Almanac Rugby League – NRL 2015: Penrith v Melbourne – When the Team Doesn’t Deliver, The Bar Staff Will

NRL Round 13

Penrith Panthers v Melbourne Storm

7:30pm Saturday 6th June 2015.

Pepper Stadium, Penrith


It’s been three months since the first round of the season.  A season which promised so much for long suffering Panther fans.  A victory in the warm sunshine against the team that beat us in the Preliminary Final the year before and all was good in the world of Panthers.  Hopes were high this could be our year.

Since then, the physiotherapy and orthopaedic surgeons of Nepean Hospital have been making a nice earn from the Penrith District Rugby League Football Club.

At various times of the season we have seen established stars as Peter Wallace, James Segeyaro, Adam Docker, Nigel Plum, Elijah Taylor, Tyrone Peachy and Dean Whare have extended spells in the casualty ward.  Now, most telling of all, five eighth Jamie Soward and fullback Matt Moylan are missing in action.

And lord knows it shows with a 5 and 6 record coming into tonight’s game against the Storm.

The Melbournians are also suffering from injury, and dented pride.  Both teams are backing up from poor losses the week before and the Storm have lost Billy Slater, Dayne Weston, Kurt Mann and Marika Koroibete all being pulled from the team published in the Big League.

It’s also bloody cold, and I’m already thinking about heading back across the road for the warmth of the Leagues Club, where I found a sole television showing the Swans towelling up Gold Coast before coming across to the stadium for tonight’s match.

I’m thinking that’s what the players were thinking too as the Storm start the half with two quick try’s, just as Parramatta had done the week before.

It’s enough to drive a man to drink, but I don’t want to stand in a queue for the rest of the night, so I download the new app advertised within the stadium.  How good is this?  Upon opening the app I select the grandstand I’m sitting in, select my Bay, Row and Seat number and then I can make my order.

A little over 10 minutes later and the order has been delivered.  Alcohol, chips and pies all delivered to our seats.  Finally something to cheer about.

Shame there hasn’t been anything to cheer on the field.  The Storm have scored three converted tries.  Penrith have been applying plenty of pressure on Cooper Cronk, but somehow he is still making effective kicks in general play to control the field position.

The Panthers have been their own worst enemy, missing too many tackles and failing to complete their possession sets.  The intensity of the Storm’s defence has been quite spectacular as well.

The second half starts as the first ends, with Melbourne making easy metres up the middle and the Panthers then dropping the ball on only the second tackle in their first two sets of possession.

It’s time to hit that app again.  Bonus, it’s remembered what was previously ordered, but my celebration looks out of place as Cameron Smith kicks a penalty goal to extend the lead to 20 points.

This is starting to get ugly.  Peachey makes an intercept to save a try, but he is caught 70 metres up field and again we drop the ball before we get to the sixth tackle.  Thankfully that new order has been delivered.

Possession is running at least two to one against, and quite frankly we have to be lucky it’s only a 20 point game at the moment.  We have done so much defence in our own half it wouldn’t be a surprise if the last ten minutes the floodgates open up.

I can’t recall the last time we were kept scoreless here at home.  It’s all very depressing.  Final minute and we’ve got a scrum deep in Melbourne’s territory, so for some reason we put in a grubber kick on the first tackle.  Fair dinkum.

The air raid siren brings an end to this sorry affair.  Time to head across the road into the Leagues club, take stock to get some warmth, write a report for the Almanac and find a screen to watch the Waratah’s get a win in their second week in South Africa.

Anything to erase another poor performance in front of home fans.


Penrith Panthers 0

Melbourne Storm 20.

Tries; Blake Green 2 and Cameron Munster

Goals: Cameron Smith 4 from 4 attempts.

Attendance; 11,849

About Wayne Ball

Tragic fan of the Australian and NSW cricket teams (for those of you outside NSW, there is a difference, despite what David Hookes said). Not a fan of T20. Penrith Panthers are the only club of decency and all which is good in Rugby League, the Waratah's were once the national team of Rugby Union, the first non Victorian team in the VFL/AFL is the Sydney Swans, and they all enjoy my passionate support. Sings for Wanderers. Internationally, I have been to see the Oakland Athletics and Green Bay Packers play. One day, I'll see Norwich City play for the FA Cup at Wembley.

Leave a Comment