What has gone wrong with the Panthers this year mate? And what about your expectations for 2016?
Moylan - injured for the season from Round 12 onwards.
Peter Wallace - injured for almost the whole season.
Soward - missed almost half the season.
Segeyaro - missed a chunk of the middle rounds.
All due to injury.
Add key injuries to Waitene-Zelezniak, Mansour, Idriss, Whare, Plum, Kite and even the guys who came in as back up like George and Robert Jennings and it was always going to be a struggle. At one point in the season we had a full 13 man squad out injured.
Every player i listed there (except for Plum and the Jennings brothers) are internationals for Australia or New Zealand. Mansour is one of the best wingers in the game, Whare in my opinion is the best centre in the game by a margin and Moylan was leading the assist charts and winning the Dally M (player of the season award in the NRL) after 12 rounds before he was out for the season.
All in all i think our spine of Segeyaro, Wallace, Soward and Moylan played no more than 170 minutes on the field at the same time throughout the whole season.
It's like taking Pique, Rakitic, Iniesta and Messi out of the Barca side.
Our reserve team and u20's made up most of our First Grade side by the end of the season. And we still managed to finish the season as Minor Premiers and Premiers in the u20's comp and came equal top of the reserve grade competition. So plenty to be hopeful about going forward.
We add Trent Merrin to our forward pack next season after losing Kite and Plum (as well as Sika Manu but that's more like a gain than a loss...he is awful). Merrin is a top quality signing and i can't wait for him to start. We also add some quality youngsters to our roster for depth like Viliame Kikau from the Cowboys u20s side and he was immense for them this season and Te Maire Martin who is a halfback from the Tigers who has big wraps on him. Sione Matagi and Ben Garcia will come in as decent back up to a very solid back row as well.
We will look something like this next year:
That team beats anyone on any day. You'd be hard pressed to find a better team on paper than that in the comp. Wouldn't trade it for anyone.
But, unlike the past two seasons, we need to keep them fit and on the field at the same time. If we do then we will probably make top four and go very deep in to the finals.