Here is all you need to know about the Penrith Panthers 2022 Telstra Premiership draw.
Teams they play twice
Storm, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Eels, Knights, Raiders, Warriors, Cowboys, Bulldogs
Teams they play once
Sea Eagles, Titans, Sharks, Dragons, Wests Tigers, Broncos
Thursday 3; Friday 10; Saturday 7; Sunday 4.
The Panthers open the NRL season at home to Manly followed by the Dragons (away), Knights (home game at Bathurst) and Rabbitohs (away). The Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs in particular will ensure the Panthers have to earn their wins early on next year.
The best of Nathan Cleary in 2021
The Origin period will likely test the Panthers once again. They take on the Bulldogs in round 13, with Penrith likely to be missing a host of stars while the blue-and-whites will be close to full strength and likely much improved compared to this year. After that the Knights (away), Warriors (away, potentially in New Zealand) then the Roosters (home) guarantee it won't be smooth sailing for the Panthers through the rep period.
Make it count
The Panthers will need to bank some wins in the four games from rounds 5-8. Nathan Cleary should be back (if he does miss the early rounds) for round five's Bulldogs game at Stadium Australia, which is followed by home games against the Broncos and Raiders then a trip to the Gold Coast.
The best of Brian To'o in 2021
Storyline to watch
When will champion halfback Nathan Cleary make it back to the field after shoulder surgery and how will his body hold up when he does return? Cleary's ability to play through pain has already become legendary but if the Panthers are to go back-to-back they'll need their main man at peak fitness and bouncing around with his trademark enthusiasm. How coach Ivan Cleary handles the Origin period and the physical toll in the weeks following the series will be critical. He is sure to have learned plenty in 2021 as the Panthers overcame a minor mid-year hiccup when their Origin stars were missing to win eight of their last nine regular season games and power on to the club's third premiership.