The Jersey Flegg Panthers showed off some slick attacking play in defeating South Sydney Rabbitohs 32-4 in a trial game at Redfern Oval on Saturday.
Glen McGrady bagged a second half hat-trick, highlighted by a spectacular solo effort in which he twice grubbered the ball.
The Panthers opened the scoring after four minutes on the back of a Rabbitohs error. Prop Spencer Leniu, who is one of the club’s six development players, hit the ball at speed and powered his way over from close range.
As the sides traded errors and penalties, Panthers prop Alex Myles thought he had extended the lead for the visitors but was ruled to have been held up over the tryline.
Meanwhile the Rabbitohs persisted with a tactic of running the ball on the last tackle and only some desperate goal-line defence from the Panthers held them out.
Eventually the pressure told in the 25th minute as the Souths five-eighth Lachlan Ilias cut back and found just enough space to crash over in the tackle.
The Panthers regained the lead three minutes before the break as Fred Pupu broke the line and drew the Souths fullback. Panthers fullback Daine Laurie loomed up in support and Pupu hit him with the perfect pass, and he streaked away to score.
HALF-TIME: Panthers 8 Souths 4
The Panthers extended their lead four minutes into the second half as Glen McGrady created a try for himself out of nothing. The new recruit grubbered through the line, then put another deft touch on the ball to beat the fullback, before regaining possession and diving over.
McGrady grabbed his second try from the next set as Chase Chapman broke clear on the left edge and found the fullback in support.
As the rain swept across Redfern Oval, Tom Farr pushed the Panthers even further ahead as he beat the last defender to cross in the right corner.
McGrady wrapped up his second half hat-trick with four minutes left in the contest after timing his run perfectly to dive on a grubber.
Hayden Bonnano then wrapped up the comprehensive victory with a breakaway try.
FULL-TIME: Panthers 32 Souths 4