The surprise package of last season, the Panthers had some huge scalps along the way, and just missed out on a Grand Final meeting with South Sydney after a loss in the Preliminary to the Bulldogs. The Mountain Men will be hoping for more of the same in the same simple but stunning Asics shirts from last year.
Though it’s admittedly very hard to cock up plain black, all the furniture on the home shirt works to the Panthers’ advantage: there’s the yellow Hertz sponsors on the arms (black and yellow, nice); the lovely blue trim taken from the team badge (black and blue, even nice); and the simple, in your face enormity of the Oak logo in the middle (black and red, top of the charts!).
This would be enough to ensure it’s a fine jersey, but the additions of the faint stripes that grow more prominent as they descend the kit elevate it into a real classy killer.
The away jersey is a white reverse, with the Oak logo still standing out proudly, the stripes working well and extra black panels on the shoulder and under-arm framing it perfectly. There’s just teeny tiny addition: the massive panther leaping across the right side.
It’s a make or break addition, but as we’ve seen from some of the more exotic Auckland Nines jerseys this year, including the Panthers’ offering, we love a bit of on the nose extravagance at times. The Panthers’ logo is a bit silly really – something more akin to a US High School football team than an NRL franchise, and by emblazoning it across the front of the alternate shirt, they’ve at least nailed their faintly ridiculous colours to the mast.
There’s a bit for everyone here – if you dig classy, restrained and modern, the home shirt’s for you. If you dig monumentally silly shirts with giant angry felines on the front of them, well… this one has you bang to rights, guv.
SHIT/GOOD RATING: GOOD