I must admit I was very keen to see the 2012 NRL Draw released ever since our Panthers failed the 2011 season.
A month since the season’s been over and the NRL didn’t give away one secret as to when the draw would be released until a few days before the announcement.
And now that it’s been released every pundit will have their view on the draw and speculate on how their team will go in 2012.
Well, what to think of the Panthers draw? I liked it a lot from a QLD supporters point of view with games in all major centres in 2012 (Townsville rd 11, Gold Coast rd 15, Brisbane last round). But the home draw is good for the club too. First four home games are against Sydney clubs, then Melbourne Storm is the 5th home game. Two further Sydney clubs then Auckland, followed by two more Sydney clubs with the Raiders and Titans to round out the home draw. There shouldn’t be any excuses for Panther fans or other Sydney club’s fans to make the venture out to Centrebet Stadium in 2012.
How will the Panthers go? Well on initial thoughts they could go tremendously well or horribly bad. A team which has played with and without confidence the last two seasons, we are due to go well especially with some personnel changes. But a lot will ride on the injury front which killed the Panthers chances with an entire back line on the sideline this year.
The experience of Luke Lewis who once again represented the Australian Kangaroo’s last night with pride, will be a key to our chances. Billy Slater’s collarbone injury meant Lewis played out on the wing against the Poms. Why does Slater continually try to come up with something stupid like that to save a try beats me! Anyway Lewis scored and the Kangaroo’s won. They now face the Welsh next weekend before the Four Nations final.
For Sam McKendry, the news has been bad. A broken jaw and surgery to follow. We wish Slamming Sam a speedy recovery.
Now we await to here news on the Trial matches for 2012 which will give us a chance to go out and support the team.