The Panthers have defeated Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20-10 in hot and humid conditions at Belmore Sports Ground.
Penrith would get the ball rolling early courtesy of a relieving penalty from deep within their own half. Te Maire Martin spread the ball right to Dylan Edwards who attracted two defenders before laying it off to Waqa Blake to give his side a 4-0 lead after Darren Nicholls’ attempted conversion was waved away.
Back-to-back penalties carried the Bulldogs up field and they thought they had scored through Brett Morris but the referee called it back for a forward pass from Tyrone Phillips.
Sustained pressure on the Bulldogs with heavy contact in defence would force an error and give the Panthers prime field position.
Martin once again orchestrated the attack as he expertly put Corey Harawira-Naera in a gap close to the try line. Nicholls converted from near the sideline to extend the lead to 10-0.
The Bulldogs were able to build their own pressure off the back of multiple penalties inside the Panthers 20 metre line and finally made it count after a Sam Kasiano offload close to the try line found Danny Fualalo to score under the black dot. Josh Reynolds added the easy two to cut the deficit to four points just shy of the half time break.
Anthony Griffin brought on many of his youngsters in the second half and they looked to take advantage of the opportunity against a stacked Bulldogs outfit.
Penrith started the second half strongly and were able to capitalise on a repeat set following a penalty.
Sione Katoa took advantage of a lack of markers and scooted from dummy half to plant the ball over. Dockar-Clay’s conversion struck the upright and bounced clear as the Panthers moved to an eight point lead.
It would soon be fourteen when Dockar-Clay broke through the line from inside his own half and released Mason Cerruto to score untouched next to the posts before Dockar-Clay added the extras.
A wave of Bulldogs attacks would follow but they could only muster a late consolation through Lachlan Lewis that was unconverted as the Panthers ran away 20-10 winners.