to miss Api….I do not understand why Staines and Jennings are anywhere near first grade. A winger on the bench is a waste IMO….unless he’s a young bloke there to gain experience as they did with Turuva last week. On a positive note the effort last night was great especially in the second half not sure Kickapoo is fully fit though I would have left him out for another week or two will need him fully fit and firing for the finals. Finally thought Sully ran the ball on 5th tackle a bit too often when a kick and repeat set would have been a better option.

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Regardless what happened on the field, and the players we had missing, I think we would have beaten a lot of teams last night.

Unfortunately Melbourne are one of the few teams who can defend that well under that much pressure, and we were unable to crack them. Kudos to Munster in particular, who seemed to be in the right place at the right time whenever we got close to scoring.

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Well, it’s been the first time this year (or in some time) that I just wanted it to be over so I could go home. It was an unorganised mess out there.

I’ll be blunt, I though O’Sullivan had a very poor game. You expect your half back to be out there organising the team and setting instructions, but he just wasn’t. I would be waiting second… third man off and running it up. His kicking game was poor and didn’t make a huge amount of impact.

It left Salmon to do a lot of organising a more improvised play. Considering the week had with the Ricky Stuart Fiasco, I though he handled himself well. I wouldn’t be opposed to a Falls/Salmon combo next week.

Staines I would imagine has played his last first grade game for Penrith. I don’t understand why he makes everything he does seem so hard. leaping out of the air to take the simplest of catches, running up the ball then getting driven back almost as far as he ran. It was a matter of time before Ivan hooked him from the field. Crichton slotted in and did a great job for the remainder of the game.

We spend a lot of the game running left to right… Melbourne showed up to play a defensive game, and we had no answers.

We’ll take the “L”… move on to next week.

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… … and just to look for the silver lining on the cloud, by my rough reckoning we missed 5 or 6 tries by a whisker. We also had three quarters of our spine absent, which must have a profound effect on our ability to turn half breaks into something more substantive.


I think that we play a structured game where most of the players know what is coming within reason. I.e. Halves to kick to thei right winger on the fourth tackle. SOS seems to be too adlib, with the team not knowing who (or where) to chase, who to backup etc. We play percentage plays where we are most likely to get feild position etc. SOS unsettles the team in that regard.


Tough game last night
I thought the boys tried hard but it seemed like the storm wanted it more
The 1st 15 minutes we were all over them
We struggled making metres coming out of trouble our back 5 didn’t put us on the front foot our defence was poor we didn’t slow the ruck down Melbourne was playing always on the front foot

I have been very proud of the way our boys have played over the past few trying weeks. We’ve had a couple of losses, but are set up for a good run at this comp.
There can be no doubting the commitment of the players & last night there was no doubt they all gave their all.
In the losses against parra & $torm there were times in the game when we held the upperhand, including for 60 mins with 12.
In the past month or so, we have failed to score, taking advantage of our opportunities, which is different to previous. I said before the game that we have come close to scoring so many times recently, without getting the try, for a few reasons & that has cost us. It happened again last night. The tries will come when we have the guys back on deck while ever we continue to work so hard to get the momentum.

The $torm tries came from defensive lapses. The first came when Critter was caught at marker & we failed to adjust, leaving an overlap for storm down the short side. Perhaps if Dylan was there we would have adjusted. The second came from a one-on-one miss by Martin - a rarity. The third came from a late offload from Bromwich close to the line, a quick spread and Critter making a legs tackle when he needed to go higher. All that came in 13mins, with not a single point from either side in the game.

Yes, we looked off in attack, but there’s a reason that some guys get paid the big bucks, and they are needed to beat the good teams. Lesser players can beat poorer teams, but not often the better teams.

A challenge for us to to adjust our game to suit the ref for the game each week. For some reason the NRL think that Klein & Sutton are the 2 best refs, so we will get them regularly. By now we know their styles & need to work to make as best we can with them in charge. With Sutton there is no 10m & the ruck is inevitably slow. Klein, well he just has no clue. The bunker, well there’s nought that can be done with them!
Just one question. If a player is off-side and makes a try saving tackle, including hitting the attacker in the head, is a penalty sufficient?

We are well setup for a tilt at this premiership, so please keep the faith.


A positive note is that with Melbourne winning again, it means the Eels chances of a top4 finish are that much more difficult.

I think Ivan is trying to (for the most part) keep players in their respective positions come finals. Probably doesn’t want Critta at FB because we’ll need him at centre. Similiarly, with Salmon playing halves it makes sense. Give him as much game time there as possible, as injury cover for Jarome/Nathan.

Staines attacking game was average, but he did defuse many kicks. Always sucks losing at home, but we just need our best team on the park for the finals. Hopefully Martin’s ankle is okay and we can rest him up until then.


The Eels are going to limp into the finals. At best they will hold 6th. Outside chance of missing altogether if Raiders, Manly or the Merge can go undefeated from here.

Eels will make the 8 and will likely finish 8th which will be ironic having to play us first week of the finals

Raiders may have been a chance but even if they win their next 3 , their for and against is terrible

I think the 8 is set now, with only the make up of the Top 4 to be decided which looks between Panthers and now Cowboys, Storm, Cronulla and Souths.

It is now safe to say we have won the minor premiership even if we lose the next 3 games we win it on for and against

Magnificent effort with the focus now squarely on the finals…Cleary may take the opportunity now to rest even more players