The NYC Panthers have capped off a stellar regular season with a 47-14 demolition job on Manly at Pepper Stadium.
Panthers centre Christian Crichton opened the scoring after only six minutes as he crashed over from close range. Dylan Edwards couldn’t convert and it remained 4-0.
Manly hit back with a spectacular try in the right corner to winger Jayden El-Jalkh a couple of minutes later. Halfback Nicho Hynes nailed the sideline conversion to make it 6-4.
The Panthers responded with an 18th minute try to winger Daniel Brown after a jink from centre Braidon Burns drew three defenders. Edwards once again couldn’t convert but the home side were ahead 8-6.
Too strong for the two tacklers hanging off him, Crichton crashed over for his second try only four minutes later. Edwards was closer with the attempted conversion but this time was denied by the upright and the lead remained 12-6.
Corey Waddell was the next Panther to add his name to the scoresheet with a strong run to score. Edwards was the most relieved man on the field, with the conversion from almost directly in front this time. He made no mistake for an 18-6 lead.
Ratu Tuisese capped off a solid first half for the Panthers with a 70m break to score. Edwards again converted to make it 24-6 at the break.
HALFTIME – Panthers 24-6
Reed Izzard opened the second half with a scoot out of dummy half to score out wide. The conversion attempt from Edwards fell short but the Panthers led 28-6.
Defensive lapses began to creep into the Panthers game and they conceded a concerningly soft try in the 49th minute.
Filling in admirably for the suspended Jarome Luai, Wayde Egan stepped his way to the line in the 54th minute. The conversion from Edwards made the score 34-10.
An athletic arm extension from Liam Martin saw him plant the ball down for a try four minutes later and Edwards converted to make it 40-10.
The Sea Eagles restored some pride with a second try to El-Jalkh after a sharp cut-out ball in the 66th minute. The conversion was off target and the score remained 40-14.
Izzard grabbed his second try with ten minutes left in the game. Edwards slotted the conversion to make it 46-14.
Cowen Epere was sin-binned with eight minutes left in the contest after becoming involved in a melee.
It made little difference as the Panthers knocked over a field goal and charged their way into the final series and week one showdown with the Sharks.
FULLTIME - Panthers 47-14