Panthers wallop Wests Tigers
The ISP Panthers pulled off a second-straight demolition job as they dismantled Wests Tigers 48-6 at St Marys Leagues Stadium on Sunday.
Fresh from beating Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 54-0 last week, the Panthers continued their red-hot form from the opening whistle against the Tigers.
A Maika Sivo hat-trick and a double to Viliame Kikau led the way for the hosts as they leapfrogged the Warriors in to second on the competition ladder.
Resilient line defence from the Panthers was rewarded with consecutive penalties carrying them up-field to post the opening points thanks to a trademark dummy-half move from Wayde Egan. The hooker caught the markers flat-footed to scoot over from close range to give his side a 6-0 lead after ten minutes.
The home side doubled their advantage five minutes later when Kikau showed his array of talents with a cut-out pass putting Maika Sivo in space to score out wide. Darren Nicholls landed the conversion from the sideline to make it 12-0.
Kikau turned provider to scorer on the 25 minute mark when he ran on to a Nicholls short ball and charged his way through the Tigers defence to extend their lead to 18-0 after another Nicholls conversion.
His barnstorming first-half got even better on the half-hour mark when he brushed off a handful of defenders and carried another one over the line for his second try to push the score out to 24-0.
A horror first-half for the Tigers was compounded four minutes before the break with Luke Garner being sent to the sin-bin for dissent.
There was still enough time left for the Panthers to run in their fifth try when Kaide Ellis crossed over as the siren blew to end a dominant opening half with the Panthers leading 30-0.
HALF-TIME: Penrith Panthers 30 – 0 Wests Tigers
The visitors emerged for the second half intent on adding respectability to the scoreline and thought they had their reward but for an obstruction denying them their first points.
Instead, the Panthers would extend their lead thanks to a perfectly-weighted Jed Cartwright cut-out pass finding Christian Crichton in acres of space. Nicholls’ conversion struck the upright and bounced clear as the scoreboard read 34-0.
The Panthers onslaught showed no signs of stopping when Corey Waddell got in on the act after an hour, rising highest to claim a Nicholls cross-field kick and scoring next to the uprights, allowing Nicholls a simple conversion to make it 40-0.
Sivo would dive over for his second try five minutes later when Kikau once again got the better of the defence to free an arm and offload to an unmarked Sivo for a 44-0 lead.
A penalty carried the Tigers up field and they finally broke through a stubborn Panthers defence thanks to Jordan Grant’s short-range effort with ten minutes remaining on the clock to make it 44-6.
But the Panthers weren’t done yet as Sivo got on the end of a sweeping move to claim his hat-trick four minutes from time to wrap up a convincing 48-6 win.
FULL-TIME: Penrith Panthers 48 – 6 Wests Tigers