Panthers History

Brief History: Northern Panther’s Rugby Club.

The Club was founded in 1976 and has developed rugby in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne ever since. On field the Club has had extraordinary success. The senior men’s teams have won 10 Minor Premierships, 8 Premierships and been runners up on 8 other occasions.

The club launched what was to prove a highly successful junior program with an under ten side in 1995. The resulting years have seen the juniors’ record extraordinary success in all grades with many premierships and minor premierships.

As a Premier Club in the first division the seniors narrowly missed out on premierships in 2001 and 2002 and 2008. The Club also welcomed the formation of a highly successful women’s team in 2002.

In 2004 the Club moved into new premises at Sullivan Memorial Park in Reservoir and became one of only two clubs with three fields. In 2015 lights suitable for night games were installed and the pavilion was extended and renovated in 2015-16. This March the Club will have six changing rooms, a large canteen and bar, an office, a medical room and several store rooms.

Over two hundred juniors have represented the State and eleven have represented Australia. Ioane Sefo represented Manu Samoa in the 2008 under 20 world cup.

In 2013 the Club celebrated selection of its first Wallaby, Christian “Nu” Lealiifano. In 2016 Robert Leota became the Club’s first Rebel, Josh Coward was named in the senior Men’s Sevens Squad and Junior Laloifi was selected in the Queensland Reds Squad.

Women have played a significant role in the Club over the years. In particular significant contributions have been made by Nesa Tuigamala and Olevia Pritchard who have shared various committee roles between them. Silei Poluleuligaga has coached women’s teams to premierships and took the senior men’s team to a premiership in 2012. Two Panther women, Silei Poluleuligaga and Tegan French have represented Australia playing for the Wallaroos.