The Panthers turned on the style with a 50-12 belting of Manly in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW at Brookvale Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Enjoying his new role at fullback, Sam Clune scored a double, and winger Josh Hall finished with a personal tally of 22 points from two tries and seven goals from nine attempts.
The Panthers came into the clash with one change to the team named on Tuesday. Elijah Taylor came into the starting side with Ben Garcia going back to the bench. Paea Pua and Wellington Albert both dropped off the five-man bench named by Steve Georgallis on Tuesday.
It took the Panthers only seven minutes to get points on the board. Zach Dockar-Clay got a great cut-out pass to an open Andrew Heffernan and he strolled over untouched. Hall couldn't add the extras from out wide.
Both sides enjoyed a fair share of possession in the first half but it was the Panthers who made the most of their opportunities. In the 20th minute Chris Smith got a delicate short ball off to Clune who sliced through two defenders to extend the lead. Hall converted the four-pointer to give the Panthers a 10-0 lead after 21 minutes.
The Panthers went back-to-back only two minutes later as a Dockar-Clay crossfield bomb wasn't taken and bounced right into the path of George Jennings to score his first try of the year. Hall converted to stretch the lead to 16.
The Panthers dominated the attacking opportunities in the final ten minutes of the first half but couldn’t extend their lead going into the break.
HALF TIME – Panthers 16-0
The Panthers came out of the sheds with renewed vigour and turned the extra enthusiasm into points. Clune laid on a nice ball for Smith, who was too strong for the Sea Eagles defenders on the line. It was the first of six second-half tries for Penrith.
In the 48th minute Hall flew high and came down to earth with the ball. He stretched out to score the try and extend the Panthers lead to 26-0.
It was two tries in seven minutes for Hall when he took advantage of nice play on the inside to run 70 metres untouched. His conversion took the lead out to 32-0.
Dockar-Clay was held up over the tryline in the 65th minute but two plays later got the four-pointer he deserved when he ran through some soft Sea Eagles defence. Hall’s conversion extended the lead to 38-0.
The Sea Eagles horror afternoon continued when Panthers playmaker Matt Place capitalised on an error inside their own half by running 30 metres to score untouched. Hall's conversion from in front took his points tally to 20 and extended the lead to 44.
Addin Fonua-Blake got the first of his two tries for the Sea Eagles in the 71st minute with a strong run close to the Panthers line.
In the 74th minute Clune capped off an impressive performance by beating three Manly defenders to cross for his second of the day.
Manly had the last attacking play of the game and Fonua-Blake grabbed his second try. However it was little consolation for the thrashing his side had just received.
FULL TIME – Panthers 50-12
Panthers Tries: Sam Clune x 2, Josh Hall x 2, Andrew Heffernan, George Jennings, Zach Dockar-Clay, Chris Smith, Matt Place
Panthers Goals – Josh Hall – 7 from 9