Panthers Biggest Win over Newcastle
Despite the scores being locked at 6-6 during the half time break, the Panthers produced a ripper of a second-half to record their largest ever winning margin over the Knights. The finals bound Penrith outfit struggled to hit their straps in the first stanza, actually trailing by 2 points for a period of time against a side who have won just one game all year. However, the Panthers came out of the sheds as a completely different team, running in 36 unanswered points in the final 40 minutes to secure the record victory.
Knights Lacking in Talent, but not Heart
It has been well documented this season that the Newcastle Knights are currently lacking the talent and depth to compete with basically any side in the NRL, as they have claimed just 1 victory all season and are currently in the midst an unwanted 15 game losing streak. The Knights squad could be forgiven for wanting to throw in the towel and going into each game with no optimism, however the Novocastrian’s came to their home ground ready to compete on Sunday, and at one stage looked a chance of upsetting the Panthers. Unfortunately the Knights eventually ran out of steam and were unable to contain the far more talented Panthers side, but the Newcastle fans can be proud of their sides first half effort.
Panthers look Finals Bound
Following a fortunate week in which two of their closest competitors in the Warriors and Tigers suffered a setback in their finals aspirations with unexpected defeats, Sunday’s victory massively increased the Panthers likelihood of featuring in the top eight come September. The win sees Penrith move to 7th position on the ladder with 26 points, meaning they should only need to win just one of their remaining three games to meet the 28 point requirement that has seen sides qualify for the top eight in previous years. The victory also puts the Panthers 2 points clear of the Warriors and Tigers and 1 ahead of the Titans, and with games against the 2 aforementioned sides, Penrith’s destiny is well and truly in their hands.
Welcome Headache Looming for Griffin
Penrith coach Anthony Griffin will have a very welcome selection headache to make in 2017, as the incredible form of utility Tyrone Peachey in the centre’s will have Griffin trying to fit 4 players into 2 positions. The Panthers looked to be in trouble when New Zealand representative pairing Peta Hiku and Dean Whare both suffered season ending injuries earlier in the game, leaving Penrith without their 2 starting centres. Waqa Blake has been strong in one of the centre spots, however the experiment to throw backrower Tyrone Peachey into the number 4 jersey has proven to be a masterstroke by coach Griffin. Peachey has been in scintillating form, with his try today being his 11th in the past 12 games. The electric 25 year old has also been making life easy for his outside men, finishing the game with a try assist and line break assist.
In the Sheds
Both teams were fortunate enough to finish the match without any injury setbacks.
Penrith Panthers 42
Tries: Mansour (2), Moylan, Blake, Peachey, Watene-Zelezniak (2)
Goals: N Cleary 6/7
Newcastle Knights 6
Goals: Hodkinson 1/1