[2023] R17 Panthers v Knights - Game Day Thread

R17 Penrith Panthers v Newcastle Knights

Game Day Information

:rugby_football: Match Penrith Panthers v Newcastle Knights
:stadium: Venue Bluebet Stadium, Penrith NSW
:clock10: Time Saturday 24th June 2023 5:30pm
:tickets: Tickets Tickets via Ticketek
:rugby_football: Other Matches NSWCUP Penrith Panthers v Newcastle Knights 24/6 12:40pm
JFLEGG Penrith Panthers v Newcastle Knights 24/6 3:30pm
:sun_behind_rain_cloud: Weather :full_moon: Clear 12°C (:cloud_with_rain: Chance of Rain: <1% / :wind_face: Wind: W 8km/h)
:tv: Broadcast :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 20 Tries Tyrone Peachey (2), Dylan Edwards, Jaeman Salmon.
Goals Jack Cogger (2/4)
Newcastle Knights 12 Tries Kalyn Ponga, Jackson Hastings.
Goals Jackson Hastings (2/2)

:rugby_football: Knock On Effect NSW Cup | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 18 Tries Daeon Amituanai, John Faiumu, David Fale.
Goals Jack Cole (3/3)
Newcastle Knights 19 Tries David Armstrong, Liam Wilkinson, Oryn Keeley.
Goals Lachlan Miller (3/3) FG Adam Clune (1)

:rugby_football: Jersey Flegg Cup | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 20 Tries Luke Hanson, Timothy Sielaff-Burns, Harrison Hassett, Peter Taateo.
Goals Joseph Nohra (2/4)
Newcastle Knights 18 Tries Fletcher Sharpe (2), Kyle McCarthy.
Goals Liam Sutton (3/3)

Postgame Media








Telstra Premiership Knock on Effect NSW Cup Jersey Flegg Cup
:rugby_football: Panthers v Knights :rugby_football: Panthers v Knights :rugby_football: Panthers v Knights
:clock3: Saturday 24/6 5:30pm :clock3: Saturday 24/6 3:30pm :clock3: Saturday 24/6 12:40pm
:stadium: Bluebet Stadium :stadium: Bluebet Stadium :stadium: Belmore Bluebet Stadium
1. Dylan Edwards © 1. Isaiah Iongi 1. Liam Ison
2. Sunia Turuva 2. Tom Jenkins 2. Tim Sielaff-Burns
3. Izack Tago 3. Jesse Mclean 3. Luke Philp
21. Tyrone Peachey :small_red_triangle: 4. Tyrone Peachey 4. Sam Lane
22. Tom Jenkins :small_red_triangle: 5. Daeon Amituanai 5. Cody Lawson
17. Jaeman Salmon :small_orange_diamond: 6. Jack Cole 6. Joseph Nohra
7. Jack Cogger 7. Kurt Falls 7. Ryley Smith
8. Moses Leota 8. Eddie Blacker 8. Peter Taateo
9. Mitch Kenny 9. Luke Sommerton 9. Connor Mason ©
10. James Fisher-Harris © 10. Liam Henry 10. Sunita Lotoaniu
11. Scott Sorensen 11. Luke Garner 11. Harrison Hassett
18. Zac Hosking :small_red_triangle: 12. Zac Hosking 12. Zac Lipowicz
19. Matt Eisenhuth :small_red_triangle: 13. Matt Eisenhuth 13. Billy Scott
14. Soni Luke 14. Trent Toelau 14. Luke Hanson
15. Lindsay Smith 15. Ativalu Lisati 15. Riley Wake
16. Spencer Leniu 16. Chris Smith 16. Billy Phillips
20. Luke Garner :small_red_triangle: 17. Mavrik Geyer 17. Luron Patea
23. Liam Henry 18. John Faiumu 18. Jack Garrod
24. Jack Cole 19. Matt Stimson 20. Tyreece Tonga
5. Brian To’o :small_blue_diamond: 20. John Sagaga
6. Jarome Luai :small_blue_diamond:
4. Stephen Crichton :small_blue_diamond:
12. Liam Martin :small_blue_diamond:
13. Isaah Yeo :small_blue_diamond:
HC Ivan Cleary HC Ben Harden HC Jono Rolfe
AC Peter Wallace
AC Ben Garnier

:small_red_triangle::small_red_triangle_down: Promoted/Relegated | :small_orange_diamond: Positional Change | :injured: Out due to injury | :small_blue_diamond: Rested due to Origin

Match Officials

Telstra Premiership K.O.E NSW Cup Jersey Flegg Cup
Referee Ben Cummins Jake Sutherland Billy Greatbatch
Sideline Official Chris Sutton John Woods Jake Sutherland
Damian Brady Dillian Wells Mitchell Robinson
Video Referee Gerard Sutton - -

Referee Success Rate

Referee Active Since 2023 Overall Pen. For Pen. Against Ratio
Ben Cummins 2006 (0/0) -% (22/1/53) 42.45% 166.5 167.5 0.99

:mega: Team Lists and Match Officials have been updated.




All origin players are being rested, so basically same side as last week with addition of Moses

Late Mail: Updated NRL Teamlist

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has updated his squad to face Newcastle Knights at BlueBet Stadium.

State of Origin representatives Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton, Jarome Luai, Isaah Yeo and Liam Martin will be rested this week.

The Panthers will wear the 2023 home kit for the Round 17 clash.

5. Brian To’o :small_blue_diamond: Rested (Origin) :left_right_arrow: 22. Thomas Jenkins :small_red_triangle: Promotion
4. Stephen Crichton :small_blue_diamond: Rested (Origin) :left_right_arrow: 21. Tyrone Peachey :small_red_triangle: Promotion
6. Jarome Luai :small_blue_diamond: Rested (Origin) :left_right_arrow: 17. Jaeman Salmon :small_orange_diamond: Positional Change
13. Isaah Yeo :small_blue_diamond: Rested (Origin) :left_right_arrow: 19. Matt Eisenhuth :small_red_triangle: Promotion
12. Liam Martin :small_blue_diamond: Rested (Origin) :left_right_arrow: 18. Zac Hosking :small_red_triangle: Promotion

This team selection perhaps gives an insight into Cleary’s mindset this season; not overly interested in the minor premiership, finish top 4 and then onto the 3-peat.


Apparently there is a plan for supporters at the game to stand & applaud to show support of Luai at the 6’ mark. They know he’s not playing but want to show him that the fans support him


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

I’d imagine what happed to Nathan after the first Origin might have spooked Ivan a fair bit. I think he thought it would be best to keep his powder dry and play the team that played last week. To put it into perspective they took a pretty decent Cowboys outfit to extra time.

This week they learned from what didn’t work in the Cowboys game and put in a concerted effort to put away the Knights. It keeps us in touch of the Minor Premiership, and gave the Origin stars a well needed rest.

We will need a lot of those guys on deck and fresh to take on the Storm in Melbourne.


Well, all things considered a satisfying game.

We played with an almost 50% NSW cup team, learnt our lessons from last week, and stuck to our game plan well.

Knights are rubbish of course, if it wasn’t for the bulldogs, tigers and dragons they would be vying for the spoon.

Holbrook must consider himself unlucky considering O’brian appears untouchable.

I was really impressed with Lindsay Smith, I think in our prop pecking order he is now second only to Leota.

Edwards, Leota of course keep just performing week in week out. Glad for Edwards that he finally gets his first win as captain.

Our 3/4’s all performed well, and the Peach had his best game since 2016. Was also quite impressed with Jenkins and his catching. Only thing is Tago obviously needs more time working with him on timing.

A low point once again unfortunately was Luke. We just seem to loose all momentum and defensive structure when he comes on to the field. The bright side is that Kenny is improving in leaps and bounds, playing 80 minutes, and questions the need for a second hooker, when Salmon could provide injury coverage from the bench.

We never looked like loosing and had the game under control from the start. Great game atmosphere and large crowd considering the opposition. Shows how starved we have been of early season home games.

Next week will be a real test, but thankfully the Storm are not undefeatable unlike in years gone by.


Mitch Kenny has stepped up drastically. The thing i liked the most from him last night, as when Edwards was caught tackling in the line. He dropped back to fullback just in case. Sure enough, he was in the right position to save a certain try.

Just sums up his desire to be a part of our footy team. I love him. It’s strange. The better Kenny has gotten, it seems Luke has gotten worse. I’m not sure what the fix is.


This illustrates the point perfectly. Kenny has come a long way since coming off the bench last year. His play the speed is up against the average Play the Ball speed of the team, and his tackle efficiency is very good, the game where we was off the average, he wasn’t too far off the pace in most instances. He also plays a low error game (See the chart below for specifics).

Though last night I saw Salmon do a few things from dummy half that I wish that Kenny would pickup. A few quick darts form the dummy half to catch some lazy markers off guard and the drive close to to the line to get a try.

That being said I feel Kenny is moving in the right direction an his game awareness is one of the best out there right now. I thought before the start of the season that if he can get a year witht he 9 under his belt he will be all the better for it, because he has a good “footy brain”.

I know may people love Soni Luke, and he is a fine player, but he performances are not living up to the expectation that was placed upon him. He isn’t delivering, and his defence is poor in comparison to Kenny.

Kenny is fully deserving of the #9 jersey, and it is his to lose, if his performance so far this year is any indicator of that, I don’t see him handing it over anytime soon.

Round Opponent PTB T/E ERR Team PTB Team T/E
R1 Brisbane H 3.34s 89.83% 0 3.77 90.6
R2 South Sydney H 3.03s 90.91% 2 3.05 89.51
R3 Bye
R4 Parramatta A 2.29s 93.33% 1 2.98 93.83
R5 Canberra A 2.92s 84.38% 0 3.65 88.92
R6 Manly H 4.03s 96.3% 0 3.72 91.25
R7 Newcastle A 3.56s 89.66% 0 3.68 89.65
R8 South Sydney A 2.94s 89.09% 0 3.54 86.46
R9 Wests N 2.98s 92.68% 2 3.05 89.82
R10 New Zealand N 3.10s 78.26% 1 3.08 81.9
R11 Sydney H 4.54s 85.71% 1 3.83 84.55
R12 Brisbane A 2.91s 77.55% 1 3.36 84.85
R13 Bye
R14 St George Illawarra H 5.24s 85.96% 0 3.57 88.25
R15 Sydney A 3.72s 86.36% 0 3.29 87.13
R16 North Queensland A 3.88s 86.36% 0 3.61 83.37
R17 Newcastle H 4.56s 90.24% 0 3.11 81.87

I’ll put my hand up and say I am certainly one of those people. I also agree 100% with your post.

I actually find this a little frustrating. This is where Soni Luke should excel. He often comes on with 20-30 to go and teams are at their most fatigued. He has a smaller frame than Kenny & Salmon and looks more agile.

Soni Luke - Penrith Panthers - NRL Player Profile - Zero Tackle

His minutes have been: 26, 45, 3, 54, 36, 32, 51, 18, 27, 17, 28, 33, 15. Is that enough game time?

A handful of games in the last 6 weeks I’ve noticed Kenny looking fatigued (end of first half), but Luke doesn’t come on. It hasn’t been until the last quarter of the game when he comes on. Why doesn’t Luke get used in the same manner as Leniu?

Does he need more game time to mature and develop in NRL? If so, is 15-20 minutes enough? Or has he just hit his ceiling?

Coach obviously has a plan with re-signing Luke for another 2 years.

I’ve said it before and haven’t changed my opinion, he is Wade Egan all over again. All the potential in the world, but while he plays for himself he will get found out in this TEAM.

Co-incidentally, Mitch Kenny is the epitome of a TEAM player as discussed above.


The first thing to say about Newcastle was evidenced in Cleary resting key players…they are truly a rubbish squad and whatever they are playing Ponga is way too much.

The major takeaway from this game is Leota is the premier front rower in the game today.

He is the only forward we have who can bend the defence of other teams and in doing so gives us the roll on we need and in turn allows our halves to do their thing.

On the halves, Cogger is average at best but even average behind a hard working pack is enough against a rubbish side like the Knights

He won’t be so fortunate against Storm although he will be surrounded by some serious world class players in Martin, Yeo and Luai and the rest of the forward pack.

I agree about Smith as he is a serious toiler.

Sadly Luke continues to underperform and looks simply out of his depth at NRL level

Peachey was Peachey and didn’t have to do much against this mob but Cowboys showed his level.

The only good to take out of the game is the 2 points plus no injuries to key players like Edwards, Leota etc.

Storm will be a different proposition for our full squad but i expect us to win this.

After seeing the results and games over the weekend its clear to me its Panthers and almost anyone else in the GF

We just need our full squad including Cleary back together and barring some catastrophic injury woes we should give this an almighty shake with the strong chance of the 3peat.


Just on this SBF, IMO it’s a bit harsh but what makes you say he is average at best? From what I’ve seen he has a good kicking game, he has taken the line on and on most occasions gets very close to breaking the line so his intentions and timing of when to run are good. Maybe his defense overall but he is no turn style. You can’t have Adam Reynolds as your back up half so not sure what you see that i don’t?

I’ve been saying Leota is the best prop in the game for some time, happy to see everyone else is coming around lol


Why would you want a Reynolds in our squad?
Cogger cannot kick goals unless right in front, his kicking game is poor at best and cannot kick long, or for a 40/20 or even has trouble finding grass.

His defensive reads are terrible, cast your mind back to the Cowboys game where they exposed him big time.

Like i said we played absolute rubbish on Saturday and the upcoming game will be a further guide to his ability. And note i am not marking him against Cleary but what is he was your full-time 7???
I wonder what you would say.

And as i said even “average” he looks OK surrounded by world class players…its a gift to come into the Panthers side and system and his job is to simply fit into the system, he isn’t going to win us any games.

Glad to see you agree with me about Leota and the hole he leaves in our offence when he is not playing as was evidenced against the Cowboys

JFH doesn’t run anywhere near the intensity Leota does and indeed continues to turn into the defence when running.

Martin is closest to Leota in venom in attack but just lacks size but nothing in heart.

The guy who has the size but lacks doing bigger minutes and fails to run onto a ball and is almost always starting from a standing start is Lenui and i am glad to see him go to Roosters.

Hi SBF, I hope you didn’t take my post as an attack on your commentary mate, it wasn’t meant to be like that. I was just asking for reasons why Jack is considered average…and you’ve done that in spades lol.

Cogger does have his flaws, that’s certain. I feel his game organisation needs some work as in pressure situations it is at sixes and sevens (no pun intended).

In both the past few games you can see that Salmon had to drive the play as the communication had broken down from Cogger. I find that Cogger likes structured plans as well as set plays and does a good job of executing them, but where he struggles when it comes to the game plan not exactly going to plan. He ad hoc play is lacking and his 5th tackle options can be enough to make you cry at times.

Salmon is very much a player that can take advantage of ad hoc play, and can switch gears when the plan has hit a wall.

But for the job Cogger is doing he is fine. The storm will be a big test for him and he will need to step up, but we need to put him into perspective, he isn’t dethroning Cleary anytime soon, and when Nathan returns he will be back playing NSW cup having a blinder.


Cogger is a backup half and did ok as such, but I’d not believe he has any first grade potential in front of him.

That said w have no salary cap room for Renolds, Hunt etc to sit in reggies as a back up (note I don’t mention Brooks - good luck Manly, I wouldn’t pay him A-grade money).

That said I would be prepared to make a play for Jake Arthur as back up half (flame suit on :rofl:).

What I can most certainly agree on though is Leota - he had been the best prop in the game, and one of our best players since grand final last year where he must of been a close second to Edwards for the Clive Churchill.

I absolutely love the big guy, and his aptitude and performance this year has been second to none.

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