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Harold Matthews Panthers crush Bulldogs to claim minor premiership

The Harold Matthew Panthers have beaten the Bulldogs 52-6 in a top of the table clash at HE Laybutt Field on Saturday morning. The resounding win seals the minor premiership for the Penrith team, having only lost one game all season.

The entire team was fantastic in the win, although special mentions go to the Lemoto brothers who were far too strong for the Bulldogs, and Jaxen Edgar who continues to stun defensive lines with his dancing footwork.

Despite the lopsided final score, it was Noah Byrne who opened the scoring for the Bulldogs in the 6th minute, selling a dummy to his outside men and diving over from hooker. Conversion by Mitchell Woods successful, 0-6.

The Panthers first try would not come until the 19th minute when Jaxen Edgar stepped twice off his right foot to beat the defence and get his team back in the game. Harry Wald with the conversion, 6-6.

Casey Mclean sparked an excellent team try in the 26th minute, making a half break with good footwork before offloading to Edgar, who broke another tackle and then gave the ball to Kye Raven to finish off the skilful play next to the posts. Conversion successful, 12-6.

Forwards Hokafonu Lemoto and Charbel Kheirallah provided the Panthers with plenty of momentum, both racking up metres with barnstorming hit-ups.

Danny Johnstone showed what he could do with some space early in the second half, combining his size with some late footwork to slice through the line and give the Panthers a two try lead. Conversion just pulled to the left, 16-6.

Kheirallah got a nice reward for all his hard work in the 39th minute, muscling his way past a number of tackles to slam the ball down over the line. Conversion successful, 22-6.

As the Bulldogs looked to get expansive to claw their way back into the game, Harry Wald nabbed a long cut out pass out of the air and ran the best part of 80 metres to just about seal the game. Wald converts his own try, 28-6 in the 45th minute.

The Panthers would extend their just seconds later, as Hokafonu Lemoto bumped off a tackle and put Jack Attard into a gap, who had the pace to run around the fullback and score his teams 6th try of the day. Conversion successful, 34-6.

Going into the last ten minutes, the Panthers had well and truly hit their groove, this time Heinz Lemoto caught a beautiful crossfield kick before showing great acceleration and speed to find his way to the line in the 52nd minute. Conversion successful, 40-6.

Captain Jaxen Edgar grabbed his second try for the day when he put a Bulldogs player on skates with a sublime dummy before leaving two more players in his wake with some electric footwork. Conversion successful, 46-6.

Casey Mclean would top off his perfect game with a try, steaming onto a good ball from Jack Attard and charging his way to the line to bring up the 50-point milestone for his team in the final 2 minutes. Conversion successful, 52-6.

The remarkable 46 point victory sees the Panthers leapfrog the Bulldogs on the ladder to take home the Minor Premiership, an important confidence booster ahead of the finals.

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.