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Panthers Looking To Claim A Rare
The Penrith Panthers are being motivated by the chance to become only the second team in history to win rugby league's trifecta of the minor premiership, premiership and World Club Challenge (WCC).
The dominant Brisbane Broncos team of 1992 - featuring a host of class players including Allan Langer, Steve Renouf and Glenn Lazarus - is the only side to achieve the feat, downing Wigan 22-8 in the clash of Australian and English champions. The Panthers, who beat the Sydney Roosters in this year's NRL decider, will face English champions Bradford in the WCC match at Huddersfield's McAlpine Stadium on February 13.
"We're trying to work out who was the last one to win the minor premiership, premiership and World Club Challenge from Australia," said Panthers chief executive Shane Richardson today.
"We see that as a jewel in the crown after winning the grand final and I know the boys are really keen to go out there and win it."
The Panthers hope to take their strongest 17, including veteran Colin Ward, who missed the grand final triumph over the Roosters in October.
In the eight one-off WCC matches played in England, three Australian teams have been successful - Brisbane in 1992, Melbourne in 2000 and the Roosters this year.
Bradford last played in the WCC in 2002, thrashing Newcastle 41-26 in pouring rain at Huddersfield.