Blast from the past - Bulldogs v Panthers (PF 97')

Happy Bye Weekend Everybody!

Thought I would post up this banger. The 1997 Super League Preliminary Final Canterbury Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers at Belmore Oval.

It was a classic, Penrith went in the underdogs with the dogs heavily favoured to win and progress on to play Canberra.

I’ll keep the score hidden, for those of you who don’t remember (or missed it all together). If you want to see it just click below to reveal.

:rugby_football: 1997 Super League Preliminary Final | Full Time

Penrith Panthers 15 Tries Robbie Beckett, Tony Puletua.
Goals Ryan Girdler (3/3) FG Ryan Girdler (1)
Canterbury Bulldogs 14 Tries jason Hetherington, Rod Silva.
Goals Daryl Halligan (3/4)

Who were your standouts? Who was your man of the match?

EDIT: For those having troubles playing the video in this thread, here is a direct link to the video.

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I was at the game with a couple of Bulldogs mates. Good thing I was the designated driver, or I may not have been able to get home

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I could have sworn this match was supposed to be played somewhere else (neutral venue).

After watching this game it reminded me of how much of an absolute freak Robbie Beckett was, that try was one of the best I seen, blew them off the park.


I remember my brother and I watching Robbie coming through the lower grades. He was an absolute stand out, a star in the making.

Remember the Robbie and Bobbie show with Beckett and Thompson? One thing you could never accuse the Royce coached years of was of boring football, even if it was frustrating at times.

‘97 was a year we could of made it. Started the year with a great team - Gower at hooker, Carter and Alexander in the halves, Girdler coming into form at Centre. All was shot mid season though with Alexander’s injury, he probably played one or two seasons too many.

Was an interesting year all the same. Remember the mid year games against the uk teams with 2,000 odd crowd (including counting the junior league relay, the carol murray dancers, and the bush fire brigade.)

Not to mention the great dismay of teenage crush Belinda Carlisle falling of the stage at the opening game, and the song and lyrics kept playing (shattered to find out she mimed).

At the end it was nothing but luck that kept us from the big game. In some ways but I think this was a turning point of sorts that led us to success 6 years later.

Pity the NRL remembers Newcastle but not Brisbane winning. The superbowl that never came to be would have changed the games memory.

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I’m not sure that this is a discussion for the expansion thread, but I feel thats the way the NRL will become in the next decade. Two seperate leagues (much like the AFC and NFC in the NFL) that will move to a playoff style of finals series.

There is no argument that Rugby League need to expand if it desires to be the preferred sport in Australia and our neighbouring islands, it’s more the logistics and how it will form. I feel Super League / ARL in 1997 gave us a glimpse into how that would look.

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That’s about as good as it gets - beating the Scumdogs. Note the way the ‘fans’ were kept behind barbed wire. Have any other Rugby League grounds in Sydney ever been similarly fenced? In the years that followed, whenever the Scumdogs played at Penrith, I read (or was advised) that the police would roster extra men on the trains back to scumdogland in case they lost and took it out on any Penrith fans on those trains.
Other comments. That game seemed like legal warfare. If that was played by today’s officiating, there’d be 100 penalties, cautions, stoppages and dismissals.
I remember watching Becket who was probably the fastest player ever on our roster. I’d forgotten just how quick he was. But I still felt that, until Roberts & Staines, we have never had a real ‘flier’.
Interesting how quickly the prop came back on after a massive concussion, and was praised for being so ‘tough’. How times change. I wonder if he’ll be part of any future class action.