The NYC Panthers have continued their winning ways with a convincing 44-12 victory over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday.
The win reinforces the Panthers' position atop the Holden Cup table and extends their unbeaten run to eight games.
Panthers NYC coach David Tangata-Toa was forced into a late team change with prop Carl Winterstein succumbing to injury. Tevita Mapapalangi was called into the starting side and Jake Brennan made his way onto the bench.
Daniel Brown opened the scoring for the Panthers after only three minutes. The winger found himself on the end of some slick hands on the left edge and touched down in the corner. A successful sideline conversion from Dean Blore put the Panthers ahead 6-0.
On the back of a penalty, the Panthers went straight back on the attack and Reed Izzard helped himself to a try. The backrower held off a would-be tackler and crashed over from close range. Blore’s conversion gave the Panthers a 12-0 lead after after nine minutes.
Another Broncos infringement in the play-the-ball gave the Panthers yet more attacking possession and this time Sam Martin-Savage strolled over for a try in the 10th minute. Blore nailed another conversion for an 18-0 lead.
Billy Burns was next to get in on the try-scoring act, finishing off a break by Caleb Aekins through the heart of the Broncos defence. With the simple conversion from Blore, the Panthers led 24-0 after 19 minutes.
Brisbane finally got themselves on the board in the 26th minute but needed more than a slice of luck to make it happen. After earning repeat sets on the Panthers line, a deflected grubber sat perfectly for Broncos winger David Fauid to score. The successful conversion made the score 24-6.
The Broncos went back-to-back as a break down the left wing by Kotoni Staggs was finished off by Gerome Burns. The conversion brought the Broncos back into the contest at 24-12 after 32 minutes.
HALFTIME – Panthers 24-12
The Panthers got back to their point-scoring ways six minutes after the break after some well-timed hands opened up a yawning gap for Aekins to jog over. Blore hit the conversion sweetly to push the Panthers out to a 30-12 lead.
A Wayde Egan scoot out of dummy half opened up space for the Panthers in the 50th minute and his offload found Vondel Williams-Liolevave in support to score. Blore's conversion from directly in front put the Panthers ahead 36-12.
Liam Martin went on a rampaging 40-metre charge up the middle with 15 minutes left in the contest. Despite the Broncos defenders being on the back foot on the next play, Martin-Savage couldn't quite ground the ball over the tryline.
Burns made up for the missed opportunity three minutes later as he broke the line and dived over for his second try of the game. Blore was off-target with the conversion attempt but the Panthers led 40-12 with ten minutes left to play.
The Broncos defence made the mistake of backing off Panthers playmaker Jarome Luai close to the tryline in the 75th minute. He accepted the invitaition and promptly raced through to score.
FULLTIME - Panthers 44-12