The Penrith Panthers were on the receiving end of a hiding last night, losing 50-18 to the Brisbane Broncos, their fourth loss in five games.
Led by Tevita Pangai Jr. who will have left the Panthers players with nightmares post-game and Anthony Milford, it was a clinical Broncos performance.
At half-time, the score was 32-0 and in today’s game, that is virtually an unassailable lead.
After a poor performance last week at the same venue against the Warriors, the Broncos looked a different side.
It all started in just the fourth minute. Sam Thaiday wound back the clock after combining with Milford and finding Pangai Jr. to score.
A two-try kick then led to the Broncos second try; first a chip by Milford before Kodi Nikorima soccered it off the ground.
James Roberts won that race and scored for the Broncos.
There was just no stopping Pangai Jr. for his second try. He dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged his way over to score.
The Broncos confidence surged following that swashbuckling individual effort from Pangai Jr.
Two further tries than followed; Corey Oates and Darius Boyd both getting on the scoresheet.
The Broncos would miss Pangai Jr. in the second half who was having his hamstring iced.
Penrith, refusing to lie down despite trailing heavily, tried to get back into the contest.
Waqa Blake scored first after a crossfield kick from Nathan Cleary before Josh Mansour scored on his return to give Penrith some hope.
That ended soon after as an errant James Maloney pass allowed Kodi Nikorima to streak away and score.
Tyrone Peachey tried to get Penrith back in yet again but Nikorima showed off his thieving skills to intercept again and score again.
The death knell was a final try to prop Matt Lodge, capping off an emphatic Broncos win.
Although his side won comfortably, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett is not getting carried away.
“We can’t afford to get around and tell ourselves we are sensational,” Bennett said.
“We’ve won nine out of 12 games but we just need to nail games we should be nailing.
Hopefully, in a month’s time we can be more consistent than we have been, particularly last week which was pretty disappointing.”
After four losses in five games, Penrith are in somewhat of a slump.
But don’t let James Maloney hear you say that, though.
“I’m probably not as concerned about it as you guys seem to be,” he said.
“We’ve got six weeks to go in the season and we need to be playing our best footy in six weeks, and we’ll be doing that and start building towards it.
“I’d probably be more concerned if we were humming and doing everything right because I’d have doubts if we could hold it for another 10 weeks.
Player of the Game:
3. Tevita Pangai Jr.
2. Kodi Nikorima
- Anthony Milford