Penrith Panthers 2017 Preview

  • Signings & Losses
  • Player Rankings
  • Strongest 17
  • Close Results Record
  • The Professor’s Prediction
  • Your Prediction

 

Signings & Losses

Signings: James Tamou (North Queensland – P), Mitch Rein (St George – HK), Tim Browne (Canterbury – P), Michael Oldfield (South Sydney – W)

The young Panthers add representative prop James Tamou to an already star-studded line-up. Tamou has ranked in the top 10 props the last 2 seasons and his experience will assist the young forward pack. The Professor views Tamou as the buy of the season and will prove his worth in spades.

Such is the depth out at Penrith both Rein and Browne may find themselves in NSW Cup for the majority of the season! Rein was once touted as an NSW representative player of the future but he never quite kicked on at the Dragons and will be hoping the attacking prowess of the Panthers will help him reach his potential.

Tim Browne has averaged 22 NRL games per season over the past 3 years at Canterbury and will find that number greatly reduced in 2017. Turning 30 in 2017 The Professor views Browne as a mentor to the players in the lower grades. Will be a standout within NSW Cup.

Losses: Suaia Matagi (Parramatta – P), Jeremy Latimore (Cronulla – P), Zak Hardaker (ESL – C), Will Smith (Parramatta – FB), Chris Grevsmuhl (Released – SR)

Matagi and Latimore were seen as veterans within the Panthers such is the youth in their squad. Their experience will be sorely missed but have more than adequately been replaced. Grevsmuhl was released from his contract due to personal issues. A regular on the bench he will be sorely missed and hopefully, it isn’t long till we see him in the NRL again as he is a great talent.

Hardaker and Smith will hardly be missed with the likes of Hiku and Whare returning from injury along with Edwards progressing through the grades.

Player Rankings

Player Age 2016 Position 2016 Games Played 2016 Position Rank
Tyrone Peachey 26 C 24 4
Waqa Blake 23 C 21 13
Peta Hiku 25 C 11 32
Dylan Edwards 21 C 1 50
Dean Whare 27 C 1 54
Jed Cartwright 21 C DNP DNP
Samisoni Langi 24 C DNP DNP
Tony Satini 34 C DNP DNP
Matt Moylan 26 FB 21 1
Bryce Cartwright 23 FE 26 14
Te Maire Martin 22 FE 6 22
Andrew Heffernan 22 FE DNP DNP
Tyrone May 21 FE DNP DNP
Nathan Cleary 20 HB 15 13
Darren Nicholls 28 HB DNP DNP
Soni Luke 21 HB DNP DNP
Peter Wallace 32 HK 26 7
Mitch Rein 27 HK 24 11
Sione Katoa 22 HK DNP DNP
Zach Dockar-Clay 22 HK DNP DNP
Trent Merrin 28 LK 25 2
James Tamou 29 P 25 8
Leilani Latu 24 P 24 41
Reagan Campbell-Gillard 24 P 20 44
Sam McKendry 28 P 12 62
Tim Browne 30 P 23 70
Moses Leota 22 P 4 95
Andy Saunders 23 P DNP DNP
Oliver Clark 21 P DNP DNP
Viliame Kikau 22 P DNP DNP
Isaah Yeo 23 SR 26 21
James Fisher-Harris 21 SR 23 54
Sitaleki Akauola 25 SR 14 76
Josh Mansour 27 W 25 4
Dallin Watene Zelezniak 22 W 26 25
Michael Oldfield 27 W 4 47

Strongest 17

1. Matt Moylan
2. Josh Mansour
3. Peta Hiku
4. Tyrone Peachey
5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak
6. Te Maire Martin
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
9. Peter Wallace
10. James Tamou
11. Bryce Cartwright
12. James Fisher-Harris
13. Trent Merrin

BENCH
14. Mitch Rein
15. Leilani Latu
16. Sam McKendry
17. Isaah Yeo

Close Results Record

Wins: 7

Losses: 6

The Professor’s Prediction

The Professor has the mighty Penrith Panthers at the top end of the ladder. The recruitment of some experienced older heads along with the youth coming through the grades the Panthers will prove tough competition throughout the season.

Such is the talent in their ranks players like Whare, Blake, and Browne will find themselves in NSW Cup unless injuries arise. Add to this the superb junior sides and the Panthers have everything going in the right direction. In saying this the Panthers have been prone to injury over the past 2 seasons and if history is anything to go by these players may play more than expected.

It’s hard to find a weakness in this almighty Panthers side and The Professor is excited by their prospects in 2017. The Professor has declared the Panthers a certainty for the top 4 and will be pushing hard for the minor premiership. Beyond the regular season his a little worried but isn’t looking that far ahead just yet.

Verdict – 2nd

Your Prediction

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