Main content

Panthers consolidate top four spot

Panthers consolidate top four spot
Penrith have used a second half shutout of the Dragons to consolidate their spot in the top four with a 16-4 victory in Wollongong on Sunday afternoon. 

In his first visit to WIN Stadium since leaving midway through last season, Panthers halfback Jamie Soward steered his side superbly, and left his former club on 11th spot, four points adrift of the top eight with a month to go in the season.

WATCH: Dragons v Panthers highlights
WATCH: crafty Penrith hooker James Segeyaro earns another try

Dragons winger Brett Morris opened the scoring when he finished off a slick left side shift that had opposite wingman David Simmons, who failed to come out of the sheds at halftime with concussion, turning inside and out in the 7th minute. 

Morris' ninth try of the season was also the 196th between him and Bulldogs brother Josh, eclipsing the premiership record 195 tries between Mortimer brothers Steve, Peter, Chris and Glenn. 

Widdop's sideline attempt into the wind failed to even go the distance as home side took an early 4-0 lead.

With the wind behind them however, as well as Soward's pinpoint kicking game, the Panthers slowly turned momentum and spent the majority of the first half camped on the northern goal-line. 

The visitors had more than a dozen sets in perfect territory but an organised Dragons defence turned the laterally-inclined attack time and again, prompting Channel Nine commentator Ray Warren to sigh, "This is the hardest I've worked for 50 years, only for some bloke to kick it dead."

So after the first 40 minutes, Segeyaro's 15th minute slam down under the posts from a play that went from centre field to right wing and back again meant the Panthers had just a narrow 6-4 lead to show for their territorial dominance at the halftime break.

In fact the only times Penrith looked likely were when the lively hooker straightened the attack, evidenced by the 43rd minute bullet pass he threw to a hard-running Adam Docker that stretched their advantage beyond a converted try.

In an exact replica of the first half, the side running to the northern end dominated both possession and field position. But, like the first stanza, the defence was up to the task with the Panthers at one stage defending three consecutive sets on their line against the kick-happy Dragons attack. 

The difference was that on the rare occasion the action got close enough for the fans in the southern grandstand to put away their binoculars, the Panthers took their shot, with Idris stepping his way past Benji Marshall to seal victory in the 72nd minute. 

Returning Dragons prop Dan Hunt, who was celebrating his 150th first grade game, was put on report in the 14th minute for a high shot on Simmons. 

Penrith Panthers 16 (Segeyaro, Docker, Idris tries; Soward 2 goals) def St George-Illawarra Dragons 4 (Morris try). Crowd: 13,107.
Send to a friend:
Your Name:
Your Email:
Friend's Name:
Friend's Email:
Close
Submit
loading image needs to go here
NRL State of Mind. What's your state of mind. #NRLStateOfMind. nrl.com/stateofmind