Penrith are considered to have an easier draw in 2016 given that thirteen of the twenty-four opponents they face finished outside the eight this year.

The two keys in 2016 are:

  • Good start to the season
  • Injuries

A good start to the season is important.  Penrith must at win at least two in March to launch their season.  Home games against the Bulldogs and Broncos won’t be easy, along with a trip to WIN Stadium to face the Dragons.  Given a full strength side anything is possible.

The run home is good with the Knights, Tigers, Titans and Sea Eagles to close out the season.  Our final home game against the Sea Eagles could be the crunch game if the Panthers are on the fringe of the eight, or in contention for the top four.

We know how horrendous the injury run has been over the last two years especially with 2015 contributing to Ivan Cleary’s fall.  Third time lucky?  Let’s hope so… already not so good news for Matty Moylan who’s not fully recovered from his ankle injury that may need close management over the rest of his career.

VERDICT: the draw looks favourable for Penrith but it depends on momentum and knocking over some of the top sides on their way to a possible top four finish.