Panthers too good for Bulldogs in Holden Cup
The Penrith Panthers have bounced back from a heartbreaking two point loss last week to register their first win of the 2016 Holden Cup season with a 46-6 win over the Bulldogs.
The defending premiers blew away the visitors in the first-half, racing out to a 28-0 lead at the break before taking the foot off the pedal.
After knocking off the beaten grand finalists last week, Canterbury was totally outclassed by a Penrith side led by its experienced spine.
Halfback Nathan Cleary was at his brilliant best, playing a part in five of his side's tries, kicking seven goals and forcing several line dropouts with his deft kicking game.
A poor read in defence allowed Cleary, five-eighth Jarome Luai and fullback Dylan Edwards to combine to send winger Ratu Tuisese over in the right corner for the first try of the game.
The late withdrawal of Canterbury winger Isaac Pedro forced a reshuffle in the Bulldogs backline, with Jerry Leasi moving to centre and Jayden Okunbor to the wing.
It didn't take long for the Penrith right edge to take advantage, with centre Braidon Burns scoring a double in the space of five minutes to extend the lead to 16-0.
The first came off a glorious cut-out pass from back-rower Corey Waddell, while the Cleary, Luai, Edwards combination linked up to set up his second.
Penrith's classy spine was at it again ten minutes later, with No.9 Wayde Egan and Cleary finding space through the middle before sending Edwards over for his first of the night.
Cleary showed why he was named in the Australian Schoolboys side last year, setting up lock forward Tyrone May just before half-time to end the first-half carnage.
Both sides started the second half with a flurry of mistakes, but the Panthers quickly settled to score the next three tries to kill off the contest.
Winger Fuimanu Enese burst through from dummy-half to link up with Edwards who raced 40 metres to score his second for the night.
The flying fullback completed his hat-trick three minutes later after stepping past two defenders to make it 40-0 after 55 minutes.
The rout continued shortly after when May charged onto a Cleary flat ball to stroll over for his second.
Canterbury ended the procession with 10 minutes to go with lock forward Siaopo Tagaloa running a nice line to get the Bulldogs on the board.
Penrith Panthers 46 (Dylan Edwards 3, Tyrone May 2, Braidon Burns 2, Ratu Tuisese tries; Nathan Cleary 7 goals) defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 6 (Siaopo Tagaloa try; Zac Greene goal) at Pepper Stadium. Half-time Panthers 28-0
This video first appeard on penrithpanthers.com.au