The Penrith Panthers NSW Cup side has gone down to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Oval. The second loss in as many weeks sees the Panthers slip down the ladder to third position.
Ill-discipline and far too many handling errors ensured the Panthers were going to have a tough afternoon against a strong Bulldogs outfit.
Coach Garth Brennan was forced to make a number of changes to his side he named at the start of the week due to the NRL re-shuffling. NYC captain Brent Naden and teammate Oliver Clark were brought into the NSW Cup squad after Will Smith and Robert Jennings got the call-up into first grade.
Naden started in his native fullback position and Adrian Davies moved into the halves whilst Clark started on the bench. Maliko Falino and Andy Saunders were brought into the starting line-up with Matt Eisenhuth moving back onto the bench.
A succession of penalties close to the line allowed the Bulldogs to open the scoring in the 9th minute. Corey Thompson scored in the corner on the back of a wide attacking shift. The conversion was unsuccessful, taking the Bulldogs to a 4-0 lead.
The Panthers hit back in the 20th minute after Isaac John threw a lofted three-man cut out pass to gift Malakai Watene-Zelezniak a try in the corner. Adrian Davies was unable to convert and the scores remained 4 all.
Tyrone Phillips scored for the Bulldogs in the 29th minute after being on the end of a well-weighted grubber kick in broken play. The conversion was again unsuccessful and the score remained Bulldogs 8-4.
Isaac John again showed his attacking class, this time taking the ball to the line and playing a short ball to a barnstorming Tupou Sopoaga to cross the line in the 39th minute. Adrian Davies successfully converted the try to take the Panthers to a 10-8 lead at halftime.
HALF TIME: Panthers 10-8
The opening stages of the second-half saw both teams unable to get an upper hand from multiple handling errors and poor last tackle options.
Leilani Latu was devastating in defence, setting the platform for his fellow forwards and almost scoring a try only to be held up over the line. However that was the extent of Penrith’s chances.
In the 68th minute, Corey Thompson bagged his second try for the afternoon, scoring in the corner after the Panthers couldn’t nullify the Bulldogs second-phase offloads. Levi Dodd kicked the conversion to take Canterbury to a 14-10 lead.
Halfback Lindon McGrady sliced through a tiring Penrith defensive line in the 72nd minute. The try was successful which took the Bulldogs to a 20-10 lead.
Winger Corey Thompson capped off a strong performance by getting his third try for the day in the dying stages of the game. With the conversion unsuccessful the final score remained Bulldogs 24-10.
FULL TIME: Bulldogs 24-10