The Penrith Panthers premiership parade was held last weekend with Nathan Cleary, Charlie Staines and co. taking a double-decker open top bus through Penrith to a packed BlueBet Panthers Stadium where they were given the keys to the city by Penrith City Mayor Karen McKeown OAM.
There are also plans for Western Division fans to get in on the action with a similar celebration penciled in for Bathurst in January however dates and times as well as location are yet to be confirmed.
The Panthers celebrations had to be put on ice initially after COVID lockdowns and restrictions across NSW not being lifted until November 1. Yet despite this, thousands turned out along the streets of Penrith and at the heartland for a slice of the action and to commemorate the clubs third premiership. Among them was Forbes local Charlie Staines, who played an instrumental part in Penrith’s success over the past two years. Now with a premiership to his name, 2022 promises to be a big one not just for the club but him as well.
After scoring four tries on debut in Round 9 last year against the Cronulla Sharks, Staines, 21, has played 23 NRL games and scored 20 tries – a phenomenal effort.
This year, Staines also had games with multiple try scoring efforts. In Round 5, Staines scored two tries for Penrith in a 30-10 victory over Canberra and only four rounds later it was Cronulla who copped it again when he bagged a hat-trick in a 48-0 schillacking.
In Round 10, he scored two tries in a victory over Titans then two weeks later repeated the dose in a 30-4 pasting of wooden spooners Canterbury. In Round 18, he nabbed two again, against the New Zealand Warriors.
What a year it was – congratulations Charlie and the Penrith Panthers!
Premiers 2021! Now bring on St. Helens and the World Club Challenge!