It’s been well over a year since these two last went head to head – Round 10 last year in fact – and it was a superb performance from Penrith in the week in which Phil Gould was appointed as coaching director that saw them score an impressive 33-10 win.
It was a tough night out for the Broncos, who welcomed back their considerable State of Origin contingent only to lose centre Justin Hodges to a hamstring tear early in the opening half. Penrith showed no mercy with Luke Lewis stepping past Peter Wallace to barge his way across in the 13th minute. Hooker Kevin Kingston then added his side’s second with a superb dummy-half dart to make it 12-0 after 27 minutes.
Brisbane finally opened their account as the half-time break approached with Wallace dabbing a clever grubber for himself and when Corey Parker added another as the half-time siren sounded it looked like the visitors were set to come storming home in the second stanza.
Instead, it was Penrith that produced a second-half shut-out with 21 unanswered points.
Luke Walsh got the ball rolling when he raced through a huge gap to send Michael Gordon across before Gordon produced his own moment of brilliance as he burst through from a kick return to give Brad Tighe a 50-metre dash to the tryline.
Timana Tahu was next to cross with an angled run off a Gordon inside ball and Tighe scored his second after finishing off a slick backline move to the left.
Walsh capped the win with a last-minute field goal.
In a telling stat, Penrith ran for 1610 metres to Brisbane’s 1193 and completed 84 per cent of sets.
Gordon starred for the home side, making 216 metres, producing two try assists and six tackle-breaks.
Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough worked tirelessly with a game-high 63 tackles.