NRL Rd 18 - Panthers v Eels
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 11: Nathan Cleary of the Panthers is tackled during the round 18 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Parramatta Eels at Panthers Stadium on September 11, 2020 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NRL great Tim Mannah believes Penrith will be unable to replicate their impressive 2020 campaign this season.

The Panthers were dominate in the 2020 home and away season, going on a 17-game winning streak before falling to the Melbourne Storm in the Grand Final.

Mannah believes they will struggle to have a similar run this time around following poor glimpses in their Round 1 outing against North Queensland.

“Watching the game on the weekend, I don’t think Penrith are going to be as good as last year,” Mannah said on SEN Gold Coast’s Pat and Heals.

“They’re still going to have a good season, but they won’t have the same run.

“There were a few signs for me with their attack which pointed to everything not working as perfectly as it did last year.

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“The run they had last year was pretty special and I can’t see that happening again.”

The Panthers kept the Cowboys scoreless in their opening round clash and looked like they would be a genuine force again in 2021.

Phil Gould was another that believes the Panthers will need to improve to be as big a force as last year.

Speaking post-game on Channel Nine, Gould said there was plenty to take away from their performance at Panthers Stadium.

"There's a lot to be learned from that game," Gould said on Nine's commentary.

"I doubt the team song will be sung. The Cowboys were really gutsy, they tried really hard.

"The Panthers really had to dig deep."

Penrith will be looking to add to their Round 1 victory this weekend when they come up against Canterbury on Saturday.