Spoon favourites upset premiership favourites
Penrith came into the 2017 season with all the money behind them to finish top 4 and storm towards the premiership. While the Dragons were tipped to battle Newcastle for the spoon. This match was the opposite of the build up, as the written off Dragons dominated the heavily backed Panthers in Wollongong.
The Dragons attacking woes go missing
After finishing the 2016 with the second worse attack in the competition, the Dragons razzled and dazzled in their opening hit out of the new season, piling 42 points on the hapless Panthers. Widdop, De Belin, Thompson and MacDonald were all attacking threats for the Red V, who scored the most points out of any club in round one.
A strong start can be the difference
The Dragons burst out the gates, scoring through Joel Thompson in the 4th minute. Penrith were unable to post their first points until the half an hour mark, but St. George were playing with too much confidence by then, and went on with the job. They also started the second half strong, with Widdop scoring in the 45th minute.
Penrith stars fail to fire
All eyes in this game were focused on the key men for the Panthers, Matt Moylan, Nathan Cleary and James Tamou. None of these men really stepped up, and will be unhappy with their individual performances. Moylan tried to get involved, but didn’t create chances and was left wanting in defence. Cleary wasn’t at his brilliant best either, struggling to make things happen with ball l in hand. While Tamou had a debut to forget, not providing the impact he should have and being ill-disciplined with the ball.
St. George Illawarra Dragons: 42
Tries: Thompson (3), Widdop (2), de Belin (1), McInnes (1)
Goals: Widdop (7)
Tries: Blake (1), Peachey (1)
Goals: Cleary (1)
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