The Penrith Panthers ended the Bulldogs season in the last game of week 1 of the finals. The Panthers second half surge was electric as they put some genuine razzle dazzle football on to run away 16 points victors.
FINALS TOUGHNESS: The Panthers withstood the first half onslaught from the Bulldogs and quietened the doubters with a blistering second half display of precision attack that put the match beyond doubt very quickly. Many questioned whether the lack of experience from the young side would see them come undone but the Panthers showed stout defence and patience to seize the opportunities to take this match when they presented.
MASTERFUL MOYLAN: The Panthers talented number 1 made the transition from “talented youngster” – a tag he has carried around for many years now – to genuine superstar on Sunday afternoon. Moylan was instrumental in guiding his team around the park and sparking a second half onslaught that put the Panthers into week 2 of the finals. There is a lot to be excited about at the foot of the mountains as this guy keeps getting better and better.
TRY OF THE YEAR The Panthers have left it late but managed to submit another entry into “try of the year” with a scintillating move started by Matt Moylan and finished by Tyrone Peachey. As far as finals try’s go this will be one that makes the highlight reel for a few years to come.
DOGS GONE: After a season that promised much at times the Bulldogs have finished 2016 with a whimper to exit in week 1 of the finals. Their halves combination started the year with a bang but fizzled out and ultimately cost the team the attacking edge they required to complete deep into 2016. The scapegoat call will be ringing loud over the next few weeks demanding the end to the Des Hasler era. Let’s hope cooler head prevail and more emphasis is put on developing this talented and rugged squad further for a title tilt in 2017.
Penrith Panthers 28 (Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Waqa Blake, Peter Wallace, Tyrone Peachey, Josh Mansour tries; Nathan Cleary 4 goals) defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 12 (Moses Mbye, Sam Perrett tries; Moses Mbye, Sam Perrett goal) at Allianz Stadium.
Half-time: Bulldogs 6-4.