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Junior Reps Results: Round 2

Penrith Panthers' SG Ball and Harold Matthews sides had a successful day at Windsor Sports Complex, recording wins over the Newcastle Knights in hot conditions. 

The Tarsha Gale Panthers showed great signs of improvement, but fell short against a strong Knights outfit.

Harrold Matthews Panthers record runaway victory against Newcastle 

The Penrith Panthers were clinical in boiling conditions at Windsor Sports Complex, belting the Newcastle Knights 46-16 to secure their first win in Round 2 of the 2023 season.

Their improved defensive resolve and slick attacking play means they leapfrog the Knights on the competition ladder.

The two teams traded sets in the opening five minutes, before a bone-rattling shot by Panthers winger Cooper Hale forced an error and gave his team the first attacking set.

An early shift to the left allowed centre Casey Mclean to get on the outside of his defender with some good footwork. He put winger Jacob Kelly into space before Kelly passed back to Mclean to dive over for the first try of the game in the 5th minute.

Once again, the home team found themselves on the attack and a fantastic bomb forced an error from the Newcastle winger. Mclean was in the right place at the right time, pouncing on the loose ball before beating two defenders to score his second try of the game in the 10th minute. The conversion was successful for a 10-0.

In the 19th minute, the Penrith spine combined to put on an excellent shift to the right. A strong line run back on the inside by Marcellus Iakopo exploited lazy defenders as he crossed virtually untouched for a 16-0 lead.

In the 25th minute, the Knights finally found some joy, with winger Callan Winter striding down the left flank before stepping off his left foot to beat the last defender and score the away team’s first try, reducing the deficit to 16-6.

Panthers fullback Jaxen Edgar was back to his electrifying best in the second half, leaving the Knights players grasping at thin air as he shimmied his way through the defensive line and crossed for his third try of the season in the 31st minute for a 16-point lead.

In the 35th minute, prop Hokafonu Lemoto had the Knights scrambling with a barnstorming 35 metre run. Off the back of this, a perfectly weighted bomb found grass, and great hustle was shown by Danny Johnstone to dive on the scraps, putting the Panthers up 28-6 after a successful conversion by Jacob Kelly.

In the 42nd minute, an excellent short ball by lock Kye Raven allowed Charbel Kheirallah to go through a hole and score under the posts. Conversion successful, 34-6.

In the 44th minute, lock Kye Raven was again in the thick of things, selling a beautiful dummy to go through and score his first try of the season. Conversion successful, at three-quarter time it was 40-6.

The Knights scored first in the last quarter, stringing together a number of lovely offloads to allow winger Callan Winter to dive over and score his second try of the game. The sideline conversion was unsuccessful as score remained 40-10.

In the 53rd minute, Knights player Fletcher O’Doherty ran a great line, steaming onto the ball and crashing over to score. 

A high shot gifted the Knights another attacking opportunity as they looked to stage a late comeback. However, an obvious obstruction snuffed out any chance of victory for the away team.

An excellent shift saw winger Jacob Kelly striding down the left-hand touchline before he found Tuaomaliemavaitoelau Patea with an inside pass. The five-eighth sealed the game as he scored under the posts in the 57th minute.

Improved Tarsha Gale Panthers fall short against slick Knights outfit

The Panthers were their own worst enemy in an 18-8 Round 2 loss to the Newcastle Knights on a hot Saturday morning at Windsor Sports Complex.

Despite this, an improved defensive resilience shows promising signs for future games.

A penalty for delaying the play the ball early in the first half handed the Knights the opening attacking opportunity. A nice ball from dummy-half Leah Ollerton to Sophie Wilson provided the first points of the match, the prop running against the grain and barging over to score in the 2nd minute. Conversion was successful for a 6-0 lead.

In the 10th minute, a shift by the Knights gave their winger space to run down the sideline, but a fantastic cover tackle by fullback Mackenzie Doust stopped the attack, as she put her body on the line to save a certain try.

In the 16th minute, the away team found themselves in attacking territory once again. The Knights halves linked up to put on a great shift to the right, with the try being scored in the corner by winger Lilly McNamara. McNamara successfully converted her own try with a beautiful kick from the sideline, putting the score at 12-0

As the half went on, the Panthers continued to let themselves down with their lack of attention to detail, often gifting the Knights prime field position through loose carries and wayward passes.

The Panthers were a different team in the second half, calm and composed with the ball, they showed glimpses of what they are truly capable of.

Marching down the field thanks to great runs from fullback Mackenzie Doust and ever-present second rower Montana Clifford, the Panthers were able to really flex their offensive muscles for the first time in the game. A short side shift, with some slick close quarter passing saw winger Kirby Maslin dive over for Penrith’s first try in the 34th minute. 

After trading sets, a high tackle penalty gave the home team a full set in the attacking zone. A well-worked short side move once again found Kirby Maslin. The winger wriggled free from three defenders and slammed the ball down for the Panthers second try of the day in the 43rd minute. The conversion was unsuccessful as the Knights held a 12-8 lead.

Following a shift in momentum, the Panthers defended for most of the last quarter of the game. They turned the Knights away multiple times with outstanding physicality and impressive line speed. However, Knights captain Leah Ollerton was eventually able to take advantage of tired defence, scooting out from dummy half and crashing over under the posts in the 56th minute. 

SG Ball Panthers remain perfect with win over Knights

Penrith Panthers have ensured a perfect start to the SG Ball season with a 22-12 win over Newcastle Knights on Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers scored four tries to two to record consecutive wins in hot conditions at Windsor Sports Complex.

Panthers winger Nick Murphy scored the game’s opening try after four minutes, however Riley Pollard’s conversion was unsuccessful.

The home side’s margin was extended to 10 when Luron Patea crossed the line and Pollard added the extras.

The Knights, however, hit back in the 21st minute through centre Ethan Ferguson, who also slotted the conversion to reduce the deficit to four.

The Panthers went into the sheds at half-time with a 10-6 advantage.

After a tense opining to the second half, Pollard crossed and converted his own try to extend his side’s lead to 10.

Pollard bagged another try in the 64th minute and added the extras to tally 14 individual points for the afternoon.

Travis May scored a try for the Knights with two minutes remaining, however the Panthers claimed a 10-point win.

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.