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Panthers edge Manly despite Talau's four-try haul

A first-half hat-trick to Brian To'o has fired Penrith to a 10-point victory over the Sea Eagles. 

The match was a free-flowing, entertaining affair, with the two teams combining for 11 tries and 54 points. Sea Eagles winger Tommy Talau crossed for four on his own, however it was not enough to secure his team the win. 

While Manly were clinical in attacking territory, Penrith were methodical throughout and finished with an 87% completion rate that allowed them to largely dictate proceedings. 

To'o and Talau each scored first-half hat-tricks in an eventful opening 40 minutes.

Tommy Talau crossed for four tries in his side's loss to Penrith.
Tommy Talau crossed for four tries in his side's loss to Penrith. ©NRL Photos

The Penrith winger opened the scoring, however it was the visitors who dominated the middle period of the first half. 

Talau crossed for three tries in the space of eight minutes as the Sea Eagles sent multiple attacking raids down their left edge.

Penrith's left flank was just as lethal, however, and improved field position eventually led to To'o's second in the 32nd minute.

Tommy Talau 1st Try

The winger completed his hat-trick four minutes later, with the Panthers thrilled to head to the sheds with a 16-12 lead courtesy of Paul Alamoti's two conversions.

To'o had remarkable stats of three tries, 158 running metres, four line breaks and 11 tackle breaks in the first half. Talau was just as good, with three tries, 124m, three line breaks and four tackle busts. 

Brian To'o 1st Try

The action shifted to the right-hand side of the field after the break, with winger Sunia Turuva extending Penrith's margin in the 51st minute. 

The 21-year-old started the try-scoring motion by bursting straight through the middle of the Sea Eagles defence before he was eventually dragged down. The Panthers attacked left on the ensuing play before Jarome Luai swung the ball back to the right and Turuva eventually had an unimpeded run to the tryline.

Brian To'o 2nd Try

The premiers turned the screws from that point, slowly wearing their opponents down and taking control of the contest.

The pressure led to a Liam Henry try and suddenly Penrith had turned a 12-4 deficit into a 28-12 lead with 19 minutes to play.

Manly, however, still had an ace up their sleeve and Talau had his fourth moments later to keep his side in the contest. 

Penrith kept their noses in front when Turuva finished off one of the tries of the season before Jason Saab joined the try-scoring party to set up a grandstand finish. 

That was where the scoring concluded, with the Panthers holding on to claim an enthralling 32-22 win.

Match Snapshot

  • Penrith winger Brian To'o has been on a try-scoring streak and crossed for a hat-trick in the clash. He has now scored 19 in his past 14 games at BlueBet Stadium. 
  • Sea Eagles winger Tommy Talau has now scored nine tries in his past six games after scoring four on Sunday afternoon. 
  • Sunia Turuva and Jason Saab also crossed, with wingers claiming 10 of the 11 tries throughout the contest. 
  • Panthers fullback Daine Laurie finished the match with a career-best 344 running metres, breaking nine tackles in the process. 
  • Manly forward Josh Aloiai was placed on report in the 80th minute. 
  • The Panthers have now won nine of their past ten games against the Sea Eagles. 

Play of the Game

Sunia Turuva was on the end of one of the tries of the season, with the Panthers making eight passes as they desperately kept the play alive on the last tackle. Jarome Luai started the action on the left flank before Isaah Yeo found space through the middle, with Jack Cole eventually throwing a cutout pass that landed in Turuva's hands.

Sunia Turuva 2nd Try

What They Said

"Yardage defence was the difference in the game. They made us kick in our [40-metre zone] 12 times and we didn't red line them at all so ultimately field position told in the end. They're three-time premiers for a reason so they suffocated us there at times. To score five tries against them, we scored enough points, we played some really good footy with the footy, we just weren't accurate enough on the other side of the footy at times." - Manly coach Anthony Seibold.

Sea Eagles: Round 14

"There were a lot of things we did well today. I thought we started well, I thought we were controlling the game for good chunks but we were just letting in tries too easily. Credit to Manly, they're a pretty slick team, they were asking a lot of questions, that's our work on from today. The rest of the game, the second half particularly, I thought we did a lot of things well and enough to win today." - Penrith coach Ivan Cleary

Panthers: Round 14

What's Next

Penrith will travel to Newcastle to take on a Knights side desperate to return to form in front of their home fans in the final match of Beanies for Brain Cancer Round. Manly return home, with the Sea Eagles hosting the Dragons at 4 Pines Park on Sunday afternoon. 

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.