Penrith Panthers went five from five with their win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at CommBank Stadium.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12
Tries: Tevita Pangai Junior (32), Joe Stimson (62)
Goals: Kyle Flanagan 2 (33, 63)
Penrith Panthers 32
Tries: Taylan May (7), Dylan Edwards (15), Liam Martin (37), Spencer Leniu (44), Mitch Kenny (68)
Goals: Nathan Cleary 6 (8, 17, 23 – pen, 38, 45, 69)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Panthers dominated the opening forty minutes of the game in scoring three tries to one as they went out to a commanding 20-6 lead at the break.
Taylan May was denied early when he had a foot over the sideline before scoring but wouldn’t be denied a second time after a long pass from Jerome Luai found the flying winger for the game’s opening try.
Penrith were in for their second after a counterattack play saw May found Izack Tago inside his thirty to break downfield before being clipped by Matt Dufty at the ten metre line, flicking the ball back on the inside to Dylan Edwards to score.
A superb Panthers try saw the defending premiers ahead by twelve.
The Bulldogs hit back just after the half hour mark with Kyle Flanagan’s shallow cross field kick was fumbled by Luai and presented Tevita Pangai Junior with a gift four points.
A cheap turnover by the Bulldogs lead to the Panthers extending their lead to 20-6 at the break. Nathan Cleary and Isaah Yeo combining to put Liam Martin over.
Tago was played on report for a high shot on Matt Dufty, while Matt Burton was in trouble for a chicken wing tackle on Martin.
HALF-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6 Penrith Panthers 20Embed from Getty Images
Penrith Panthers didn’t take long to extend their lead after the break.
After receiving a fresh set on the Bulldogs line, Spencer Leniu took two defenders over with him to score the Panthers fourth.
The Bulldogs mid-way through the half were denied a second try when Joe Stimson was held up over the line.
Soon after he would be the recipient after Josh Addo-Carr got on the outside of Tago in making a long break downfield, before linking up with Stimson to score.
With twelve minutes to go Mitch Kenny scored his first National Rugby League try scoring from close range to send the Panthers ahead 32-12, the final score line.
Penrith Panthers remained undefeated after five rounds and took the luxury of resting Yeo at around the half hour mark and giving Edwards a rest close to full-time, ahead of their five-day turnaround to face the Brisbane Broncos on Good Friday.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs back up on Good Friday as well when they play their traditional match with South Sydney. Kyle Flanagan’s return was good, but they’ll be headaches around their general attacking play which was poor at times with Dufty having a shocker at fullback.
FULL-TIME: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12 Penrith Panthers 32
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Dylan Edwards (Panthers), 2 pts – Taylan May (Panthers), 1 pt – Isaah Yeo (Panthers)
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