A drizzly afternoon at Sportingbet Stadium was the scene for some entertaining footy by the NRL/NSW Cup Panthers outfit.
Jamal Idris first touch of the ball in Panthers colours saw him cross over for the first try of the game within 5 minutes.
The Panthers dominated possession in the opening period of play forcing repeat sets and controlling field possession through the kicking game of Peter Wallace.
Vaipuna Tia Kilifi ran onto a great short ball from Will Smith to stretch the lead out to 12 inside 9 minutes.
Strong defence from Brent Kite in the middle of the field led to the Panthers third try of the afternoon to 2013 leading try scorer David Simmons. He was fed a nice ball by Jamal Idris and tip toed across the final 5 metres to touch down in the corner. Peter Wallace nailed the conversion from the sideline.
Wallace’s cross field bomb in the 19th minute was dropped Fetongi Tuiavanui. Waqa Blake found himself on the outside of his man however couldn’t hold onto Tom Eisenhuth’s pass.
Tight defence throughout the game and drizzling rain resulted in a diabolical completion rate by Parramatta.
Another Peter Wallace bomb was tapped back by big Jamal and Simmons quickly pounced on the opportunity to cross for his second try of the half with 14 minutes to go.
Six minutes later David Simmons went through some soft defence in the middle to get his hat trick, the kick easily converted by Peter Wallace.
David Simmons, Vaipuna Tia Kilifi , Peter Wallace and Jamal Idris all impressed in a half that was dominated by the Panthers.
Wallace’s kicking game terrorised the Eels back three and led to the sixth try of the half to Kieran Moss. Moss swept around the back of a Panthers scrum and sliced his way through the line after a Wallace grubber wasn’t fumbled by Parramatta’s number 1. Wallace couldn’t keep his perfect kicking record missing the conversion.
Half time: Panthers 34-0
An early error to Leilani Latu gifted the Eels some early ball in the second half however it was Sakeo Dibeci who opened the scoring. Wallace easily converted to extend the lead to 40.
Waqa Blake got on the scorers sheet in the 52nd minute after he got a lucky bounce from a Wallace grubber kick.
Joseph Matapulu got the visitors on the score sheet after 55 minutes. He ran onto a short ball a few metres out and bustled his way over.
Peter Wallace became the beneficiary of in the 59th minute and he crossed for his first try in Panthers colours.
The Panthers couldn’t gather the restart and Fetongi Tuiavanui scored his second shortly after in the corner.
Keiran Moseley started an enterprising play down the short side which Waqa Blake failed to capitalise on, he couldn’t hold a Regan Haiki ball that would have seen him score his second.
The intensity of the game fell away in the back end of the second half with errors from both sides. The likes of Peter Wallace, Jamal Idris, Tim Grant and James Segeyaro were all replaced.
Daniel foster provided a great ball for Ethan Cook who ran through some flimsy defence late in the game.
The Panthers will take plenty of positives from this game. The kicking game of Peter Wallace was a big feature of the first half and strong defence set the tone for the outside backs to run riot over a Wentworthville team that couldn’t get into the game.
Full time – Panthers 52-10
Tries: David Simmons 3, Vaipuna Tia Kilifi, Jamal Idris, Kieran Moss, Sakei Dibeci, Waqa Blake, Ethan Cook
Conversions: Peter Wallace 7 from 8, Ayoub 0 from 1