So What Chance Has Penrith Got?

Well now its time to have a look at my own team, how they are going, what chance they have of making the finals and what chance they are of winning the Grand Final.

Penrith is terribly coached. Really terribly coach. Their game plan is very loose, their defense is terrible, they have poor discipline and by rights should be no where near a finals place. They do have one thing in great supply though.

Talent. When you look through their side there are a lot of very talented players in this team.

Michael Jennings is the most dangerous outside back in the game right now. He can break down a set defensive line and score a try out of nothing on his own, not many outside backs are capable of this, and he is doing it on a weekly basis.

Frank Pritchard has got his head on at the moment and is showing what a destructive player he is. If he was just a ball runner he would be terrible to play again. 115kgs, good footwork, a good hold runner, he times his runs well and is powerful.

Oh, and on top of that he can get incredible offloads and amazingly can put on a pretty good pass, its just unfair when Prichard is at his best.

Petero Civoniceva, Trent Waterhouse, Luke Lewis, throw this lot on with the likes of Paul Aiton and Jarrod Sammut and you’re getting a very dangerous team together.

Penrith simply gets by on this talent. Their failings are a failing of the coach, they have problems that are no being addressed and have not been addressed since Elliott arrived at Penrith. However you throw enough talent on the field and it can gloss over things to a certain extent.

Its like Brisbane at the start of the season, they have a very average forward pack, but their talented back line made them look like world beaters.

So we have two rounds left and Penrith maybe can afford to lose one game.

They play Parramatta at Parramatta Stadium next week, and the following week head up to Newcastle to face the Knights.

Parramatta is going to be a massive game. I think Penriths pack has the ability to much better than the Tigers pack did on Friday night to try and dominate the Eels. That will be a huge key to this game.

The problem Penrith will have is their defense breaking down up the middle of the park. The likes of Mortimer and Robson should be able to crack the Panthers defense, and if you get the big Penrith forwards backpedaling you are in a very good position.

I tend to think Parramatta will win next week, but if Frank Pritchard can cause problems out wide and get Michael Jennings ball in a decent position, they are in with a shot.

As for the Knights, who knows. That will be a must win game no matter what I feel and the lose is very likely to not take part in the finals.

I think Newcastles ability to switch off and play very loose for large parts of the game will really help Penrith. I think they can go up there and get the two points.

How one win from the next two weeks works out, I don’t think anyone knows. So if they do make the finals, what chance are they?

I think Penrith is the type of team you don’t want to play in the finals.

I fully expect the Dragons to choke, hard. If they face the Panthers in the first round, 1st vs 8th, it will be on!

Having said that, I don’t think Penrith are a real contender for the title unless they find some type of magical form in the next few weeks.

They have to many defensive issues, their attack is very basic, when they take on the likes of the Storm or manly, great defensive sides that are well coached, I think they will be found wanting.

Part of me thinks Penrith could do with missing the finals. It will give them motivation to work harder, sort a few problems and keep improving. Having said that, there is nothing like looking forward to watching your team in the finals.

Also, with Penrith, they are capable of anything. If they hook it all up they could do what no one expects them to do. The flip side of that? They can fall in the biggest heap you have ever seen, just look at their game last week against the Broncos as an example.

Its a very interesting ride being a Panthers fan. You never know what to expect apart from the unexpected.

Our players ask for releases before signing long term contracts, they commit to the club before leaving soon after, we sign coaching with dismal records to contact extensions, we let in a point per minute in the second half of a game we are winning, and I’ll be damned if sometimes we don’t just get it right and win the occasional Grand Final.

What ever happens, it will be exciting, thats for sure.

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