Well… The Storm have blown the Minor Premiership window wide open.
So, around 5:30 this afternoon we will know what value Ivan puts on the Giltinan Shield plus $200,000.
I have mixed feelings about this one.
I wouldn’t be upset if he rested Cleary, Cogger, Edwards, Yeo and a 2nd row/prop to help ensure they are all fit and firing for Rd1 of finals.
I also wouldn’t be upset if he played a full-strength team (bar injury) to get some gametime into the combinations, especially Cogger / Cleary.
If we were going for combinations though, I think I’d prefer to see Salmon at #9 if we continue to use Soni as #14. I thought Sommerton had some real good touches and showed potential in his first game, but has some areas to work on, particularly in defence. Might be fine in round 10, but not the finals.
It’s an interesting set of circumstances. By the time we take the field we will know the result of the Warriors game, and what will happen to us in every eventuality. Ivan will possibly even have time to adjust the team list if the Warriors game is a blowout in either direction.
The question becomes do we want to go all in for the minor premiership, or do we want to play a certain opponent next week.
The equation is fairly simple. If us & Warriors both win or lose this week, we play the Storm. If one of us wins & the other loses, we play each other.
Personally I think we are going to have to beat Broncos, Storm & Warriors to take out the premiership. That being said, I’d rather Melbourne at home next week over the Warriors.
I agree with rather face the storm than the warriors. With the form Johnson has been in, I think they are up there with the team that could trouble us the most, not neglecting the form of Reynolds and the Broncos.
Storm haven’t troubled us so far this year
whoever we play is immaterial really in Game 1 of the finals.
we simply have to win Game 1 to get the week off which gives Luai another week and gives the boys a chance to have a much needed rest.
trying or hoping to figure out who we play is full of danger and risk to the players thought process.
players have to focus on winning one game at a time and not focus on who we may or may not play
we simply need to sharpen our focus as a team and get back to our processes, because what i have seen in recent weeks from the squad has not been too encouraging.
I want to see the real Panthers stand up this week and follow it up by a higher effort in Game 1.
Lastly i have real concerns about Kenny and why he is not playing…i honestly believe we can cover for Luai but we don’t have anyone who can cover for Kenny in these big games coming.
Hope i am wrong and he is all OK…we need him badly
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has updated his squad to face North Queensland at BlueBet Stadium.
Izack Tago returns to the side at centre with Tyrone Peachey shifting to the interchange, while Scott Sorensen will miss another week.
The Panthers will wear the 2023 home kit for the Round 27 clash.
Lack of updates on Sorro and Kenny are worrying. Might just be to keep it under wraps, but this game doesn’t even have Soni in. I can only assume we are using Peach as #9 cover.
Playing a full strength team (exc injuries) suggests to me it’s building combinations for the finals and worrying that it’s Sommerton at 9.
Confused about Salmon. Seems like he’s been dropped ever since signing elsewhere, with Peach taking preference as utility.
I hope I’ve misread the situation.
Positively, Tago is back and I hope he is fully fit, or at least not risking reinjury. That should strengthen the back line immensely.
surprising to see Luke completely gone from even the bench.
not that i am disappointed in that as my views on him are known.
On Salmon doubt Cleary has moved him on so to speak as it has been shown with Lenui and Crichton, he will still use an exiting player although to be fair he is a utility player although i personally would have considered him for the 6 role while Luai recovers, Coggers defence really is a concern
anyways, all in front of the boys now.
Let the fun begin!
This was the response I was hoping to see after last week. If we score next & early, I have the feeling the Cowboys will fall in a heap, and we could get a cricket score.
Lots of tackle practice in this game.
If that’s our weakest team from here to GF. Enjoy the three-peat.
Panther Pride Man of the Match voting is now open here.
Jack Cogger looked impressive tonight. Despite the concerns of many that his style would clash with that of Nathan Cleary his gameplay tonight complimented it nicely.
He even managed to get 3 try assists tonight.
I feel much more confident with him going in at #6 next week after seeing his performance tonight.
Gotta admit, I was talking to a mate earlier today and thought Coggs was too #7-like to partner Cleary. I was wrong, he looked great.
Also impressed with Sommerton.
And if Peach has to be in the side, then tonight was in the right spot.
Good to see Tago back, he was missed in the centres and looked solid.
First big thank you must go to the Panther supporters who once again filled the stadium.
Now about the game, Cowboys were a disgrace and sadly presented no challenge to the Panthers however in the first 40 we were clinical and swiftly went back to processes and we look very very good.
The 2nd half was a little less inspiring and IC will be disappointed at letting them score 12 but considering they ran 3rd last year, Cowboys supporters should feel disappointed by such a terrible effort against admittedly what is a great team.
Cogger was good last night but they didn’t run much at him but you can only play as good as the other mob let you and he was solid.
Luke may find it difficult to break back into this squad with Summerton showing some class and dare i say it even Peachy looked ok when he came on although would be nice if he could learn to pass!!!
It was nice to see the team gel in a few areas and some like Tago get some metres in their legs.
Fab to see the team win the Minor Premiership considering the year we have had with injuries, SOO duty, suspensions and some plain bad luck.
We now face the Warriors at home next Saturday.
Enjoy the win boys, you deserve the accolades and fitting to achieve all this on “old boys” night at the game.
Probably could have fielded 4 or 5 teams from the amount of old boys present last night. It’s awesome to see that post retirement, that they’re still connecting with the club. It was an awesome positive atmosphere last night. No matter what happens from here, god damn we’ve got an amazing team to follow!
Interesting fact. The only team playing finals who have beaten the Panthers this season is the Broncos. And that was by one point in the first round.
Playing 4pm Saturday next week. Probably my preferred time.
Penrith Stadium will be packed.