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Clinical Panthers crush Canberra

The Panthers extended their unbeaten start to the SG Ball Cup season with a 44-18 defeat of Canberra Raiders at Belconnen Oval on Saturday.

Penrith five-eighth Luke Hanson and winger Jimmy Donnelly bagged doubles while halfback Keagan Russell-Smith converted six of the team's eight tries.

An early error from the Raiders gave the Panthers the opportunity to open the scoring, with Hanson receiving the ball off the scrum and charging down field to score.

Five minutes later the five-eighth turned provider, showing quick hands to find Donnelly on the wing, who crossed untouched.

Russell-Smith converted the try to put the Panthers ahead 10-0.

Enjoying all the momentum, the Panthers crossed again in the 22nd minute, with Angelis Hotere-Papalii offloading to Harrison Hassett, who looked left to find Hanson for his second try.

The conversion from Russell-Smith put Penrith ahead by 16.

The onslaught then continued as the Panthers piled on three tries in six minutes, with Samuel Lane, Hotere-Papalii and Riley Wake all crossing the line for four pointers, which were duly converted by Russell-Smith.


Canberra opened the scoring in the second half, with Jett Liu scooping up a loose ball to charge through a scrambled Panthers line. Halfback Corey Lewis converted the try to reduce the deficit to 28.

However normal service resumed shortly after when Panthers fullback Liam Ison broke a tackle and found open space. From the ensuing play, winger Ethan Hutchings dived over in the corner to make it 38-6.

Canberra lock Mitchell Prest streamed through the posts off a lovely short ball to add an extra four points for the home side, with the conversion from Lewis making it 38-12 with ten minutes left in the game.

In the 67th minute the Panthers identified an overlap on the left edge and Donnelly bagged his second try of the day.

However it was the Raiders who would score the final points of the one-sided contest, as prop Taulauniuotagaloa Mariota used his size to his advantage, ploughing through an attempted tackle to score beside the posts.


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.