[2023] R26 Panthers v Eels - Game Day Thread

Hope so mate. I’ve mentioned plenty of times wanting to see Soni on for longer minutes. I think he’s a wasted spot coming on for 10-15 minutes at the end. Tries too much in too short of a time and can’t build into anything. That said, Kenny is far and away our best hooker. Don’t know what the size difference is, but he sure has a lot more defensive impact and crisper delivery. I’d still love to see Soni on maybe 10-20 minutes at back end of each half, or drop him entirely for Salmon (anyone have thoughts on why he’s out entirely atm?)

I’ll be hoping for a Dragons upset tomorrow which will secure a #2 finish for Panthers and the ability to rest everyone against the Cowboys. Otherwise we risk 3rd and suspect we’ll be finishing the year with a stronger than planned team.

I really don’t handle losses well. Especially when we’re expected to win. I just hate parra so much. From what i understand the absolute best case for Luai would be 3 weeks. (week 2/3 finals). Worst case is like 3 months. If it’s anywhere in the middle, obviously thats season done.

The way he looked in that moment, it obviously looked like it was more towards the serious end.

Anyone know if the players are going to be at the pledge event today?

I was half expecting an ‘ambush’ from the slimies as they had nothing to lose, & for the most part their carefree play paid off & nothing much went our way. The ref left his whistle in his kitbag & the ruck was terrible. A couple of breaks thru the middle & a pat-back try happened, but their other tries all came from getting thru on the outside.
I think we rolled the dice on Peachey just once too much &, while we didn’t lose just because of him, his early error seemed to set the tone for the night & he lacks the pace to play in the centres.
To’o looked to ‘cover’ for young Jesse & gave Siva a night out as a result.
Without Dylan at the back we just lost the numbering up in defence that cost us a lot. That said, Critter was very good in running the ball back & dangerous in attack.
Laui’s injury looks bad & we will surely miss him.
Get our players back & we’ll give this a good shake.
Anyway, we’ll be playing in finals & the slimies will be in Bali, so it’s not all bad.


Critter has more flash in attack than Dyl, but long way behind on defence.

I think it was Sivos second try(?) that I thought was telling.

McLean and to’o bundled their centre over the the sideline, and unfortunately McLean clocked off a little and didn’t realise they got the offload away to Sivo.

Critter still hasn’t made it over to the sideline to participate in tackling Sivo

Screenshot 2023-08-25 at 3.00.03 pm

Looking at 3-4 weeks. Not as bad as many were predicting in the media.

Looking at 3-4 week return for Luai our efforts should be concentrated on making sure we have good coverage at 6 and winning that first finals match.

Assuming that Kenny is due to return as well as Tago I would maximise the bench to have as many five-eight options as possible I would drop Soni Luke and move Peachey to the bench and have Salmon in the 17.

 6. Jack Cogger

 14. Tyrone Peachey
 15. Lindsay Smith
 16. Spenser Leniu
 17. Jaeman Salmon

That should give us 3 players that can cover the halves spot.

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Just had a better look at the ladder. I’m not sure what I was thinking earlier; must have completely forgotten the +/- or thought they were only 2 points behind. Warriors can’t realistically make second give the ~180 +/- differential.

I hope (purely NRL perspective) the NSW Cup side gets a run against the Cowboys next week and avoid any further injuries.

Steve - Don’t mind that selection thought, although Peach is too hot and cold and carries too high a risk of slapping someone in the face when tackling for the finals. Assuming we make it through to finals and Luai returns; does Cogger stay as #14 in place of Soni in case Luai goes down during a game? Or rely on Salmon and have another big body?

I’d normally prefer another big body but seeing as Luai is a dice roll, I see value in an extra utility.

Although probably depends on the opposition. I don’t think we can afford that luxury against the Broncs and their fwd pack as an example. (Reynolds calf pending)

I think the key here is Utility. Having Peachey and Salmon on the bench pretty much has most roles from the back row to the second row covered with just those two, and both have decent experience playing in five-eight.

I don’t see the utility in Luke to be honest. In the final we can afford to waste a bench space on somebody who we traditionally play for a short time every game. Kenny can more than handle himself at Hooker and has the ability to go the distance (there have been a few golden point games where he has played 80+ minutes). In the event of a injury to Kenny, both Peachey and Salmon can fill in there too (Salmon did a great job at hooker a few rounds ago).

I feel when Luai returns we keep the bench with Peachy and Salmon as utilities.

Peach can have his moments, granted. But he is running more hot than cold as of late. Come finals time, I would want him over somebody with less experience.

If the ruck is refereed like that in the finals, heaven help us…Kenny missing in the middle was quite obvious.



Panthers Official Update on Jarome Luai.

Soni Luke could find himself in trouble for this if the MRC reviews it.

There was absolutely nothing to take out of that game as a positive for Panthers and despite the Eels winning they could take even less out of it.

I have made my feelings well known about some players but there is a new starter of the kid we played at centre…he was simply useless.

He wasnt alone, Peachy is not a first grader nor are Jenkins, Luke and Crichton is no fullback.

I posted last week about the Titans game and how we have been putting in sub par efforts and last night was a disgrace and really showed our fragility in depth of quality players.

Add to our lacklustre and clunky effort, the Luai injury.

Oddly enough of all of our squad the absence of Luai is least concerning but i wish him well in his recovery.

Luai would not have won the game for us last night, we were simply outgunned by a team who wanted a prize scalp before their Mad Money and has me confused as to why Cleary the coach would not have prepared our squad for this

Despite the rubbish the players served up last night, the prize remains in sight and whether you win the Minor Premiership or not has little to no bearing on who wins the GF.

Panthers remain favourites for the title as long as we can get back key players like Kenny, Edwards, Tago, Turuva and Sorenson.

I hope IC rests the entire squad next week, then it’s a simple strategy, play and win 3 games and the title is yours.

Its not a time to be alarmed, concerned maybe but i will back Cleary have the finals run measured to the seconds.


That says about all you need to know about Luke.

How is it anyway considered as “having fun with your mate” to stick your finger in his arse.

anyone on this forum who have ever had the urge to do this to 'your mate"?

Can someone please tell me who was the Panther “official” who suggested this so i an avoid him/her at all costs!

Surprised the Panthers Officlal didn’t suggest Luke was simply looking for the Eels game plan?

Note to self…never be a mate of Luke.

Some observations :-

There seemed to be a school of thought that Parramatta would be an easy win because their season was over. I’d suggest that history would indicate otherwise. The ‘Battle of the West’ is pretty well always hard fought (except for last year’s GF). I think that Penrith were not fully switched on.

Every time we play Parramatta, they seem to kill us with their offloads. Last night was no different; we just couldn’t kill the ball.

I suspect that we have one of the slowest backlines in the NRL. I’m a huge fan of the Peach, but he is not a centre. It must have been a game plan of Parra to target us out wide, where we had slow or inexperienced defenders.

Anyone unsure of the value of Dylan Edwards, both in defence and attack, would now not need to be convinced.

Maybe I’m just biased, but the bounce of the ball seemed to favour the opponents (like their short dropouts, the certain try for us that disappeared when the ball took a diabolical bounce over Crichton’s head, and Gutherson’s second try).

When I saw the listing of the referee, my heart sank. And so it proved. How long can the defenders lie in the ruck before it raises Cummins’ attention. And why do we pay for linesmen who need a white cane to make their way onto the ground and are incapable of seeing a forward pass?

Plus, the recent trend of us playing below standard probably reached the expected conclusion.
The only plus is that I’d rather lose a game now than in the finals.


I just wanted to add, today i went to the pledge event. Free drinks, plenty of games and it was a real nice, relaxed atmosphere. It was just so pleasant to have just those 2020 pledge fans there.

I made some artwork of Jarome, Nath, Dylan and was hoping to get it signed. I knew Dylan was rested, so i was hoping to get his signature. Initially, he wasnt out mingling with fans. One of the media/event managers noticed my art, then quickly made the call and in 5 minutes Dylan was out there.

I know even i myself have recently criticised the club, with the personal touches for members lacking - but i just wanted to say that im really greatful for that. We really do have an amazing club.


Soni Luke was issued a ‘concerning act notice’ by the MRC today. No idea what that means and what the ramifications are but he was issued one.

A couple of learnings from Thursday nights game;

  1. Dylan is the best fullback in the game, miles ahead of anyone else.

  2. good luck with the dogs having Critta at fullback next year, hope that was the last time I saw him at the back for Penrith.

  3. Our centres were ordinary, no great fault of Jessie who was just shown up as the young inexperienced player he is, however no such excuses for the Peach, who was burned by Gutho hobbiling on one leg.

  4. for mine, Martin was easily our best, and I was also much impressed with Smith. I wish I could say the same for Fish, however he is looking tired.

  5. I think it was a mistake resting both Edwards and Turuva in the same game, leaving us no plan B for fullback. What happened to not weakening team structure with changes? Moving Critta to fullback weakened both centre and fullback.

  6. loosing this game was disappointing, but it’s not the end of the season for us.

  7. can’t blame Jenkins or To’o for the loss, it was our centres, and fullback who didn’t stand up in defence.

  8. what is it with our forwards folding against RCG and Paulo? Each and every time (except for last years GF) they have had the wood on us.

9)To say we miss Kenny badly is an understatement. As much as the loss of Luau is painful, I shudder at the thought of not having Kenny at 9 come finals time.

Hopefully we get Edwards, Turuva, Kenny and Tago back next week, not to mention Sorro. These guys who have been out a few weeks will need match fitness before the first final.

Through our boys having a better second half, and warriors not lapping the dragons, even a loss next week will not see us drop any lower than 2nd. Warriors could still overtake Brisbane however, which means ironically that we could possibly still finish first even loosing next week. Provided Brisbane lose against the Raiders and Roosters.

As for 5/8, Cleary has a few options. Cogger or Salmon would be the obvious choices, I hope to god he doesn’t pick the Peach as 5/8. Falls seems to have fallen out of favour.

If Luke is suspended, maybe Salmon at 5/8 with Cogger at 14 would make most sense - I haven’t minded his service and kicking from dummy half.


It will be interesting to see the team Ivan puts on the field next week, depending on the Broncos result on Thursday. If Broncos win, I can definitely see a few players being rested.

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:rugby_football: Knock On Effect NSW Cup | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 24 Tries Daeon Amituanai (2), Samuel Lane, Isaiah Iongi, Jack Cole.
Goals Jack Cole (2/5)
Parramatta Eels 34 Tries Zac Cini (2), Lachlan Blackburn, Brendan Hands, Arthur Miller-Stephen, Makahesi Makatoa.
Goals Jordan Rankin (5/6)


:rugby_football: Jersey Flegg Cup | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 14 Tries Joseph Nohra, Riley Wake, Timothy Sielaff-Burns.
Goals Timothy Sielaff-Burns (1/3)
Parramatta Eels 26 Tries Ethyn Martin (2), Ethan Sanders (2), William Latu.
Goals Ethan Sanders (3/5)


The NSW Cup side ended their season with a catastrophic collapse against the lower ranked Eels on Saturday. Leading 20-4 at the 50th minute they collapsed, conceding 5 tries and putting the dagger in the heart of the Panthers NSW Finals hopes. I was quite embarrassing to watch.

The Jersey Flegg side was equally unimpressive, they were in the mix in the first 20 minutes, but didn’t look like they were in the game from there on. They will progress to the finals but will do so losing their last 3 regular season matches. If they don’t get their game together, they will be looking at a short stint in the finals.