The Longest Month

For Panthers fans everywhere, April has been a long and heartless month. In the leadup to tonight’s match against Newcastle, Penrith are still yet to score a point on the Rugby League field in the month of April. Not a try or goal; not even a solitary field goal to show for their efforts.

A couple of mates reminded me of this fact today, and also that if they go scoreless against the Knights, they’ll be the first team to complete a scoreless calendar month since the Jets in 1982. We all know what happened to the Jets. Interestingly enough, the Jets did score a competition point in that month, courtesy of a 0-0 draw!

I didn’t have access to Pay-TV tonight, so was reduced to regular updates via the internet. My two year old daughter, possibly stressed about Penrith’s prospects, kicked up a stink about going to bed. As a result, it was almost 7:30PM before I could get my first look at the scoreboard.

It didn’t make pretty reading. 10-0 to the Knights.

And then it happened. After twenty nine days, nineteen hours and twenty five minutes, the Panthers scored a try, courtesy of Michael Jennings. Co-incidentally, this was his first game of the month. Could there be a correlation?

Given my internet-only access, I don’t know whether it was a slashing 90 metre effort or a johnny-on-the-spot, pick up the scraps try. I didn’t really care. We were on the board.

It went downhill from there. Injuries to Lewis and Jennings, further tries to the Knights and a final score of 34-14 made for another disappointing night for Panthers fans everywhere. Better than the last two efforts, which were both 30-0, but a thrashing nevertheless.

NEWCASTLE 34 (N Costigan K Gidley J McManus J Mullen T Tahu Z Taia tries K Gidley 4 W Naiqama goals) bt PENRITH 14 (C Newton 2 M Jennings tries T Burns goal) at Hunter Stadium. Referee: Gerard Sutton, Alan Shortall. Crowd: 16,892.

Pete Abela is an author who also tells the occasional bad joke. You can find out more about Pete here or read one of his bad jokes here.

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