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Looking at the Penrith Panthers Premierships

10 April 2020, 9:21AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

Since entering the competition in 1967 the Penrith Panthers have won two premierships in 1991 and 2003, with both games proving fairly memorable in the eyes of most rugby league fans.

In 1991, Penrith would win the minor premiership with ease after a season which would only see them lose four games. They then went on to defeat Canberra 19-12 in the grand final after a solid second half performance.

This was the first premiership in club history for the black attack, with long serving club captain (who was not captain for this game) Royce Simmons playing in his last match where he would score two tries to win his first Grand Final.

The fact that the Panthers were also able to defeat the Canberra Raiders who were the back to back defending premiers during arguably the peak of the “Green Machine” era also adds so much to this premiership, especially when you consider that these two faced off in the previous Grand Final with the result going the other way.

This is also seen as the day that league legends such as Greg Alexander and Mark Geyer cemented their superstar status.

In 2003 the Penrith Panthers would once again make the Grand Final, defeating the Sydney Roosters 18-6.

Unlike their last premiership season, nothing was really expected from the Panthers in 2003 as the team had finished 12th on the NRL ladder in 2002 and last in 2001.

They were also heavy underdogs in this encounter as they faced defending premiers the Sydney Roosters, who had met the Bulldogs the week before in the “Grand Final before the Grand Final” as many believed whoever won that game would easily beat the Panthers in the Grand Final, obviously the vast majority were wrong on this occasion.

Former Panther Brad Fittler, who won his first premiership with Penrith in 1991 as a 19 year old, was the Roosters captain.

The game produced one of the greatest moments in rugby league history as Scott Sattler chased down Todd Byrne who was certain to score and give the Roosters the lead, taking him into touch and giving his side possession.

Luke Priddis was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal after producing one of the best individual grand final performances rugby league has seen, playing a near perfect game.

Both grand finals we’re great victories for the club from the foot of the mountains, however the 1991 win is hard to top as it was the Panthers first ever premiership after being in the competition for nearly 25 years.

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