2022 NRL Round 3, Panthers 38 Knights 20 – Report

Rhys Sullivan reviews a dramatic afternoon at Carrington Park at Bathurst where Mitch Barnett became the first player to be sent off in 2022.



Penrith Panthers 38
Tries: Taylan May 3 (8, 37, 77), Izack Tago 2 (50, 57), Stephen Crichton (60), Charlie Staines (79)
Goals: Stephen Crichton 5 (34, 38, 51, 58, 80)

Newcastle Knights 20
Tries: Dominic Young (19), Tex Hoy (54), Bradman Best (64), Enari Tuala (72)
Goals: Jake Clifford 2 (20, 55)


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1st Half

Penrith set up chances over the opening period of the game and drew first blood when Taylan May pounced on a Jerome Luai grubber.

The game then slowly descended into a field position battle, with neither side setting up a real opportunity.

Newcastle then got a scrum on Penrith’s goal line and swept away with a set play to pout Dominic Young over the line.

The theme of the game continued: a side would earn a repeat set and get across the line, but Izack Tago lost control of the ball as he crossed the plane.

Controversy ensued, however, as the bunker found Mitch Barnett had taken out Chris Smith with a raised forearm. Referee Peter Gough immediately sent off the Knights back-rower, and Stephen Crichton squared the game off the penalty.

Down to twelve men, Newcastle struggled to defend Penrith’s lateral movement, and May was able to grab a second before halftime.

HALF-TIME: Penrith Panthers 12 Newcastle Knights 6

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2nd Half

Newcastle, despite being down a man, came out hard and fast to start the second half. But despite multiple chances, they just couldn’t break Penrith’s defence.

Penrith however could break Newcastle’s, and Sean O’Sullivan’s bomb bobbled into Tago’s hands for their third try of the night.

Newcastle wasn’t out of it, however, and Tex Hoy went over less than five minutes later after getting on the outside of Viliame Kikau.

Penrith extended their lead once again after a broken play led to Tago snagging a grubber kick over the tryline.

Newcastle put their ensuing kick off out on the full, and Penrith took advantage of the penalty to cross once again, this time through Crichton.

The Knights weren’t going away, however, and Bradman Best crossed to bring it back to a two point game.

And they set up a grandstand finish when Enari Tuala finished off a play that went through five sets of hands; but Jake Clifford’s missed conversion kept them 8 points behind.

But it would be Penrith twisting the dagger, with May capping off a hat trick with three minutes remaining. And they weren’t finished, with Charlie Staines leaping into the corner to improve their point differential.

FULL-TIME: Penrith Panthers 38 Newcastle Knights 20


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3 pts – Stephen Crichton (Panthers), 2 pts – Jerome Luai (Panthers), 1 pt – Taylan May (Panthers)

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