A good forward pack is essential to winning Rugby League games, always has been and always will be. It's not called the engine for no reason.
The term "Spine" in Rugby League hasn't been around for long and only came about due to the dominance of Queensland SOO side with legends playing 1,6,7 and 9.
SLATER, LOCKYER/THURSTON, CRONK AND CAMERON SMITH.
From then on, the importance of these positions has also proven to be vital for teams but without big name forwards they cannot provide the foundation to allow their backs to do their best in the latter part of the game.
Before my time, but I use to hear of older retired players, in the media, talk about the importance of a strong forward pack. Saints had it when they were dominant. Rex Mossop used to always say "defence wins games". By that he meant an attacking defence, which has been sorely lacking in our pack for a number of seasons now but we're heading in the right direction.
Peter Kelly and Peter Tunks laid the foundations for the Bulldogs to win premierships that allowed Ba Ba to run riot back in the '80's and in 2004 we had Mason and O'Meley destroying opposition defence.
Over the last 3-year Panthers have had Tamou and James Fisher-Harris in 2020 with Leota a substitute front row forward. Tamou moved on and Leota filled the void, and the rest is history.