[2023] R1 Panthers v Broncos - Game Day Thread

R1 Penrith Panthers v Brisbane Broncos

Game Day Information

:rugby_football: Match Penrith Panthers v Brisbane Broncos
:stadium: Venue Bluebet Stadium, Penrith NSW
:clock10: Time Friday 3rd March 2022 8:05pm
:tickets: Tickets Tickets via Ticketek
:rugby_football: Other Matches NSWCUP Penrith Panthers v North Sydney Bears 3/3 5:25pm
JFLEGG Penrith Panthers v Melbourne Storm 4/3 2:00pm
SGBALL Penrith Panthers v Western Suburbs Magpies 4/3 12:00pm
HMATTS Penrith Panthers v Western Suburbs Magpies 4/3 10:30am
TGCUP Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers 4/3 3:30pm
:sun_behind_rain_cloud: Weather :partly_sunny: Mostly Cloudy 23°C (:cloud_with_rain: Chance of Rain: 16% / :wind_face: Wind: E 13km/h)
:tv: Broadcast :tv: Channel 9 (FTA) [LIVE]
:tv: Fox League (Channel 502) [LIVE]
:desktop_computer: NRL Live Pass [LIVE]
:kayo: Kayo Sports [LIVE]
:radio: ABC Sydney 702AM [LIVE]
:radio: 2GB Sydney 873AM [LIVE]
:radio: MMM Sydney 104.9FM [LIVE]

:rugby_football: Telstra Premiership | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 12 Tries Stephen Crichton, Soni Luke.
Goals Nathan Cleary (2/2)
Brisbane Broncos 13 Tries Herbie Farnworth (2)
Goals Adam Reynolds (2/2) FG Adam Reynolds (1)

Postgame Media







Telstra Premiership Knock On Effect NSW Cup NSW Jersey Flegg
:rugby_football: Panthers v Broncos :rugby_football: Panthers v Magpies :rugby_football: Panthers v Storm
:clock3: Friday 3/3 8:05pm :clock3: Friday 3/3 5:25pm :clock3: Friday 3/3 2:00pm
:stadium: Bluebet Stadium :stadium: Bluebet Stadium :stadium: Bluebet Stadium
1. Dylan Edwards 1. Isaiah Iongi 1. Liam Ison
2. Sunia Turuva 2. Tom Jenkins 2. Daeon Amituanai
3. Izack Tago 3. Tyrone Peachey :small_red_triangle: 3. Luke Philp
4. Stephen Crichton 4. Jack Cole 4. Sam Lane
5. Brian To’o 5. Jesse Mclean 5. Cody Lawson
6. Jarome Luai 6. Kurt Falls 6. Ryley Smith
7. Nathan Cleary © 7. Jack Cogger 7. Blake Moore
8. Moses Leota 8. Lindsay Smith :small_red_triangle: 8. John Sagaga
9. Mitch Kenny 9. Luke Sommerton 9. Connor Mason
10. James Fisher-Harris 10. Liam Henry 10. Peter Taateo
11. Luke Garner 11. Mavrik Geyer 11. Harrison Hassett
12. Liam Martin 12. Chris Smith 12. Aston Warwick
13. Isaah Yeo © 13. Matt Eisenhuth :small_red_triangle: 13. Sunita Lotoaniu
14. Soni Luke 14. Trent Toelau 14. Billy Scott
15. Scott Sorensen 15. John Faiumu 15. Adam Runchel
16. Spencer Leniu 16. Preston Riki 16. Ryley Wake
17. Jaeman Salmon 17. Matt Stimson 17. Kristian-Li Mai
18. Zac Hosking 18. Hanna El-Nachar 18. Angelis Hotere-Papalii
21. Jack Cogger 19. Logan Dickson 19. Lleyton Finau
19. Matt Eisenhuth :small_red_triangle_down: 20. Jake Tago 20. Addison Williams
20. Tyrone Peachey :small_red_triangle_down: 21. Antonio Pelesasa
22. Lindsay Smith :small_red_triangle_down:
HC Ivan Cleary HC Ben Harden HC Jono Rolfe
AC Peter Wallace
AC Ben Garnier

Match Officials

Telstra Premiership K.O.E NSW Cup Jersey Flegg Cup
Referee Gerard Sutton TBA TBA
Sideline Official Drew Oultram TBA TBA
Darian Furner TBA TBA
Video Referee Ashley Klein - -

Referee Success Rate

Referee Active Since 2023 Overall Pen. For Pen. Against Ratio
Gerard Sutton 2009 (0/0) -% (27/47) 57.45% 183 185.5 0.99

That is the side you would have expected.

I will say early i have grave concerns about Garner but its round 1 and IC must see something in him which isn’t obvious to me.

Broncos will be up for this big time especially if Kevvy has them all on the same page for the season.

what better test than to come up against the Premiers in Round 1 to gauge where you are at.

This is no walk in the park for our squad and i am not concerned about how we win other then we show great processes and we get through the game without injury.

Broncos will be no easy beats but expect us to get home in a very tight game.


Pretty much as I expected. I’m not reading too much into our WCC form, as it was the first hit out for the majority of the team, we should be a lot better this week.

The Broncos were a finals side until the last few weeks last year, and will be ruing the missed chance. I’m expecting them to take the game to us, but I think we will still have too much firepower for them.

Panthers by 8

:mega: Team List Updated

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has updated his squad to face Brisbane Broncos at BlueBet Stadium on Friday night.

Luke Garner will become Panthers No. 614 after being named to make his club debut, while Sunia Turuva has been selected on the wing in place of the injured Taylan May.

The Panthers will wear the 2023 alternate kit to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 2003 premiership season.

Nrl announce Sutton awarded 3 dally M points for his performance tonight

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We were ordinary, Sutton was worse.

Still looking a bit clunky, especially on the edges. To be fair, we have 2 new players on the left & need time to build the combinations.

Our middle forwards, along with Edwards & Luke were probably out best tonight.


Firstly a great big thank you to the crowd last night who on a Friday night turned up.

That was the great news and i went last night to see what we may do and my concerns were magnified. There is a caveat to my comments as this is only Game 1 in a very very long season.

There is way too much to unpack from last night and alarm bells are ringing very very loudly for supporters who have become used to a side winning. That of course is the risk when you perform so well for so long, a pause in this winning run gets greater attention.

lets just talk about the elephant in the room with the absence of Api and Kikau which was downplayed but was felt last night big time.

St Helens has exposed our side and Broncos almost played the same game and got the same result…we were bustled out of the game by a team more willing than us.

It also goes to some of our tactics and this bombing by Cleary is simply not the quality you need from a Million dollar plus player, some of his attacking options were horrible and some of his defensive efforts were sub par and at times awful.

He wasn’t alone, Crichton allowed a try by simply going for an intercept and not tackling the man with the ball.

Garner is pedestrian and his efforts last night were below average and unless injured was subbed off.

That being said our forwards made no impact on the Broncos which didn’t allow room for Cleary and Luai but there were some players last night who were sub par, namely Too and Luai.

Not sure whether they think they just turn up and win but last night was a sobering moment for the players and IC who also looks exposed without Ciraldo, Webster and their departures was always a risk for him…and his coaching

the team argued the St Helens game was a wake up call, well last night was a lightning strike on this entire squad and i sure hope that woke them up.

It doesn’t get an easier when we face a Souths side who will be relishing to inflict another loss on us.

I don’t think Garner offers the team anything and am quite amazed how Sorenson or Lenui haven’t managed to do larger stints and in the case of Sorenson be a starter.

I guess we will see very quickly if this squad is up to the challenges of this year when we face Souths.

The team surely know what is required, its the hunger which is the unknown.

On the Broncos, they scored 1 try from the Crichton mistake and lucky race to win a touchdown against Too

Broncos didn’t show much at all IMO which i guess highlights how we struggled in our game.


:rugby_football: Knock On Effect NSW Cup | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 18 Tries Tyrone Peachey, Isaiah Iongi, Jack Cogger.
Goals Kurt Falls (3/3)
North Sydney Bears 12 Tries Jesse Marschke, Zach Dockar-Clay.
Goals Jesse Marschke (2/2)


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

Well it’s only round one so I’m not predicting doom and gloom, but some generally thoughts on the game.

As per my post last night, I was disgusted in the refereeing. Anytime we spill the ball, it’s okay on for the broncos. The other way around, even when we are flying towards the tryline, it’s called back for a scrum. No quick taps allowed either. Edwards gets the ball kicked out of his hands and it’s called a loose carry. Tago accident kicks a bronco in the head with ball in hand and it’s a scrum feed to the broncos. Turuva penalized for a finger across the face when both players are falling. Lack of penalties for broncos slowing down the ruck.

Critta’s attitude seems very off at the moment, another poor performance. Seems to be playing for the highlight reel and not the team.

I’m not sure we can afford to use the NRL season to bring Garner up to speed. Surely Sorensen makes more sense on the edge. Hell, even playing Eisenhuth on the edge would offer more options.

I suspect IC will stick with the same team for next week, however I would make the following changes and stick to them regardless of next weeks results;

To’o and Martin to play on the left side with Tago.

Get a new right centre - Turuva, Jenkins, Salmon or Peachy. Anyone but Critta.

Right wing for either Turuva or Critta. Mind you I would be on the phone to Ciraldo offering a swap for Critta this year. I’d take JAC for the wing.

Sorensen to play right edge. Garner to bench or NSW cup.

Not panic stations by any means, but if I was the coach, I would rather make the changes early than hit the panic button in a few weeks time.

We have to evolve to account for no Kikau, simply playing Garner in a like for like basis is not going to cut it - at least in the first half of the season.

The good news is we seem to have a good replacement for Api in Luke, I do think he should of come on with 10 to go in the first half, but I guess IC will learn that over time.


In good news however it was great to see Edwards reinforce his standing as the games best fullback, there’s no rust there, and his defense both through catching and talking in trying conditions shows his class.

I thought Leota had a great game too. On the back of his fantastic efforts against Souths and Parramatta in the finals last year, he brought that intensity and effort last night.

Yeo was great also, no rust with him.

Martin and Tago both had a good game.


I don’t know about that much change at the moment, but I’d be tempted to move Critta to the left wing, with either Turuva or Peachey at right centre.

Agree with starting Sorensen over Garner, he offers more & has earned a shot over the last few years.

Luke definitely needs to come in earlier, to take advantage of a tiring defensive late in the first half.

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Penrith’s worst nightmare – Sutton on the field and Klein on video. And that’s how it played out.

I actually think that we were the better team for most of the match, although mostly without reward. Two disallowed/bombed tries, a couple of tackles on their goal line. Crichton scored three tries; one for us and two for Brisbane. He had little no penetration, and his attempt at a grubber was laughable.

The latitude given to Brisbane (only penalised twice, despite continually laying in the ruck and pushing the off-side) reminds me of the 1990s when they could apparently do no wrong and the League authority bends over backwards to do whatever was asked of it. Bit like how Brisbane got the Friday night TV slot as if was reserved for them. Seems that we will always be treated like the great unwashed west.

Some crap calls come to mind :-

Tago jumps over Reynolds who tried to rise at that moment; result – ball to Brisbane.

Tago turn his back to a kick and is deemed to have played at it.

Edwards has the ball kicked out from his grasp in the play-the-ball and is deemed to have lost it.

Fisher-Harris and Kenny make a tackle, the ball is dislodged and yet somehow Penrith is deemed to have stripped it despite their being no evidence that I saw to support such a call.

Other observations :-

The back three had great handling in the conditions.

Garner has offered nothing so far. There are plenty of options in his place; of course, none is a Kikau. Is Geyer the long term answer?

Luke has cemented his place as a Koroisau replacement. Maybe he’ll be subbed on earlier in future games.

I like Peachey, but is he big enough and/or fast enough as a centre?

What was Luai thinking chasing the Cleary field goal attempt, when he was so far off-side?

Cleary chose a bad time for a particularly poor field goal attempt.

Is To’o now a marked man when bringing the ball back?

I suppose that we can expect every opponent team to rise for the match against us; that is a given.

A good, passionate crowd. But do we think that 17000 is a good number for the opening game against a ‘glamour’ team (albeit one from interstate) after back-to-back premiership?


Round 1 peeps, could be worse we could have been toweled up by the Dolphins !

I’m happy to stick and allow some game time gel to occur. Garner is a good forward, he just needs to adapt to our game speed, not easy first up trials are not real games. Mark my words, he will be spoken about glowingly before SOO.

Tend to agree with the Critter commentary though, seems to be showboating rather than committing to the teams needs. We will see in the next game or 2, IC won’t allow that for too long.


I was really impressed by the Dolphins this weekend. They stuck to the game plan and pressed the Roosters and made them pay for every mistake they made. The Roosters massively underestimated them.

O’Sullivan was very impressive. If we didn’t have a calibre of halfback like Cleary, I could have seen the Panthers throwing massive cash at him to keep him at the foot of the mountains.


Alright I have a few days to think about Friday (and to dry off from the soaking we copped).

I do feel there is a bit of an overreaction by the average punter about Penrith. New combinations were tested, the new guard was given it’s first task.

The game plan from the Broncos was simple… DELAY, DELAY, DELAY. You could tell the stoppages was frustrating the Panthers. The rapid fire pace of the Panthers attack was put on ice and it worked a treat for the Broncos. Adam Reynolds took every opportunity to slow down the play the ball and stretched stoppages. Not to discount the defensive effort though, I thought the Broncos defensive line was strong, it wasn’t till the last 20 minutes that the Panthers started to bend the tired Broncos forward pack.

The attacks regarding Mitch Kenny from social media was unwarranted. I thought he was fine. His delivery could be a bit quicker from dummy half, but that will get better as the season moves forward. I would not have Soni Luke starting at Hooker as some people in the crowd were yelling. He will get smashed by a fresh forward pack, and will be more prone to making mistakes. He should come on later in the game and take advantage of the tired opposition pack.

Luke Garner needs some time to ‘fit into the squad’. He wan’t great, but wasn’t bad either. He needs some actual game time to get into the rhythm of the team.

The channel nine footage of the exchange between Salmon and Luai was a massive nothing burger. Salmon had some words to Luai about the game and they had a bit of back and forth. To me I think it’s good to see that the game meant something to them and they are open to express that regardless of the position they play (no protected species). I’d be more concerned if they were walking about having a laugh and all smiles after being beat.


I think there are also a lot of people not giving the Broncos the credit they deserve. They were a top 4 side for a large chunk of last season, before falling away at the end. Reynolds is also one of the best halfbacks in the game. They were never going to be easy beats. They took the game to us, and took their chances. Kudos to them.

As for the Dolphins, they were always going to be an enigma. They have the makings of a reasonable side, but might get found out depth wise as the season progresses & injuries play their part. They have a master coach, and 2 halves who I rate. Beating the Roosters first up was a surprise, but the Dolphins have shown they are here to play.


I too have waited to see all teams play over the weekend - yes, I know the dragons didn’t play, but they are bottom 5 material anyway. Nothing I saw suggests anything about us not being in the top 4 at seasons end.

As others have suggested, the broncos are a top 8 team & played a slow motion game, aided & abetted by Sutton, to claim a victory. It was a complete copy of the WCC game, even the conditions and the score! I see a lot of comment around Api & Billy being missed, as it that wasn’t going to be the case, & as if we didn’t expect us to have to work to overcome their departure, including working with what we have - a very good squad, capable of going all the way, albeit with challenges to be faced.
Blaming Kenny & Garner is very easy, but we didn’t lose because of them. For the second game in a row we gave up just 2 line breaks for 2 tries & didn’t have much luck in converting our own chances. Apart from errors, we pretty well won all other stats, but lost by a point. The broncos tries came thru a missed tackle & an intercept attempt, both by the same player.
Not our best form, but still better than most of our opponents. Particularly telling for me that the boys stuck with the structure & plans, and even at the very end, our set-up play for the 2-point FG attempt was perfect to give us the opportunity. That shows me that are switched on & backing ourselves to get the job done. As other have said, I was happy to see that for Jerome, preparation for the next game started to moment the game was over - shows he can celebrate when it’s justified, and that losing hurts.
The bandwaggoners can get off now, but we are here for the long term & am confident we will give a good account of our title defence.