Path to the big dance: How Penrith’s season unfolded

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Penrith have qualified for their fourth straight Grand Final after another dominant NRL season. Here’s how they got to the season decider…

Round 1

Penrith’s season begins with a shock 13-12 loss to Brisbane on a wet night at BlueBet Stadium. Stephen Crichton and Soni Luke score for the Panthers.

Round 2

Penrith withstand a late South Sydney comeback to record their first win of the year, a 16-10 victory at BlueBet Stadium in front of almost 17,000 fans.

Stephen Crichton celebrates the big win over Souths. Photo: NRL Images.

Round 4

Nathan Cleary kicks an inspiring two-point field goal to force golden point against the Eels, but Parramatta sneak home 17-16 in a Thursday night thriller.

Round 5

The Panthers go wild in the nation’s capital, thrashing the Raiders 53-12. Sunia Turuva and Izack Tago both grab doubles in the huge win.

Round 6

Dylan Edwards scores four tries, including a first half hat-trick, as Penrith thrash Manly 44-12 in front of more than 20,000 fans at BlueBet Stadium.

Round 7

Two Nathan Cleary field goals ensure Penrith get home 16-15 against Newcastle in a scrappy game at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Nathan Cleary kicks a field goal against Newcastle. Photo: NRL Images.

Round 8

South Sydney storm home to beat Penrith 20-18 at Accor Stadium, with the Rabbitohs suddenly emerging from the game as Premiership favourites.

Round 9

Penrith’s season is suddenly at a tipping point after the Wests Tigers produce the upset of the season in Bathurst, winning 12-8 in atrocious conditions.

The Panthers dejected after defeat in Bathurst. Photo: NRL Images.

Round 10

Penrith bounce back from a shock loss to the Tigers to beat the Warriors 18-6 at Magic Round. A late Spencer Leniu try seals the victory.

Round 11

More than 20,000 fans pack into BlueBet Stadium to watch Penrith dismantle the Roosters, winning 48-4 in an eight-tries-to-one romp.

Round 12

Penrith avenge the Round 1 defeat to Brisbane with a 15-4 victory at Suncorp Stadium, with Nathan Cleary producing a stellar individual performance.

Round 14

The BlueBet Stadium crowd is stunned when Nathan Cleary suffers a serious hamstring injury. The Panthers push on beat the Dragons 26-18.

Nathan Cleary leaves the field in the first half against the Dragons. Photo: NRL Images.

Round 15

No Nathan Cleary, no worries. The Panthers make light work of the Roosters at Allianz Stadium, recording an impressive 30-6 victory.

Round 16

Without their Origin stars, the Panthers hold their own against the Cowboys in Townsville, but eventually go down 27-23 in Golden Point.

Round 17

Penrith prove too good for Newcastle, recording an important 20-12 victory as the busy representative period rolls on.

Round 18

A relentless Melbourne go 12-0 up, before the Panthers mount an impressive comeback and run out comfortable 34-16 winners at AAMI Park.

The Panthers celebrate in Melbourne. Photo: NRL Images.

Round 20

A plucky Dolphins give the Panthers a run for their money, but Ivan Cleary’s side is too good in the end, winning 24-14 in Redcliffe.

Round 21

Try scoring celebrations flow quickly as the Panthers easily account for Canterbury 44-18 in front of a sellout Sunday crowd in Penrith.

Brian To’o celebrates a try with Liam Martin. Photo: Megan Dunn.

Round 22

Penrith’s strong form heading towards the business end of the season continues, with a 28-0 thumping of Cronulla at BlueBet Stadium.

Round 23

Melbourne look good early, but the Panthers eventually find their groove and produce a 26-6 victory in front of a huge BlueBet Stadium crowd.

Round 24

Manly throw everything at the Panthers, and even look on the verge of causing an upset, but in the end the visitors get up 24-14 at Brookvale Oval.

Round 25

Penrith thump Gold Coast 40-14 at Cbus Super Stadium in their final away game of the regular season, setting up a huge finish to the Minor Premiership race.

Round 26

Jarome Luai suffers a shoulder injury on a night to forget for the Panthers. Arch rivals Parramatta produce a stunning 32-18 upset at BlueBet Stadium.

Jarome Luai suffered a shoulder injury against Parramatta. Photo: NRL Images.

Round 27

Penrith claim the 2023 Minor Premiership with a 44-12 thrashing of North Queensland in front of 21,525 fans at BlueBet Stadium.

Finals Week 1

Nathan Cleary produces one of the finest individual performance in a Finals match for some time, as Penrith run out 32-6 victors over the New Zealand Warriors on a sunny Saturday afternoon at BlueBet Stadium. Cleary scores a try and kicks six goals in the impressive victory.

Finals Week 3

Brian To’o scores a hat-trick as Penrith dismantle Melbourne with a dominant performance at Accor Stadium. The Panthers score six tries to one in the 38-4 thumping, qualying for the 2023 NRL Grand Final and setting up a fairytale farewell for Stephen Crichton and Spencer Leniu.

Brian To’o celebrates a try against the Storm. Photo: NRL Images.

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