An impressive all-round display has seen the Penrith Panthers record their first win of the season – a comprehensive one at that – beating the Wests Tigers 36-2 at Campbelltown Stadium.
The win was set-up over a fifty-minute period across both halves and they never looked back from there as they continued to assert their dominance.
Both sides started out poorly in some respects, failing to capitalise on their opportunities early on. It was the Panthers who took the first step, though, scoring two tries late in the first half.
The score could have been very different and thus the context of the game would have changed, had the Tigers taken their early chances but dropped balls and forward passes prevented that.
Three quick tries to Dean Whare, Viliame Kikau and Dylan Edwards at the back end of the first-half had the Tigers on the back foot and struggling.
Things did not get better in the second half either further pressure on the Tigers saw them falter, leading to more points for Penrith.
Under pressure after a poor Rd 1 performance, the Panthers bounced back to give their fans renewed optimism.
Last week was one to forget but Panthers coach Anthony Griffin praised the way his side bounced back in defence.
“Obviously last week we were very disappointed the way we played and had to lead this week with our defensive efforts if we were going to turn it around,” Griffin said post-game.
“Defence is attitude and for some reason last week we weren’t ready for St George and that’s everyone’s fault.
“Something went wrong last week but today we got it right. The fact we just kept scrambling and throwing a jersey there every time they came at us, I couldn’t be prouder of them today as a team as opposed to last week.”
The one downside to the Penrith victory was an injury to Bryce Cartwright who faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
“He’s got a plate in his leg from a previous broken ankle so he’s got a lot of pain over the top of that,” Griffin said.
“He’s sore and he couldn’t play with it obviously. The doctor just wants to get it scanned and see on the joint if there’s no damage.
“He went into the game 100 percent fit, I was just talking to him and he doesn’t know either, he’s just got a whack on there in a collision somehow.”
For the Tigers, coach Jason Taylor admits that his side just failed to take their chances and it cost them.
“It’s a day that we’re struggling to put our finger on a little, to be honest,” Taylor said.
“The first 25 to 30 minutes were good and we were fighting hard and in the game but then we gave Penrith a few opportunities and chances, and they made us pay.
“We simply didn’t take what was available to us.”
Player of the Game:
3. Tyrone Peachey
2. Viliame Kikau
- Dean Whare
Panthers 36 (Dean Whare 2, Viliame Kikau, Dylan Edwards, Leilani Latu, Nathan Cleary tries; Nathan Cleary 6 goals) def. Wests Tigers 2 (Mitchell Moses 1 goal) at Campbelltown Stadium. Half-time: Panthers 18-2. Crowd: 12,232.