The Penrith Panthers took on the Canberra Raiders in what was billed as the game of the round.
The Panthers competing for the minor premiership and the Raiders for a top 4 spot.
After successfully turning away an attacking raid from the Canberra, Penrith went on the attack.
10 minutes in, Viliame Kikau opened the scoring.
Nathan Cleary double pumped and sent the big Fijian through a hole and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad couldn’t stop him 1-on-1.
Cleary added the 2 to make the lead 6-nil.
The Panthers cracked the Raiders again and this time, it was the other back rower.
Api Koroisau faked left and sent Liam Martin in the gap between Elliott Whitehead and Jack Wighton to score.
Cleary again kicked the 2 to make the lead 12-nil.
The Raiders had their chance when Elliott Whitehead was sent to the bunker with a chance to give the Raiders their first points.
However, Jordan Rapana was deemed to be offside and a penalty was awarded to the Panthers.
Again a few minutes later, the Raiders almost scored.
Josh Papalii powered over but the bunker ruled that he was held up in goal by the brick wall defence of Penrith.
With little time remaining in the half, the Panthers scored their third unanswered try.
Jarome Luai grubbered through the line and Stephen Crichton pounced on it to score the 4-pointer.
Cleary went 3 from 3 to make the lead 18-nil.
With less than a minute left, Panthers continued the demolition.
After a spread from left to right, Brent Naden leapt for the corner and got the ball down with a great finish.
Cleary kept his perfect kicking record to make the lead 24-0 at the break.
As the second half started, the Raiders finally got their first points.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad burrowed down and powered over with 4 defenders hanging on.
Jarrod Croker converted to lower the deficit to 24-6.
Penrith were soon given a penalty when it was deemed that Croker was offside.
Cleary kicked the penalty goal to make the lead 26-6.
Only two minutes later, the Raiders looked like they had scored through George Williams.
However, Corey Harawira-Naera was found to have obstructed Kikau and the try was denied.
With the game winding down, Nicoll-Klokstad scored his second try of the night as he slid over with two defenders on his back.
Croker converted to lower the margin to 26-12.
The Raiders didn’t have enough in the end and one last penalty goal on the buzzer gave the Panthers a 28-12 victory.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Liam Martin (PEN)
2. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (CAN)
- Apisai Koroisau (PEN)