The NSW Cup Panthers surged home in the second half to score an impressive 32-6 victory over Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Lottoland on Saturday.
Penrith's advantage was reduced to four points early in the second stanza but with Taylan May and Izack Tago proving particularly hard to handle, the Panthers finished strongly to continue their undefeated start to the season.
Panthers winger Luke Nadurutalo had a golden opportunity to score the opener but a last-ditch tackle from Sea Eagles fullback Morgan Harper saw him lose possession over the line.
After surviving some raids on their own line the Panthers finally opened the scoring in the 20th minute. Centre Izack Tago scooted out of dummy half and showed some impressive speed to crack the defensive line and score. The attempted conversion from Kurt Falls was waved away but the visitors led 4-0.
After bombing a number of chances close to the Manly line, the Panthers found a try out of nothing in the 35th minute. Centre Taylan May showed some slick footwork to break clear before finding forward Billy Tsikrikas in support. The successful conversion from Falls gave Panthers a 10-0 lead.
HALF-TIME – Panthers 10 – Sea Eagles 0
Blacktown opened their account ten minutes into the second half. On the back of a dubious penalty, backrower Jordin Leiu proved too strong for the Panthers defence close to the line. Brad Keighran knocked the conversion over to make it 10-6.
The Panthers hit back in the 56th minute with Tago again proving hard to handle. The centre’s charge through the line put the defence on the back foot and Alec Susino took full advantage to score.
Moments later Panthers winger Tom Jenkins flew high to pluck a Falls bomb out of the air and score a spectacular try. Falls couldn’t convert and the score remained 20-6 with 20 minutes left in the contest.
Finding himself in the right place at the right time, Jaeman Salmon then scored a quickfire double in the space of three minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
FULL-TIME - Panthers 32 - Sea Eagles 6