Panthers dismantle Tigers
The Penrith Panthers have comprehensively bounced back from last week after trouncing Wests Tigers 36-2 at Campbelltown Stadium.
Coach Anthony Griffin made two late changes to his side, calling up Sitaleki Akauola and Viliame Kikau to make his NRL debut.
An early foray down the left edge for the Tigers looked to set up the first try of the game when Moses Suli kicked back inside, but a covering Dylan Edwards defused the situation and allowed the Panthers to escape.
A Tigers error and a penalty carried the Panthers up field in to prime position before the referee’s whistle blew again, prompting the visitors to take a shot at goal.
Nathan Cleary duly converted to give his side a two point advantage after ten minutes.
The home side would be denied twice by the officials when Suli knocked on over the line following a review from the Bunker before David Nofoaluma was brought back when the linesman ruled a Mitchell Moses pass travelled forward.
In the 20th minute it was the Panthers’ turn to be denied when the Bunker adjudged Te Maire Martin to have lost possession in goal.
Both sides continued to create opportunities in search of the game’s first try.
Matt Moylan put Waqa Blake in a gap before the skippers kick evaded an onrushing Cleary with the try line at his mercy.
Moses levelled the scores on the half hour mark courtesy of a penalty 40 metres out but that didn’t last long after Dean Whare crossed for the first try of the game.
Moylan ran across the defence and perfectly summed up the situation with a well-timed pass to put Whare over to give his side a 6-2 lead.
A debut try to Kikau further extended that lead to ten just three minutes from half-time.
The heavy-hitting forward ran on to a short ball and exploded through a gap, giving the defence no chance of stopping him close to the line.
There was still time to inflict further damage as the Panthers broke through again after a dynamic run from Tyrone Peachey.
The fleet-footed centre bumped away from one tackle and lured in James Tedesco to put Edwards in to score before Cleary converted to give the traveling fans more to cheer about.
HALF TIME: Wests Tigers 2 – 18 Penrith Panthers
The second half started similarly to the first with the Tigers being denied by the Bunker before the Panthers opened the scoring nine minutes in – this time through Leilani Latu.
Latu led the chase on a Martin bomb and marked the kick above Suli to cross over next to the posts as the visitors opened up a 22 point lead.
As the Tigers defence started to tire, the Panthers began to run riot.
Whare’s second try just after the hour mark was followed by Cleary’s first of the afternoon seven minutes from full time to wrap up a convincing 34-point victory.
FULL TIME: Wests Tigers 2 – 36 Penrith Panthers