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Laurie bags hat-trick as NSW Cup Panthers remain undefeated

The Panthers continued their unbeaten streak on Thursday night at Accor stadium, clinical in defence to beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-10. 

It was a good start for the Panthers, forcing an early error with hard hitting defence pinning the Rabbitohs in their end. The Panthers shifted early to the McLean brothers on the left edge looking to make something happen but the Rabbitohs held them out. 

It was the Rabbitohs who scored first, a crisp Teaupa cutout ball finding Carson Kaho who finished with a diving effort to put the Rabbitohs on the board. Conversion unsuccessful, 0-4. 

It took five minutes for the Panthers to hit back, in very similar fashion shifting left through the hands of Toelau and Laurie, who found Jesse McLean to score in the left corner. Conversion successful, 6-4.

The Panthers were running downhill after that first try, Soni Luke having plenty of good involvements, as well as Casey McLean making good use of the footy in his NSW cup debut. 

Jesse McLean had back to back doubles in the 20th minute, yet another shift being finished off with a Laurie pass to McLean who didn’t have to do too much to secure his fourth try in two weeks. Conversion successful, 12-4. 

The momentum didn’t ease up until the 25th minute, a penalty gifting the Rabbitohs field position, where they went on the attack.

It only took a couple of minutes before Jarrett Subloo made the most of it, splitting open the Penrith defence from close range with a dummy, before powering his way to the line. Conversion successful, 12-10. 

With a final shot at the Rabbitohs line, the Panthers struck gold, with Trent Toelau putting up a beautiful kick, Daine Laurie charging through to leap over the pack, catch and score. Conversion successful, 18-10. 

The Panthers started off the second half with the same intent, Alamoti making some dangerous runs down the right edge putting the Rabbitohs on high alert. 

A penalty allowed Souths an attacking chance, but the Panthers defensive intensity lifted, holding them out for five tackles on the line. 

Jesse McLean looked likely to get to his hattrick in the 50th minute when Casey gave him space to move, but the Rabbitohs returned the defensive favours of earlier, making a huge try saving tackle, 3-4 defenders coming across to stop him. 

Only a couple minutes later it was the McLean brothers looking dangerous again, Casey rolling off the back of some second phase play to put Jesse through off a 2-on-1, Jesse tried to find his brother back on the inside but opted for the kick instead, with Laurie pushing up through the middle to score a second. Conversion successful, 24-10.

Daine Laurie completed the hattrick not long after, scooping up a loose ball and running the journey against the run of play, putting the Rabbitohs in deep trouble with 20 to go. Conversion successful, 30-10.

Toelau took control for the next ten minutes with his kicking game, as the Panthers just ground Souths out of it. 

The defence also continued to prove impenetrable, particularly when Carson Kaho went through on the left edge, but Iongi, reliable as always, came across and sent him into touch in cover defence. 

In the 73rd minute, the Rabbitohs went through again, but Alamoti chased back and came up with a special play to knock a pass down to the support runner who knocked on. 

With three minutes left, the Panthers had to defend again but a penalty in possession from South’s relieved that pressure, with Aluni-Chanfoon sent to the bin for a strike. The Panthers held on to the 30-10 scoreline in a clinical 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.