Four tries to fullback Teagan Toa-Toa helped the Tarsha Gale Panthers to a dominant 32-0 victory over Canberra Raiders at St Marys Stadium on Saturday.
While the home side put on a show in attack, it was their determination in defence that was the real highlight as Penrith continually turned Canberra away to bounce back from last week’s 38-16 loss.
As the rain fell at St Marys, the early stages of Saturday morning’s match were dominated by errors with neither side able to build any real pressure.
The Panthers were eventually able to capitalise on a Canberra mistake though, with centre Hope Tevaga pouncing onto a loose ball and diving over in the 13th minute.
They extended their lead minutes later when Litiana Tuifua held up a pass to put Toa-Toa over untouched in the corner.
Neither of the tries were converted, seeing Penrith take an 8-0 lead into the first break.
20-MINUTE BREAK: Panthers 8 Raiders 0
While points were hard to come by shortly after the break, some big hits in defence ensured that the home crowd were kept entertained.
A massive hit from Carlene Lever on Samantha Clegg was met by a loud applause before Lavinia Taiseni came up with two crucial tackles to deny the Raiders their first try of the game.
And the centre was rewarded moments later as she finished off a slick passage of play for the home side.
After being put in space, Reshaun Vaughan sprinted down the left touchline before being pulled up 30 metres out. With all the momentum, the ball was quickly shifted to the right edge where, after an exchange of passes, Lavinia Taiseni crossed over.
The conversion was successful, bringing Penrith’s lead to 14.
Full of confidence, the Panthers went back-to-back after forcing an error off the restart. Tuifua and Toa-Toa combined yet again as the speedy fullback sliced over out wide.
The attempted conversion was pushed left.
40-MINUTE BREAK: Panthers 18 Raiders 0
Penrith capitalised on a glut of possession early as Tuifua crashed over in the 46th minute for her second try of the morning as they home side pushed their lead out to 22.
The Raiders looked to have finally cracked them as Klaudia Osztrenkovics streamed down the sideline and towards the corner. But a desperate attempt from the Panthers saw the ball forced free.
And they were rewarded for their determination moments later when Toa-Toa split through the middle to race 60 metres for her third try of the morning.
Osztrenkovics was at it again moments later when she stormed down the right wing but the Panthers held strong again, with Cydney-Lee Cherrington stopping the runaway winger in a great one-on-one tackle.
Penrith would leave it to the final seconds to strike with Toa-Toa steaming onto a kick to run away and score her fourth try of the game.
FULL-TIME: Panthers 32 Raiders 0