Panthers overcome slow start to bury Bulldogs

The Panthers have recorded back-to-back wins to open their Tarsha Gale Cup campaign after crushing Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 40-8 at Panthers Stadium on Saturday.

After trailing 8-6 after 20 minutes, Penrith stormed home in the later stages of the game, scoring 34 unanswered points on the way to victory.

A strong charge from Bulldogs interchange forward Lianimishay Mahara drew a penalty and gifted Canterbury the first scoring opportunity of the morning.  And they were quick to capitalise, with Mahara streaming through off a lovely short ball to score in the 16th minute.

A high tackle saw the Panthers marched upfield off the restart and they hit back as Justyce Cleverly zipped through the middle before sprinting away to score under the posts.

The try was converted by Carlene Lever, seeing Penrith take the lead.

Canterbury crossed over right on the siren when they shifted the ball left and created an overlap, with Victoria Barham crossing over in the corner.

20 minutes: Panthers 6 Bulldogs 8

The Panthers didn’t let the late try dampen their resolve though, responding just four minutes into the second third to regain the lead.

It all started off a barnstorming run from Sela Palu, who dragged five Canterbury defenders with her towards the line before quickly playing it for Cydney-Lee Cherrington. The ball was then spread left to Hayley McGregor who sent Alana Everingham-Bryon over untouched.

Penrith then pressured the Bulldogs into a mistake off the restart and extended their lead as a simple right-side shift saw Viviarnna Simpson score.

Riding a wave of momentum, the Panthers added another one shortly after when Reshaun Vaughan steamed onto a cheeky grubber through the middle and raced away. The try was converted by Litiana Tuifua and gave Penrith a 20-8 lead.

A lovely cutout ball from Bree Chester put Vaughan in space again and the winger was only just pulled up short of the line. Chester was at it again the following play, this time offloading for Cherrington to score.

A forward pass saw Canterbury hand possession back to the Panthers, and as they had done all morning, they were quick to capitalise. This time, Kirra Bolland put Livinia Taiseni over in the right corner to extend Penrith’s lead to 20 at the break.

40 minutes: Panthers 28 Bulldogs 8

Cherrington nabbed her second try of the morning when she took the line and scored next to the posts in the 52nd minute.

Emelia Kaafi then pounced on a crossfield kick before looking inside and finding McGregor in support.

Full time: Panthers 40 Bulldogs 8