Squad breakdown: Penrith Panthers 2024 Supercoach analysis

2020 Supercoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses the buy credentials of the Penrith Panthers squad leading into Round 1.


Seeking the historic four-peat of Premierships not achieved since the Dragons in 1966, Penrith will again start as title favourites.

As a very early diversion from the focus of this preview, that Dragons 11-straight premierships from 1956-66 is an equal world record shared by German football club Bayern Munich, if our friends at Google are to be believed.

Anyway, where were we?

Ah yes, the Panthers, they’re very good at football, the Australian pig skinned ball variety of football that is.

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Their draw is very tough to start the season, with a difficult opening run of fixtures followed with a bye in round 6.

This is a deterrent, but when you’re the best team in the competition it shouldn’t scare prospective investors off too heavily.

What is of concern is that with three straight titles, and a very similar roster to last season, there may not be too much value to be had in such a dominant side.

Stephen Crichton is the only starting 13 player missing from last season.

Can their game improve too much more to translate to increased Supercoach scoring and hence early season value?

Perhaps, but it is something to note, and if they do win four straight as bookies are predicting then maybe they can improve across the board.

Let’s take a look at the Panthers Supercoach prospects to start the season.

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Penrith Panthers predicted team

1. Dylan Edwards
2. Brian To’o
3. Taylan May
4. Izack Tago
5. Sunia Turuva
6. Jarome Luai
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Moses Leota
9. Mitch Kenny
10. James Fisher-Harris
11. Scott Sorensen
12. Liam Martin
13. Isaah Yeo

14. Tyrone Peachey
15. Lindsay Smith
16. Luke Garner
17. Matt Eisenhuth



Taylan May is likely to make the shift to centre on return from a lengthy ACL lay-off, with Sunia Turuva remaining on the wing.

The squad pretty well picks itself, with the only major question mark around the bench utility role.

Tyrone Peachey is my pick, however Soni Luke is every chance to regain the spot he lost late in the season, while Daine Laurie is also an outside chance on return to the club.

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Storm (A), Eels (H), Broncos (H), Roosters (A), Sea Eagles (A), bye, Tigers (H – Bathurst), Cowboys (A)

First five round rating: 3/10


Nathan Cleary ($912,500, HFB)

To start with Cleary or to not start with Cleary?

That is the question plaguing Supercoaches ahead of round 1.

That and about a thousand others.

At the time of writing, Cleary is sitting at 42% ownership overall.

There’s talk of tighter defences and clunky attack to start the season which invariably occurs, so when you add in the tough Penrith draw is it enough to consider starting without the master No.7?

Let’s take a look at how he’s started the past three seasons off the back of grand finals and huge Supercoach seasons.

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First five games Supercoach average:

2023: 90.4 points per game (first three round average of 56.6)

2022: 97.6 (missed first three rounds, opened with 34 and 57 on return)

2021: 99.0

Across the first five games in the past three seasons he’s averaged 90+, so anyone hoping for a slow start to the year may need to think again.

He’s also played a fairly heavily right side only role in the past, but in the back end of 2023 he started sweeping to the left as well.

If this becomes a regular plan he could average 100+ with additional attacking opportunities.

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Brian To’o ($720,800, CTW)

Bizza is an interesting one, you’d think with his work-rate and finishing ability in the best team in the NRL, outside Nathan Cleary, he’d have some monster scores in him each year.

It’s not always so.

He’s arguably the most consistent CTW year after year, but not necessarily the one with anything near the highest upside.

Penrith’s attack is so balanced across the field that the right edge isn’t necessarily a target area, whereas say a left edge at the Rabbitohs or Knights gets the vast majority of attacking footy.

To’o averaged a very strong 71 points last season with four tonnes to his name.

They were all low, with a top score of 112.

In 2022 it was a similar story with three tonnes, but a top score of 116.

He had 35 in base in 2023 which is excellent.

It doesn’t mean he can’t belt out a strong start to the season with 130+ scores, but it’s hard to see Penrith getting much better, meaning To’o probably doesn’t offer too much value to start the season.

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Izack Tago ($698,700, CTW)

Tago had a breakout Supercoach season in 2023 with a 68 point average, including three tonnes, and a top score of 142.

His 36 in base was tremendous, however he did still have five sub 44 scores in 14 games.

Like To’o, he’s one that I’m happy to watch early on and target once the draw softens up and points start to flow later in the year.

Scott Sorensen ($676,400, 2RF)

Last season it was all eyes on Zac Hosking and Luke Garner to start the season.

Which mid-range back-rower would turn into a Supercoach star on the edge for the Panthers?

The answer, was Scott Sorensen.

Scotty started the season off the bench, but once taking up the starting edge role he didn’t look back.

In his eight games of 80 minutes he averaged 79.62, which did include a mammoth 175 point score.

If you take that out, it’s still a very respectable 66 points per game.

He’s probably priced relatively close to his correct value, but he is priced on a 66 point season average from 66 minutes per game.

That is a lot of 6s…

While I won’t look to start with him, he’s getting more and more comfortable in that edge role and can improve to a 70+ average this season if he maintains the minutes.

Not for round 1, but another to monitor early on.

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Taylan May ($458,800, CTW)

May missed the entirety of 2023 due to an ACL injury, and hence gets a nice price reduction to start 2024.

In his first full NRL season playing on the wing in 2022 he averaged a healthy 64 points per game.

He was in a blessed spot, playing on the left edge outside Viliame Kikau who went to another level that season and May was a benefactor on the wing.

More impressive though was his base and power output.

His 29 in base was solid, but add in the fact he busted 87 tackles in just 20 games and it makes for some very solid scoring.

He’s tipped to move to centre this season, and while I’m not convinced it’ll lead to a higher average, he’s extremely talented and will only improve with each game in the NRL.

Even if he’s not the knockout mid-range buy that plenty are hoping for, I believe it’s worth the risk at such a cheap rate being priced on just a 44 point average.

In fact, I don’t think there’s too much risk at all and the upside is immense.

There’s keeper potential in young Taylan, although I do prefer him on the wing.


At this stage there’s no real cheapies to be seen at Penrith.

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