NRL Round 25: Panthers 40, Titans 14

The Penrith Panthers have overcome a slow start to defeat a determined Gold Coast Titans 40-14 at Cbus Super Stadium.

Result

Penrith Panthers 40
Tries: Dylan Edwards (16, 66), Isaah Yeo (22), Tyrone Peachey (35), Tom Jenkins (39), Liam Martin (69), Stephen Crichton (76)
Goals: Nathan Cleary (18, 23, 36, 68, 70, 77)

Gold Coast Titans 14
Tries: Klese Haas (2), Alofiana Khan-Pereira (43), David Fifita (51)
Goals: Jayden Campbell (3)

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The Titans welcomed the Panthers to the Gold Coast, with Brian To’o, Scott Sorensen, Matt Eisenhuth and Mitch Kenny ruled out. Zac Hosking, Tom Jenkins, Spencer Leniu and Jack Cogger replaced them in the 17. For the Titans, Tom Weaver debuted at halfback, with AJ Brimson returning from injury at fullback.

In the Titans first attacking set, Tom Weaver was in the action. He put Klese Haas through a gap, then Haas threw a dummy and beat Dylan Edwards to score the opening try. In contrast, the Panthers were slow off the mark. It took them 15 minutes to find their rhythm, but when they did they hit back hard. Nathan Cleary executed a cross-field kick and Stephen Crichton batted the ball back for Dylan Edwards to score. They added another try in the 22nd minute when Isaah Yeo spun over under the posts.

In the 10 minutes before halftime, Aaron Schoupp was sin binned for tackling Zac Hosking without the ball. With the Titans a man down, the Panthers exploited the advantage as Tyrone Peachey scored where Schoupp would’ve been defending. They extended their lead when Tom Jenkins scored, giving the Panthers a 22-6 lead at the break.

Coming out of the break, the Titans struck the first blow. AJ Brimson passed to Alofiana Khan-Pereira who used his speed to beat the cover defence and grab a try. Back to back penalties to the Titans had them back on the attack, and they grabbed another try. David Fifita caught the Panthers napping down the short side as he strolled over in the corner.

A sustained period of pressure followed from the Titans. However, the Panthers defence held them at bay. Turning defence into attack, Stephen Crichton made a break and found Dylan Edwards in support, who raced away to score a crucial try. As a result, the Panthers broke the confidence of the Titans. They added another try when Liam Martin caught a Nathan Cleary bomb and scored. In the 76th minute, Liam Martin linked up with Stephen Crichton who scored the final try, securing a 40-14 win.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – Dylan Edwards (Penrith Panthers)
2 – Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)
1 – Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)

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