Nathan Smith reviews the match between the Bulldogs and Panthers. Here’s how the game went.
|6th||Try Brian To’o (Penrith)||Penrith 4-0|
|31st||Try Kurt Capewell (Penrith)||Penrith 8-0|
|32nd||Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith)||Penrith 10-0|
|36th||Try Brent Naden (Penrith)||Penrith 14-0|
|37th||Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith)||Penrith 16-0|
|38th||Try Kurt Capwell (Penrith)||Penrith 20-0|
|39th||Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith)||Penrith 22-0|
|50th||Try Josh Mansour (Penrith)||Penrith 26-0|
|54th||Try Brent Naden (Penrith)||Penrith 30-0|
|56th||Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith)||Penrith 32-0|
|66th||Try Matt Burton (Penrith)||Penrith 36-0|
|76th||Try James Tamou (Penrith)||Penrith 40-0|
|77th||Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith)||Penrith 42-0|
The first half an hour was an arm wrestle, with only one try to the Panthers. Despite having a plethora of possession, the Panthers were unable to penetrate the consistently solid Bulldogs defensive line. However, the tries piled on from the 31st minute, leaving the half time score at 22-0 to Penrith.
The second half was a continued, relentless attacking display that saw Penrith well and truly put away the Bulldogs. From the 50th minute, Penrith would pile on four tries to Mansour, Naden, Burton and Tamou, making the score 42-0. Other than a late chance where Luke Thompson crossed over the line (to be called a no-try), the Bulldogs were never in the game. Penrith offered one final exclamation mark on a regular season that has saw them win 15 straight games, earn the J. J. Giltinan Shield for the first time since 2003, and put away every team in the competition at least once. With the finals imminent, they look more than ready to take it on.
Not quite a highlight, however, a notable moment in the game came during the first half. James Tamou made an official complaint of an eye gouge against Luke Thompson; footage appears to confirm that there was contact and Thompson will likely have a case to answer. Certainly, if found guilty, he could be spending quite a bit of time on the sideline in 2021, which would be a far from ideal start for Trent Barrett.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Reimis Smith 23. Kerrod Holland 5. Jayden Okunbor 20. Jack Cogger 14. Brandon Wakeham 17. Sauaso Sue 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Luke Thompson 11. Chris Smith 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Josh Jackson. Interchange: 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Sione Katoa 19. Dean Britt 21. Tuipulotu Katoa.
Penrith Panthers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. Josh Mansour 3. Tyrone May 4. Brent Naden 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo. Interchange: 14. Matt Burton 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Moses Leota 17. Zane Tetevano.