Panthers suffer heavy defeat to Wests Tigers

The slide of the Panthers Jersey Flegg side continued with a convincing 34-6 defeat to Wests Tigers at Panthers Stadium on Sunday.

The Panthers had plenty of attacking pportunities but were unable to capitalise, particularly after losing halfback Hayden Bonanno to injury.

The Tigers on the other hand were ruthless in attack, scoring six unanswered tries as the Panthers’ winless run stretched to four games.

The Panthers were first on the board though, through an impressive solo effort.

Glenn McGrady got his side off to a flying start, pouncing on his own grubber after catching the Tigers fullback out of position. He added the conversion for an early 6-0 lead.

But it was all the Tigers thereafter, who were clinical with the ball in hand.

Fullback Logen Dillon got the Tigers going, as he slammed it down at the end of a swift backline move in the 6th minute.

Tigers halfback Ben Stevanovic showed great vision to hand his side the lead in the 11th minute. After throwing a wild cut-out pass to set up a line break, Stevanovic got the ball back and put a clever chip over the top for Shondre Lee-Silva to score.

The Panthers showed great courage to defend four straight sets on their own line, only to concede a soft, last-tackle try to hooker Rua Ngatikaura.

Stevanovic converted all three tries, and the Tigers were well in control at 18-6.

The Panthers had the last chance of the first half when Adam Fearnley sliced through the middle and kicked wide, only to find Tigers players on his outside.

HALF-TIME: WESTS TIGERS 18 – PANTHERS 6

After a cruel bounce denied the Panthers a try early in the second half, the Tigers strolled up the other end and asserted their dominance.

Jordan Main’s line break left the Panthers backpedalling, and Dillon crashed over for his double. Stevanovic maintained his perfect record with the boot to take the Tigers out to a 24-6 lead after 40 minutes.

The Panthers had chances in the second half but shot themselves in the foot with error after error.

Meanwhile, the Tigers were clinical with their opportunities. They hit a 22-point lead in the 48th minute, when Stevanovic toed it through for Liam Scolari.

Yet another chance went begging in the 64th minute. Glenn McGrady held it up nicely before unleashing it for Thomas Lofts, but the winger got barrelled into touch by the Tigers’ cover defence.

The Panthers spent an extended period in the red zone, but simply looked lost in attack, and finally conceded possession when the ball rolled into touch.

The Tigers needed no invitation moments later, as Zac Cini finished off a long-range effort in the 62nd minute.

Stevanovic landed the conversion from out wide, sealing a 28-point win for the visitors.

FULL-TIME: WESTS TIGERS 34 – PANTHERS 6