When the Panthers team went to Townsville last weekend, they took 15 of our NSW Cup Team with them.
Ivan Cleary gave so many players the week off, local Hawkesbury superstar Mitch Kenny was named First Grade Captain.
This left head coach, Peter Wallace, and I, to pull together a makeshift group for our important Reserve Grade semi-final against the North Sydney Bears at St Marys.
It was a tough search and most of our players had to introduce themselves on Monday at training.
Peter focussed simply on bringing them together as a single unit and encouraging them to show the rest of the club and competition what they could do.
The week was so enjoyable as they all relished their chance. They were happy, they knew the coaching staff believed in them and they trained and trained and trained.
We were massive underdogs. Some bookmakers had us at 9 to 1 to win.
The Bears were more experienced with a quality, settled team and Jason Taylor as their coach.
Inspired by halfback, Isaiah Katoa, we won 22-14. We led at half time and held them out with a great defensive effort in the pouring rain.
We will now take on Minor Premiers, the Newtown Jets, for a spot in the Grand Final.
I have been involved in footy for a long time and this win is by far my most satisfying. We weren't supposed to win, but the guys played their hearts out. I am so proud of them.
A lot of current NRL players need some of the passion that was displayed by this young group.
Jason was my long-term roommate at the Parramatta Eels. I know him very well. He never lacked confidence in any part of his life and he hates losing.
He would have assumed a big win and wouldn't have been happy on the bus trip back home. Sorry JT, but we may see you again in the Grand Final.
Friday night at Penrith Stadium will be electric. The buoyant Parramatta Eels are on a winning streak against us and some say they are the Panthers 'kryptonite'.
A lot of Blue and Gold fans are arrogantly texting me saying they have the game won already. Will they ever learn?
The Panthers boys are fresh, Cleary is back and they are simply a better team.
Nathan has been waiting for this moment for five weeks. He spent most of it with a football in his hands. The Panthers will win and win big.
The North Queensland Cowboys are slick, but will head down too Cronulla to face a team that is just as slick.
The entire Shire will be on hand to support the Sharks and I think they will get the win, a week off and chance to play in the Grand Final.
Unlike every other team in the NRL, Canberra head to Melbourne and usually win.
Ricky Stuart has the Green Machine back to fighting as one and he has some mean players at his disposal.
I really like Elliot Whitehead and Hudson Young. They play it hard and are core to their success.
Melbourne on the other hand are so dependent on Cameron Munster and he obviously feels it.
I think the Raiders will take this one in a tough encounter.
The Roosters are in super-hot form and are scaring every other team with their attack.
Sunday's final against the Rabbitohs will be a repeat of last week, but the loss of Joey Manu and the return of Damien Cook and Campbell Graham will even it up for round two.
If Cameron Murray plays for South Sydney, I have them winning in a close one.
Go the Panthers!