Panthers primed for upset - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers primed for upset

By Darren Walton and Daniel Pace 29/09/2003 07:35:25 PM Comments (0)

Penrith is the biggest grand final underdog in almost two decades, but John Lang's mix of rookies, rejects and late bloomers is primed to steal the NRL premiership on Sunday night.

While the smell of summer was in the air at the team's recovery session at Penrith Pool, the Panthers were adamant their winter of content wasn't over just yet.

"The job's only half done now," said winger Luke Rooney.

As the Sydney Roosters enjoyed a rest day and confirmed injured pair Shannon Hegarty and Craig Fitzgibbon as certain starters in the final game of the season, Penrith's fearless youngsters talked up their chances of causing a major boilover.

"It's good to prove the critics wrong," said forward Ben Ross.

"A lot of the boys have taken great satisfaction in doing it and hopefully we can shake the underdog tag."

Winger Luke Lewis added: "Our season's definitely far from over. It feels like the year's just starting.

"The Roosters are a great side. They've set the benchmark all year but, if we play to our potential, we'll give it a crack."

Hooker Luke Priddis, the only Penrith player with grand final experience, said the inexperienced Panthers had the mettle to complete the job against the Roosters.

Priddis, a member of Brisbane's 2000 premiership-winning outfit, didn't believe in a team needing to lose a grand final before winning one.

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