The Penrith Panthers have moved into the top 4 of the Knock-On Effect NSW Cup on the back of their fourth straight victory.
On a cool evening at BlueBet Stadium, the Panthers claimed the spoils 30-10 after a clunky performance against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
It was nearly a disastrous start for the Panthers, with the Dragons crossing inside two minutes. The try was disallowed, however, due to an obstruction.
It didn’t take long for the Panthers to mount their own attacking raid, with Liam Henry crossing after receiving a beautiful short ball. Kurt Falls converted, giving the Panthers a 6-0 lead after six minutes.
The Panthers were made to pay for an error deep down their own end in the 13th minute when Dylan Egan sliced past the right-side defence. Alexander Lobb converted to draw level at 6-all.
A penalty put the Panthers on the attack in the 18th minute, before Falls and Isaiah Iongi combined to send Tom Jenkins over in the right-hand corner, taking back the lead 10-6.
They made it 14-6 in the 25th minute when Tyrone Peachey flung an offload back to an unmarked Jesse McLean after the Dragons attempted to hold him up over the line.
The Dragons cut it back to 14-10 minutes later when Sione Finau beat the Panthers right-edge defence to score in the corner.
The Panthers nearly extended the margin on the siren when Soni Luke grubbered into the in-goal, however the Dragons just won the race to the ball ahead of the Panthers chasers.
It was a perfect start to the second half for the Panthers, with Chris Smith forcing his way over the line after just three minutes. Falls converted from adjacent to the posts to extend the lead to ten points.
Iongi won the race to a smart kick in the 50th minute after a break through the middle, with Falls converting to push the Panthers lead to 26-10.
Matt Eisenhuth thought he had scored after getting to a Luke grubber just inside the dead ball line, however he was penalised for being in front of the kicker.
The Panthers added one final try four minutes before full time, when a glorious cut out pass by Iongi sent Jenkins over for his second in the right-hand corner. Falls attempted conversion bounced away off the upright, leaving the final score at 30-10.