Nathan Clary and Jerome Louis, around 23 and just under 24, are trying to become the youngest finalists in less than a decade when they face the Melbourne Hurricane on Sunday.
Their combined age of 17,064 days will make them sneak peeks from Adam Reynolds and Luke Carey in 2014, the youngest in 2011 after Daley Cherry-Evans and Caron Forn. In 2011 Evan Clare was coaching against the youth half. The Warriors led to a potential title shot.
Two more episodes of the NRL era (1998-220 only) will come at a younger age than Clary and Louis – if the Panthers win the 2007 Hurricane Cooper Cronk and Greg Inglis (later raided) and Scott Prince and Benji. Should have. Marshall for the Tigers in 2005.
Speaking of Evan Clary, he wants to make some history. No coach has won his first major final with coaching 250 or more matches. GF Clare will be the 342nd NRL match coach. Almost unbelievable, he is the 13th most experienced NRL coach of all time.
Even the most coached coach before Premiership No. 1 coached the Panthers at the time – John Lang had an under-250 score in 2003. The grand final was his 249th match.
Clary is also hoping to become the second father in history to coach her son for a spectacular final victory. The other was Martin, son of Lang coaching for Penrith in the 2003 referee.
Bob Fulton is the only other father in history to have coached his son to the grand finale when Scott played off the bench for Manley in 1997.
Surprisingly, Brian Smith coached his brother Tony twice with St. George in 1992-93. In 2015, the Smith brothers coached against each other in the UK.
They all win! Brent Naden, Tyrone May, Dillon Edwards and Spencer Lenio are on the verge of perfect weather. None of them have lost a game this year.
Naden holds the best record with 17 wins, while May 15, Edwards 13 and Leniu 12 may be the winners, but the result doesn’t matter if he is not called up.
The last three players of the original era (1980-2020) have played 10 or more games in one season and have won them all.
Michael Crocker (below) did it twice with 35 straight wins in 2006 (13 wins) and 2007 (10 wins) (his last two wins in 2005). It took him 2½ seasons to lose the game with Melbourne.
Quentin Pongia won all 12 of the matches he played in 1995, and Panthers great Rice Simmons won 11 of 11 in 1991, retiring with a convincing final victory and making two attempts a day. In 1995, Mark Carroll won a straight victory over the Sea Eagles in 19 but lost his 20th – in the grand final to the Bulldogs.
State of the Week: In the impressive final, three players sit in the top five for most attempts without making a line-break. Josh Edo-Kerr has scored 11 of his 16 attempts this season without a break, while Matt Duffy has scored 11 of 13.