Heading into the game, it would have been the last result you would expect to see, but a spirited effort from the Panthers in defence when it mattered was the difference – as they produced the upset of the season so far, beating the Melbourne Storm 12-10 in Penrith.
After 11 straight victories against the Panthers, the Storm had that streak snapped, as they succumbed to their 2nd straight loss, after last week’s loss to the Raiders.
Whilst their attack may not have been fluid or consistent, it was the Panthers steely resolve in defence that was the key, as it won them the game.
The loss now means that South Sydney sit atop the NRL ladder.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was very pleased with his side’s defence and the way they fought to keep the Storm at bay.
“To withstand that second half, they had a lot of possession and didn’t make many errors,” Cleary said.
“I think they were just waiting for us to fold and we didn’t.”
With their defence solid, the Panthers may have found a gameplan to defeating the Storm – a physical approach.
“There’s different theories going around about how you beat the Storm but you can’t give up too many points,” Cleary added.
“You can’t beat them unless you defend well. That was probably our foundation.”
Storm captain Cam Smith provided an honest assessment, lamenting his side’s slow starts in recent games, labelling it as a replica to last week.
“We don’t particularly like losing, no team does,” he said.
“But we always seem to bounce back pretty well the next week and put in a pretty solid performance.
“But it was almost a replica of last week.
“We just lacked a lot of energy early on and that’s where the Panthers got us.”
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