Andrew Pelechaty reviews the Sunday afternoon clash between Newcastle and Penrith …
Penrith Panthers 42
Tries: Brian To’o 2 (34, 67), Nathan Cleary (4), Viliame Kikau (13), Taylan May (26), Izack Tago (49), Stephen Crichton (63)
Goals: e.g., Nathan Cleary 7 (6, 15, 27, 35, 40 – pen, 51, 64)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
While six Panthers players were backing up from Origin, the defending premiers were in no mood to go easy on the struggling Knights.
It started just four minutes in, with Nathan Cleary opening the scoring, linking with NSW Origin partner Jarome Luai.
Viliame Kikau made it 12-0 after 15 minutes as Penrith spread to the left. It was already looking like a long afternoon for the hardy Newcastle fans.
Cleary launched a 40/20 10 minutes later, with Taylan May quickly taking advantage with a try.
Brian To’o scored nine minutes later as the Panthers – now toying with the poor old Knights – went down the right for a change.
Cleary put a button on the perfect half with a penalty goal, with the Panthers up 26-0.
HALF-TIME: Newcastle Knights 0 Penrith Panthers 26Embed from Getty Images
A nice last-tackle kick from Kikau led to a try to Izack Tago, who cleaned up some messy Knights handling.
Stephen Crichton scored 14 minutes later, benefitting from some poor goal-line defence from a tired and deflated Knights side.
Penrith ended their scoring feast with 13 minutes left via To’o’s second try. Cleary ended his day with his seventh goal (from eight) and a personal tally of 18 points. Penrith ended up with 42 straight points in just over an hour.
Newcastle finally gave their fans something to cheer about with a try to Edrick Lee.
While Penrith travel to Redcliffe to play the Warriors next round – another game they should win comfortably – Newcastle travel to Canberra to face the Raiders: with a good recent record against Canberra, the Knights will fancy themselves against a Raiders side looking to rebound after another Lang Park nightmare.
FULL-TIME: Newcastle Knights 6 Penrith Panthers 42
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Brian To’o (Panthers), 2 pts – Nathan Cleary (Panthers), 1 pt – Dylan Edwards (Panthers)
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