Penrith 19, Canberra 12
“Brandy” Alexander captained the Panthers to their maiden premiership and when he took to the stage to accept the trophy and make a speech, he began by lifting the Winfield Cup and saying: “Here it is. We’ve waited a long time for this. For the people of Penrith. This.”
They’d waited since entering the comp back in 1967, and in 2016, the club’s 50th year, Alexander says the memory of that first win has become even more poignant for him.
“It was special and I guess that feeling of what you’ve accomplished doesn’t really sink in until years later and you have occasions that remind you of its importance, like when Penrith won it a second time, in 2003, and we celebrated our 50 years this year and introduced the Hall of Fame,” he says.
“I meant every word of that speech, absolutely. A lot of the players in the team were locals who grew up playing with or against each other as juniors and it was important not just for us as players, but for the whole community.
“For a lot of the match it didn’t look like we were going to get home. We were up against a champion team and we had to find something special, but we did.”