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Silky Panthers tear Souths to shreds

The Jersey Flegg Panthers have charged to their fourth-straight win, shutting out South Sydney 42-0 at St Marys Leagues Stadium on Saturday.

In the first half Penrith turned entertainers, running in five tries with winger Stephen Crichton ending the game with two tries and just as many try assists.

Fullback Charlie Staines was also electric from the back, scoring an early double.

The second half saw the Panthers prove themselves just as strong in defence, holding out numerous attacking raids to hold the fourth-placed Rabbitohs scoreless.

It was a faultless display, made even more impressive by the fact they were missing key players Shawn Blore, Spencer Leniu and Daine Laurie.

The Panthers earned prime field position early after a clever charge down from hooker Ryan Pritchard.

And they quickly capitalised, Staines going over out wide.

Having sent Staines over for the opening try, five-eighth Matt Burton then put in a smart kick to force an error from South Sydney inside their own in-goal area as pressure continued to mount.

But Burton spilled the ball moments later.

Both sides then settled into the grind before a brilliant offload from Bradley Gaut opened up space on the left edge.

Winger Glenn McGrady then raced down the touchline before a string of passes back inside ended with Staines slicing over under the posts.

It was the fullback’s ninth try from seven games and the successful conversion from Brendan Hands pushed the lead out to 10.

A penalty off the restart saw the Panthers score once more.

This time it was Lindsay Smith who created the numbers, his late offload seeing the ball shifted left as Crichton plant the ball down.

Hands again piloted the ball through the posts, Penrith leading 16-0 after just under 20 minutes.

The Panthers were just as impressive defending their line, prop Jayden Tanner coming up with a crucial tackle on a charging South Sydney forward.

Offloads continued to trouble the Rabbitohs, with McGrady popping a beautiful pass back inside for Crichton who surged upfield before linking up inside with halfback Hands.

Everything was sticking for the Panthers in the opening half, their lethal left edge again featuring as McGrady was rewarded with a try of his own.

It came after a quick ball from J’maine Hopgood created a three-on-two overlap, with a simple exchanging of hands seeing Crichton nab his second try assist of the game.

Hands converted three of five tries in the first forty, the score line sitting at 26-0.

HALF-TIME: Panthers 26 Rabbitohs 0

Penrith’s silky skills almost saw them go over in the 43rd minute when Ratu Nanovo flicked the ball back inside for Crichton but the pass was called forward.

Having dominated the first half in attack, the Panthers were then called to prove themselves without the ball in hand, defending several sets on their own line in the opening 15 minutes of the second.

And having weathered the storm, they eventually extended their lead in the 53rd minute when winger Matthew Faauila chased down a kick otherwise destined to go out, batting the ball back inside to Thomas Lofts to score an incredible try.

The determined defence continued deep into the second half, Hands coming up with a strong one-on-one tackle to stop a surging Tallis Angianga from scoring.

Once again, they were rewarded for their hard work, Staines bursting down the left edge before putting McGrady over for his second.

Crichton then sliced over as Penrith hit 40 points, the successful conversion pushing the final difference out to 42.

FULL-TIME: Panthers 42 Rabbitohs 0

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.