When the Vodafone Warriors last ventured to Penrith territory, the home side was at a low ebb.
The Panthers had won just two of the first nine games of the 2019 season and had dropped each of their last five games against Gold Coast, Cronulla-Sutherland, South Sydney, Canberra and Wests Tigers, the last two 12-30 and then 4-30 in a Magic Round encounter which was anything but.
The Vodafone Warriors weren’t in much better shape with three wins in the opening nine rounds but they were coming off an energising 26-18 success against the Dragons in the Magic Round.
On Friday, May 17 the Vodafone Warriors heaped even more misery on the Panthers winning 30-10.
It’s a match that’s widely regarded as Penrith’s turning point, a result which would put it on the path that led to premiership glory.
After that defeat the Panthers went on a seven-game winning run but ultimately fell just one point off eighth spot.
Match: Panthers v Warriors
Round 10 -
Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan EdwardsFullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Winger for Panthers is number 2 Brian To'oWinger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
Centre for Panthers is number 3 Dean WhareCentre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
Centre for Panthers is number 4 Waqa BlakeCentre for Warriors is number 4 Patrick Herbert
Winger for Panthers is number 5 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 James MaloneyFive-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan ClearyHalfback for Warriors is number 7 Blake Green
Prop for Panthers is number 8 James TamouProp for Warriors is number 8 Agnatius Paasi
Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Sione KatoaHooker for Warriors is number 22 Issac Luke
Prop for Panthers is number 10 Tim GrantProp for Warriors is number 10 Leeson Ah Mau
2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 James Fisher-Harris2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
Lock for Panthers is number 13 Liam MartinLock for Warriors is number 13 Lachlan Burr
Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Jarome LuaiInterchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Tyrell FuimaonoInterchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Moses LeotaInterchange for Warriors is number 16 Ligi Sao
Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Kaide EllisInterchange for Warriors is number 17 Karl Lawton
- Referee: Henry Perenara
- Referee: Jon Stone
- Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
- Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
From there they won the minor premiership in 2020 but lost the grand final to Melbourne, finished second in 2021 and beat South Sydney in the grand final and have just snared the minor premiership again this season.
Since that loss to the Vodafone Warriors the Panthers have crafted an astonishing record across 87 matches showing 72 wins, a draw and just 14 losses.
Of the Penrith side beaten on that night in 2019, Dylan Edwards, Brian To’o, Jarome Luai, James Fisher-Harris, Moses Leota, Viliame Kikau and Liam Martin are in the line-up tomorrow night.
Only Tohu Harris and Bunty Afoa remain for the Vodafone Warriors while Jazz Tevaga. Current squad members Chanel Harris-Tavita, Adam Pompey and Jackson Frei were on the club’s 2019 roster as was Josh Curran who arrived later as a midseason signing.