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Martin in doubt for Origin as Panthers down Roosters in fiery finish

The Panthers outperformed the Roosters 30-6 in what eventuated into chaotic scenes at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

The Panthers put the match to bed early, running in three tries in six minutes in the second-half, however the Round 15 clash ended with Liam Martin leaving the field with blood pouring down his temple and Spencer Leniu and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves sent to the sin-bin with eight minutes to play.

Blues star Martin suffered a Category 1 head knock in an attempt to tackle Roosters enforcer Waerea-Hargreaves in the 66th minute of the match.

With Origin II exactly 11 days away, the same timeframe as the NRL's stand-down period for concussed players, the New South Wales enforcer remains in doubt for the second match of the series.

Liam Martin off with a HIA

Just moments after Martin was taken up the tunnel, fellow forward Moses Leota was also sent for assessment in a similar condition after suffering a Category 2 head knock.

The first half saw a fairly even contest with just four points separating the two sides for 35 minutes of the match but it was the premiers who prevailed with a dominant attacking display, even without star halfback Nathan Cleary.

An offside penalty against the Roosters opened the door for centre Stephen Crichton who sliced through Roosters defence to put the Panthers on the board. With Cleary injured, Crichton takes kicking duties but the first attempt is wide.

After the Roosters held the defending premiers 4-0 for 25 minutes, it was Martin who made the home side pay for a Matt Lodge play-the-ball penalty.

Panthers scoring at a rate of knots

Martin stretched the Panthers lead five minutes before the break, breaking through a James Tedesco tackle to charge downfield before finding fullback Dylan Edwards in open territory who ran from halfway to score under the posts. 

In the final play of the half, the Roosters had all the momentum on the Panthers line with Joseph Manu looked set to score. However, exemplary to their stoic defence, the Panthers forced the star five-eighth to drop the ball on the half-time siren.

With Isaah yeo at his barnstorming best and Scott Sorensen winding back the clock, the reigning premiers ran riot in the second half, tearing apart the Roosters with ease to score three tries in six minutes. 

Roosters skipper Tedesco showed a moment of individual brilliance, dancing through Panthers defenders to score and while he reduced the margin by six, that's as close as the Tricolours got as they slumped to their seventh loss of the season.

Match Snapshot

  • Liam Martin left the field in the 66th minute for a HIA and was ruled out after suffering a Category 1 head knock. 
  • Panthers enforcer Moses Leota left the field for a HIA in the 69th minute of the match which was later deemed a Category 2 head knock.
  • Roosters forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Spencer Leniu were both sent to the sin bin in the 72nd minute of the match.
  • Roosters forward Nat Butcher was placed on report for Dangerous Contact in the 31st minute of the match.

Future teammates sin binned

  • Panthers forward Liam martin set the tone for the visitors with eight runs for 101 metres in the first half. 
  • Roosters hooker Jake Turpin got through a mountain of work in defence for his side with an incredible 69 tackles.
  • The Panthers completed 16 of 21 sets in the first half at 76 per cent.
  • The Panthers have won ten of their past 12 games without Nathan Cleary.
  •  The Panthers have kept their opposition scoreless in the first half. on five occasions this season.
  • Roosters pair Matt Lodge and Junior Pauga racked up six errors between them during the match.

Play of the Game

After the first half saw an even contest play out between the two NRL powerhouses, it was Liam Martin who ignited the charge for the Panthers. After 25 minutes of end-to-end football with no tries conceded, it was Martin who found the inroad for the Panthers, shrugging off a James Tedesco, charging downfield before finding fullback Dylan Edwards in support to score. While the night ended in worrying scenes for the Panthers enforcer, the New South Wales star still stamped his authority on the match in arguably one of his best performances of the season.

Penrith go all the way

What They Said 

"We didn't start well, I thought we started poor and then after that initial 10-minute period I thought it was a really good tussle there. But the start of the second half, errors blew the game open. I would have been happy if we fought really hard, stayed in the arm-wrestle and lost but to concede 30 and score six, that's disappointing. We're not firing enough bullets at the moment. I don't think Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves) did anything wrong (Martin incident), there was nothing in it. That's really unfortunate for Liam, he just copped a hip. Then Jared was getting his bumpers up like every guy does in every tackle they run in to and hit Moses there. Good theatre, move on." - Roosters coach Trent Robinson

Roosters: Round 15

"I thought the boys were really sharp today. Losing Nathan (Cleary) last week, it just sharpened everyone else up a bit. Everyone realised they had to step up. Every time you can beat the Roosters it's a feather in your cap. It started with Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves), he was looking for trouble and he found it. I think the in the balance of probability Jared was the one initiating it. Spence (Leniu) doesn't like it and that's what he showed, I'm not sure why he was put in the bin. He's fine (Liam Martin), he's good. Just looking at him...he's not showing any symptoms." - Panthers coach Ivan Cleary

Panthers: Round 15

What's Next

The Panthers travel to Queensland Country Bank Stadium to open Round 16 with a Friday night clash against the Cowboys. 

Meanwhile the Roosters will travel to Newcastle on Sunday to meet with Adam O'Brien's Knights. 

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.