Here’s our look at the 2014 Penrith Panthers player ratings. After a four year absence from the finals series the Penrith Panthers made it within one game of the Grand Final. Just like a decade before, the Panthers were knocked out by Canterbury. There were some standout performers as Ivan Cleary moved Penrith into a position of strength heading into 2015.
Over the next three stories we will review our player ratings for all twenty-nine who wore the Penrith Panthers jumper in 2014.
In alphabetical order
Sam Anderson – played three of the last four matches including our great win over the Sydney Roosters in the Qualifying Final at Allianz Stadium on September 13. This kid from Newcastle will play more regular top grade football in 2015. Expect him to be a regular on the bench with Brent Kite set to retire at the end of 2015. Rating: B-
Lewis Brown – this was Lewis Brown’s best season with the club to date. His versatility got Penrith out of a few problems during the season when suffering key injuries during matches. It was great to see he was rewarded with New Zealand representative honours at the end of the year where he appeared twice and made a direct impact against Australia at Suncorp Stadium where he scored a try. Rating: A
Bryce Cartwright – made his debut against Parramatta in our 38-12 victory on May 30. We saw in his seven appearances for the club that the hype about Cartwright is legitimate as he continues the family tradition at Penrith. His season ending injury against the Bulldogs on August 1 bought to an end a bright start to a long career hopefully with our club. Rating: B
Adam Docker – Adam’s breakthrough year was 2013 in a side that was on the rise from the bottom of the table. With a much stronger and experienced pack this year, Docker maintained his consistency at the top level. What he probably needs to work on is his tackling style after several encounters with the Match Review Committee in 2014. This guy is still capable of representative honours with New South Wales and maybe he will breakthrough in 2015. Rating: A-
Tim Grant – the writing was on the wall for Tim Grant all season. Not helped by the early season speculation that Penrith wanted to move him on and subsequently his move to South Sydney saw him out of favour. We didn’t see the best of Tim Grant in 2014 and maybe a new club will give him a renewed passion for the game. Rating: C
Jamal Idris – Idris had a late start to off-season training with the club and was still not in the right frame of mind when he took a six week break away from the game between May and June. Despite this Idris worked hard on his fitness and in 2015 hopefully he can return to his rampaging best out wide. We saw glimpses of this in 2014. Rating: B+
Isaac John – just three appearances for the club in 2014 before rupturing his Achilles tendon in our loss to the Eels 16-32 at Pirtek Stadium on March 29. Remember, John before his injury was selected for New Zealand in the ANZAC Day test at Allianz Stadium. John has resigned with the club for 2015 but will need to compete alongside Will Smith as a backup for Peter Wallace and Jamie Soward. Rating: B-
Kevin Kingston – in his final year of rugby league, Kingston made nine appearances for the club. The continuing rise of James Segeyaro meant Kingston was seen second choice hooker. His injury against Melbourne ended his National Rugby League career. Always solid in defence and always a leader. His presence around the club in the next few years will provide plenty of benefit for up and coming players. Rating: B
Brent Kite – Penrith took a calculated gamble on Kite who’s in his early 30’s. It paid off with Kite managing to play the majority of the season despite a layoff with injury in our costly win over the Bulldogs on August 1. His experience and the key signing of Elijah Taylor gave the Panthers an advantage up front in a facet of the game the club has struggled in the last few years. With 307 games under his belt expect Sam Anderson to benefit learning from Kite as the veteran enters the final phase of his career. Rating: A
Jeremy Latimore – Latimore was a solid bench player who benefited from a better forward pack which led to him having a better impact off the bench. His contract was extended mid-season and the soon-to-be twenty-eight year old (December 8) will again prove handy in an improving Panthers side. Rating: B+
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