A first half hat-trick of tries from Panthers playmaker Dean Blore set up an impressive 38-12 win over Sydney Roosters at Pepper Stadium on Saturday.
The dominant performance handed the Roosters their first defeat of the season and highlighted the potential of the NYC Panthers in 2017.
In the fifth minute Panthers centre Sam Martin-Savage scythed his way over the tryline but spilled the ball just as he looked certain to score.
The Panthers didn’t have to wait much longer, though, as Dean Blore reached out in the tackle to slam the ball down for a 10th minute try. Jarome Luai couldn’t convert from out wide but the home side led 4-0.
Blore bagged an early brace after swooping on a loose ball in the 19th minute and sprinting 70m to score, despite a last-ditch tackle from Roosters fullback Kiah Cooper. Luai’s attempted conversion was again waved away but the Panthers enjoyed an 8-0 lead.
A simple dummy close to the line was enough for playmaker Blore to suddenly snatch a first-half hat-trick in the 31st minute. This time Luai nailed the conversion to put the Panthers ahead 14-0.
The Panthers pushed their lead out even further as winger Daniel Brown got in on the action. On the end of some slick hands, he touched down in the corner for a try in the 34th minute. Blore attempted the sideline conversion but just missed.
HALFTIME – Panthers 18-0
The Panthers continued the try-scoring feats immediately after the break as winger Brian Too touched down in the corner to make it 22-0.
When Reed Izzard crashed over on a shortside burst in the 49th minute, the scoreboard was getting ugly for the Roosters. Blore’s missed conversion left it reading 26-0 in favour of the Panthers.
Richie Munchow bagged a try for himself in the 56th minute when simple hands created a numerical advantage for the Panthers on the right edge. Blore was on target with the conversion to make it 32-0.
The Roosters finally opened their account with 18 minutes left in the contest as Josh Curran dived over after a smart change of angle. Former Panther Sean O'Sullivan struck the conversion to make the score 32-6.
It was the resumption of normal proceedings as Panthers fullback Caleb Aekins crashed over in the tackle with six minutes left to play. Blore slotted the conversion and the lead was back out to 32 points.
However it was the Roosters who had the final say in the contest as hooker Jesse Marschke finished off a linebreak with a converted try.
FULLTIME - Panthers 38-12