Sammut stars at half in Panthers trial win

Livewire fullback Jarrod Sammut starred at halfback and new Penrith skipper Petero Civoniceva had his first run in new colours as the Panthers kick-started their 2008 NRL campaign with a series of low key trials at Windsor.

The entire Panthers squad from the juniors right through to the top grade had a run, but all eyes were on Civoniceva following his off-season move from Brisbane.

The Australia prop didn’t disappoint either, leading an experimental Panthers outfit to a 28-0 win over the Erina Jim Beam Cup side in a 30 minute trial.

Panthers coach Matthew Elliott used the match to test out a few new combinations, which included a new halves pairing featuring last year’s rookie sensation Jarrod Sammut at halfback and former New South Wales winger Luke Lewis at five-eighth.

Sammut showed plenty of heart and potential when thrust into the top grade at fullback last year, but with Rhys Wesser back from injury, his path to the No.1 jumper appears blocked.

One of Sammut’s rivals for the halfback spot, former South Sydney No.7 Joe Williams, missed the trial due to a virus.

Elliott rested most of his first choice players for the second 30-minute clash which ended with the Panthers running out 16-0 winners over the Windsor Jim Beam Cup side.

The Panthers step up the 2008 preparations with their first official trial against Parramatta in Albury on Friday night.

Their final pre-season game is against the Bulldogs on March 2 at ANZ Stadium.

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