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Second half surge sees Panthers defeat Knights

The Panthers have leapfrogged Newcastle Knights into second spot on the Jersey Flegg ladder following a comprehensive 42-12 victory at Panthers Stadium on Saturday.

The result was settled early in the second half with three tries in 17 minutes sealing the win for the Panthers.

However it was Newcastle who started the better of the two sides, taking just five minutes to open the scoring.

Right centre Timanu Alexander barged his way over despite the attention of Shannon Harris. The conversion attempt from Bayden Searle was waved away.

The Panthers hit back through winger Thomas Lofts. Given early ball, Lofts used his quick feet to beat his opposite number and plant the ball down. Fullback Glenn McGrady nailed the touchline conversion.

The back-and-forth tussle continued throughout the first half with the sides trading four-pointers.

A quick play-the-ball from Newcastle saw dummy half Luke Huth beat a number of defenders to the try line in the 17th minute. The unsuccessful conversion saw the score remain 8-6.

Soon after, Panthers five-eighth Adam Fearnley took the line on and beat some flimsy defence to put the Panthers back in front. McGrady slotted the conversion from the right touchline to give the Panthers a 12-8 lead.

Fearnley was on the spot to claim back-to-back four-pointers when he pounced on a grubber from halfback Hayden Bonnano to score under the posts. McGrady’s simple conversion took the lead to 18-8 at the break.

HALF-TIME: Panthers 18 - Knights 8

In the second half a sublime set play created plenty of space and the ball was fired out wide for winger Justin Jones to capitalise. McGrady made it four from four with another accurate strike.

Penrith then put the game out of reach with another two tries in quick succession.

Maurice Trindall and Shannon Harris combined as the latter pounced on a pin-point grubber to score the Panthers' fifth try of the afternoon, before Luke Geary made the most of some early ball to find his way to the try line.

McGrady was flawless with the boot, converting both four-pointers to take the score to 36-8.

Matthew Moon crossed for a consolation try with just four minutes to play but the Knights to failed to convert from out wide.

Jones finished the game with a double after touching down in the final seconds of the game. McGrady slotted another tough conversion to maintain his perfect kicking record, finishing with seven from seven.

FULL-TIME: Panthers 42 – Knights 12