The Penrith Panthers were in desperate need of improving their side after a lacklustre 2019 that saw the club miss the top eight for the first time in four years, with a large part of the blame aimed at the club’s forward pack.
From the outset last season we did not see the drive and enthusiasm we had become accustomed to from the Panthers’ big men. The likes of Isaah Yeo and 2018 player of the season Villiame Kikau had an injury plagued season whilst Reagan Campbell-Gillard was unable to sustain his form from the previous season which saw him demoted to the Canterbury Cup at one point.
To be fair there were a couple of players would did try to get the forward pack on the front foot and reignite their aggression. Captain James Tamou and lock James Fisher-Harris had great individual seasons but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to raise the form of the rest of the forwards.
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— Penrith Panthers (@PenrithPanthers) October 2, 2019
With serious intent to improve in 2020 coach Ivan Cleary has shaken up the Panthers forward pack, releasing underperforming Reagan Campbell-Gillard to the Eels and signing New Zealand International prop and premiership winner Zane Tetevano to replace him in a bargain buy.
The club have also recruited second-rower and current QLD Origin 18th man Kurt Capewell from Cronulla in another relatively cheap deal.
After the disappointment that was 2019 the Penrith Panthers now have a forward pack to rival any in the competition, and one that could lead them far in 2020.