The Panthers might not be considered much of a chance to win the premiership considering the elite level of the top teams in the competition, but the Panthers might have a little bit of luck on their side.
They just happen to have a number of strange similarities to the Eels 2009 team that made the Grand Final despite being underdogs.
I’m not saying that Panthers will make the Grand Final, or even win this week (*cough* Hodgson and Austin injured), but there is a chance we could see a couple of exciting upsets if the Eels 2009 season is anything to go by.
Here are eight scary similarities that could mean the Panthers are repeating history:
Both teams had a slow start to the season which put them low on the ladder, but came back later.
Both teams won seven out of their last eight regular season games.
In 2009 the Eels released Brett Finch, a former NSW half, from the rest of his contract similar to what the Panthers did to Jamie Soward earlier this year.
Mid-Season Rookie Debut
Daniel Mortimer debuted mid-way through the season to replace Finch and held his spot into the grand final. Nathan Cleary also debuted half way through the season to replace Soward and has been a huge success.
Daniel Anderson began coaching the Eels at the beginning of 2009 just like Anthony Griffin took over at the Panthers this year.
Daniel Fitzgerald was sacked as Eels CEO mid-way through the season. Corey Payne was sacked as CEO of the Panthers during the season this year too.
Jeremy Latimore was part of the Eels 2009 squad and played seven games. He just happens to also be part of the Panthers 2016 team.
Jarryd Hayne and Matt Moylan, the fullbacks of their respective teams, both played State of Origin and were in fine form heading into the finals. Both players were considered the main driving factor in their teams’ premiership hopes.
Look, I’m not saying that it’s definitely going to happen but the Panthers are paying $5.50 to make the Grand Final and they are definitely going to make the final – those similarities are no coincidence; there is some serious voodoo going on.