[2023] R9 Panthers v Tigers - Game Day Thread

After the second half no I don’t.

If we had 13 Leota’s on the field we would of won

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My observations are :-

The weather was always going to be a factor, a reality that seemed to escape our team.

Our attack seemed to be mostly ineffectual, almost clueless.

They managed two 40-20 kicks, we managed none. Another damning statistic. The weekend has elevated Moses and Hynes into the NSW halves consideration.

We all agree that ball control and discipline were pathetic, and are on a regular basis. We’ll hear the players or coach say that they’ll work on those aspects at training, and nothing will change.

Luai can forget about a Blues jersey in the SOO. Our much hyped Yeo-Cleary-Luai link seemed impotent.

We missed the talent/work of F-Harris, Martin and Leniu. Apart from Yeo and Leota the rest of the forwards are not near that standard.

Peachey is not a centre; too old and slow. At best, an interchange back rower where he can use his footy brain around the ruck. Is it time to give Jenkins the OC spot?

Our once potent left side (May, Kikau, Tango, Luai) was sadly missed.

Koroisau showed us why he was so valuable. Is Somerton a better option than Luke?

It’s one of those weeks where picking the three MOM contenders is difficult, but for the wrong reasons. Yeo, Leota and Edwards always put up their hands, but as the best in a poor bunch.

I like Turuva’s energy and safety under the high ball. But when was the last time that he made a line break? Come to think of it, when did he last make a tackle break?

Crichton was once again a mixed bag, knocking-on twice when trying to fall on a loose ball.

Penrith might need to focus on just making the top 8, rather than the 3-peat.


I think Luai in particular is missing Kikau on the left edge. His go to plays were always around Kikau & now he needs to learn some new tricks.


After a days reflection, here are my insights.

Great work by our always reliable trio - Edwards, Yeo and Leota.

How we lost the game - we didn’t play to the conditions and trie to play dry weather football. Tigers to their credit played a simple grinding game plan. When was the last time we ground a game out? Semi Finals last years come to mind.

Our forward rotation was stuffed up by Eisenhuth’s injury (likely dislocated shoulder or broken collarbone). We came into the game with no JFH or Spencer, and while Leota gave it his all and tried to carry the team on his back, we were just lacking in the middle. Smith didn’t have a bad game at all, but what stuffed up was the usage of Kenny and Luke. Luke played at hooker way too much, with Kenny as prop. While that works when we are on the front foot, it’s found out in grinding games such as this. Luke just isn’t a strong enough defender, and while Kenny tackles anything that moves, he needs two big boys either side of him to be most effective.

Credit to Critta, he lifted his defence,

Nathan’s kicking game was below par. Is it coaching instruction or something else that he no longer grubbers for repeat sets? Exactly what was needed but was lacking last night.

Last night as with last week our in game decisions seemed lacking, such as not taking gift 2 points when on offer. I think that comes back to the mindset and not prepared to be in the grind. Nathan is clearly playing injured.

I sang Peachey’s praises in the first half, only for him to make a fool of me in the second. Why oh why did he commit that foul in goal, rather than diving for the ball?. Poor positional play likely from lack of communication by him and Turuva led to the Tigers second try. Time to try another option I think.

I thought Turuva while tested continuously held himself well.

I am as puzzled with Hip drop as everyone else, at the moment it’s the random infringement.

Jerome needs to study the video and take a long hard look at himself. The repeated six agains and penalties were coach killers. At one stage he was offside, committed a ruck infringement (3rd man flop) then abused the ref. Very lucky not to go to the bin. Yes the focus is on us more than others, but winging about it won’t change the situation.

On the rules, is downtown now not an offense? Not for the first time this year, I saw the tigers repeatedly in front of the kicker, only to challenge for the ball. Not a single penalty was given for inside the 10 / downtown. It happened last week as well, but was very prominent tonight.

Small thing to fix yet need fixing all the same. Loose next week and we likely drop out of the 8.

Not ready to throw in the towel yet, but we need to work on turning this ship around.


With Peachey on that play, he did the right thing. He probably couldn’t see the ball, and tried to tackle the tigers player when it appeared he tried to grab the ball.

The only problem was, the tigers player completely missed the ball and was grasping at air. I would guess most players are probably coached to look at the arms of their opponents in that situation.

I also think the spreading of the ball was to make up for our lack of front rowers. Missing Martin, Spencer, JFH and now Hoof. I’m hoping Blacker gets a run in the team, but apparently JFH might be back next week.

Lots of what can be said has been written and commented on but i would like to take a broader view and expand on one of my posts earlier where i said our problem is not defence it is attack.

simple to write but again last nights result magnified this. and last night result goes back to game 1 in the WCC and all subsequent games save for 1.

we have been in all games with our largest loss by points coming last night but all other games being as close as 1 point either for or against us

but last night was coming from the Souths loss, where had them beat and gave up the lead to lose the game, this suggested to me a very mentally tired team who through pure mental exhaustion succumbed to Souths and last night despite the team we fielded, conditions which should have meant simple tactics, we overcomplicated what we had to execute and once we got behind we became completely shot mentally.

Its clear why this is the case, we are not executing in attack and by scoring points it gives you time to recover and dare i say become relaxed.

every point is now becoming key and our frailties are being exposed. And that has been clear, our forwards are not getting over the other mob in defence or offence. and this has exposed the other folly that we believe the next Kiaku, Leota et all have simply been cooling their heels in our lower grades.

Sure last night we missed the powerhouse Lenui from our bench but if you are sweating on one single forward to change your fortunes we are in trouble.

Panthers have been exposed and its a combination of events which have not hit us the previous 3 years where our injuries were quite low, we kept the core 13 on the field almost every game a tight unit manhandled all who came before us.

Now that has changed we are dealing with players joining other clubs and and no clear super talent in lower grades to fill in these gaps especially when you have the likes of May,Tago,Lenui,JFH,Martin all missing from your starting squad. in the years leading up to now we could simply drop a single player into the squad and we continued on our merry way.

and we have not recruited well, Garner is NO top class NRL player, Peachey is at best a NSW club Player, Kenny has the heart the size of Penrith but he just doesn’t have the Api class and Luke may develop but at the moment he is a NSW cup player.

we could add even more as was touched on with Turuva, brave as he is, he doesn’t offer the class we need in what we came to expect from our backs running hard to take hit ups for our forwards to reassemble.

we always knew this year would be difficult in losing Api and Kikau but it appears we are missing them more than we had even considered which has alarm bells ringing with the exodus of Lenui and Crichton next year.

Last nights game offers the coach Cleary the opportunity to reset, because if he doesn’t our season ended last night.

There are guns in Luai who are just off their usual game, but he isn’t alone and than we can talk about tactics which in last nights game had me completely baffled.

its pouring heavily, ground was water logged and 2 teams had 2 different game tactics. Tigers were prepared for the grind and as i alluded to we are mentally exhausted and were not prepared for the grind.

Odd things happen in games and has been evident with us for sometime, the Laui grubber to ingoal to Peachy was masterful. But once executed,we said, stuff it lets showboat and we will win.

Where were the kicks to corners and make then grind out, where were the early kicks to turn their forwards around to exhaust them?
Grubbers in goal?

Terrible game management from the reigning premiers and can be pinpointed to pure mental exhaustion where to start to take the shortcuts instead of doing the hard work to execute your game plan.

Cleary the coach has some real problems IMO and what lies ahead will take a super coach to turn around.

maybe this week they have a break from training, maybe revisit some of the spots we used when they team was locked in QLD, but we need a shift.

Thats the problems for this week but we need to begin to address next years problems when Crichton and Lenui go.

We should IMO throw everything at securing Graham from Souths and on the forwards we need to look around to secure some big boppers for our forward pack.

But that should be a priority as its shown losing some of the best we are being hurt and at some point we need to consolidate and fill in some of the gaps we have in our depth.

In the immediate we face a reinvigorated Warriors team who will be up for this game and primed to pounce on the wounded Panthers

I am really concerned about our squad in their ability to turn this around and if we are suffering from the mental exhaustion i believe we are, between the ears is the hardest place to get to.

I hope i am wrong but i believe our season is on tilt, and not sure IC has the skill set to fix what is wrong.

Hope he and the players prove me wrong.


Couldn’t agree more with your post. I would add goal line drop outs to the above. Seems they’ve made the conscious decision to go the short kick route over a traditional drop out. I think we missed every one?

I said last week, they’ve turned the razzle dazzle up to 11 and aren’t getting the basics right.

The basics have gone out the window. “stuff it lets showboat” says a lot.

The pack doesn’t seem as dominant this year. Last night obviously lacked JFH and Spence; our kick returns don’t feel as strong and dominant either. Is something up with To’o ? I haven’t looked at the statistics, however he feels down on last year. Also curious to the sudden headgear ?

Last year you could almost guarantee after 60 minutes the opposition would be spent and Panthers would storm home.

This year, not so much.


The only upside to the game was that it was not on free to air television so I did not watch it.


The worst part is that I am certain that Salmon got the ball down too.

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My recollections are that Penrith has had the better of the stats in every game over the first 7 rounds, and probably dominated each game. Even against Wests we bombed enough tries that would have won the game. In recent years we seemed to be come up with a win almost every time, at times through sheer determination (plus plenty of talent). This year we seem to be able to find a way to lose all those close games. If this trend continues, I fear that talk of needing a bigger stadium will be irrelevant. The newly-emerged Penrith fans will drift away just a quickly as they appeared, and we’ll be back to the 10,000-15,000 crowds (and that’s if the weather is fine!).

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Me neither Albert luckily but I did listen on ABC radio and it didn’t sound too good. I don’t know why they seem so reluctant to give Eddie Blacker a run I thought his effort in the final game of last season up in Townsville was pretty good.

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I finally got to watch the replay. I can’t believe the hoo haa about Brooks, he did nothing except 2 40/20’s. Api killed us along with the number 8 who was a beast for them. That pommy was a pain also, never stopped and was probably offside half the game with the amount of times he tackled us before the advantage line.

From our perspective, Luai was rubbish, i fear he is becoming ‘the name’ rather than the player. He needs to get back to basics and run first fluff 2nd…The Eisenhuth injury was a huge impact, not only the point in the game but the toll on us as a group, we went sideways instead of through the middle. The tigers played basic up the middle footy and got over us.

Nuff said about that one !