A Club That Is Rotten To The Very Core

The Penrith Panthers today extended Matthew Elliott’s contract through to the end of the 2011 season, despite the fact the highest position the clubs has finished under his coaching is 12th place.

In charge of a club that has a wealth of talent, one that hand picks the best players from the worlds biggest junior Rugby League set up in the world, Elliott has managed to coach the club to just 21 wins in the clubs 56 regular season games since he took over in 2007.

Elliott’s job was said to be under threat at the start of this season, such has been the disastrous run at the club since he took over. However after 7 games, with a losing record and sitting in 11th place on the NRL ladder, the clubs management has seen that performance as being good enough to throw another 2 years away on a coach that has a losing record over all in his time coaching NRL teams.

Matthew Elliott’s NRL Coaching Record
Games: 181
Wins: 80
Losses: 98
Draws: 3

How can a club possibly come to the conclusion that yes, this is the direction they want to keep going for the next two years?

People will point to the supposed improved performances of the 2009 version of the Penrith Panthers, however anyone that actually sits down and watches the games would be shaking their heads.

In the first round Penrith barely beat a very poor Sharks side in torrential rain. The Sharks have since settled at the bottom of the NRL ladder, hardly a convincing performance.

In round two Penrith narrowly lost to the Canterbury Bulldogs, although to be fair, they should have won that game as the Bulldogs had 14 players on the field as they scored the game winning try.

In round three the Panthers barely beat the struggling Manly Sea Eagles, the Sea Eagles have won just two games all season.

In round four the Panthers had a big win over the unpredictable West Tigers. A good win, however one where they over powered a smaller Tigers side.

In round five Penrith lost to a struggling Melbourne Storm outfit. A solid effort, however the Storm, much like Manly, are having a terrible season.

In round six Penrith got thrashed at home by a very poor Brisbane Broncos outfit that looked disinterested and who simply played dumb football.

Then last weekend, in their last game, the Panthers win just their third game of the season by beating the Gold Coast Titans, who find it hard to win away from home.

Convincing? No. Even the most optimistic person would have to say the jury is still out on the Panthers in 2009. Sitting where they do on the ladder, and with some many more fancied teams having a bad start to the year, you would have to suggest that only an idiot would give the gold stamp of approval to the performance of the 2009 Penrith Panthers.

That’s Penrith’s management for you though!

Penriths Record Under Matthew Elliott, Season By Season
2007 Position 16th
Wins – 8
Losses – 16
Draws – 0

2008 Position 12th
Wins – 10
Losses – 13
Draws – 2

2009 Position 11th
Wins – 3
Losses – 4
Draws – 0

Panthers fans have had enough of the complete incompetence of the clubs management. The feeling among fans was that they just wanted to get this season over with and be able to look forward to getting a new coach who could possibly do something with the talent at the club.

So now what can Panthers fans look forward to?

Buying Talent
The club has been unable to attract talent from outside the club because no one worth anything wants to be coached by Matthew Elliott. Sure they got Petero Civoniceva, but that was because he was basically screwed over by the Brisbane Broncos and he either had to take a massive pay cut to play for a decent side, or take a kings ransom to play for Penrith and expect to never play finals football again.

The Halfback Situation
Ever since Craig Gower decided that he could be a drunken fuckwit in France and no one would care, Penrith have not had a regular halfback.

Matthew Elliott famously brought over a young halfback from Canberra with him in 2007 called Josh McCrone. McCrone spent two years at Penrith and never played a single first grade game. He headed back to Canberra for the 2009 season and made his first grade debut last week.

Then we have the Peter Wallace saga.

Wallace was a Penrith junior who broke into the top grade and played very solid football for a youngster. He was just what Penrith needed, a level headed young playmaker who had already showed he was cool under pressure.

Penrith were desperate for a halfback or even a five-eight at the time.

They didn’t even offer Wallace a contract.

Wallace went on to sign with the Brisbane Broncos for the 2008 season. He made his State Of Origin debut that same year. Penrith meanwhile spent the 2008 season trying to get the services of another Canberra Raider, Todd Carney.

Carney eventually chose to stay in Canberra, before getting sacked for repeated off field stupidity that has seen him banned from playing in the NRL, and even banned from going back to his home town.

As of right now Penrith play Jarrod Sammut at halfback.

As a Panthers fan myself, this decision to re-sign Matthew Elliott basically has me writing off the next 2 and a half years as far as my own clubs goes. I basically don’t care what happens, I can’t, because if I did care I would neck myself in the next few weeks.

There is no hope for Penrith, its supporters or any player on their books. Anyone worth anything to the game should look at getting out of the club because its a black hole, its the end of the line, a place where success goes to get raped and die.

If it wasn’t for the massive junior base, the fact that the area is a Rugby League area unlike any other, a place that is actually under utilized by the game and one that amazingly had area for growth, I could not justify Penrith’s existence in the NRL.

The clubs itself has no drive to succeed. It is run by people that are so far out of their depth that its comical to watch them lurch from one disaster to another.

So congratulations to Penrith and its management. You are a bunch of idiots.

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