Panthers dominate Broncos in NYC
A masterful display from Penrith's halves has guided the Panthers to a crushing 48-16 win over the Broncos in the Holden Cup.
It was the second-straight week the defending NYC premiers piled on over 40 points at home, with halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai once again playing starring roles.
Brisbane stuck with the defending premiers for the first 10 minutes, and were unlucky not to open the scoring when back-rower Joshua Rudolph failed to ground a deft kick from hooker Tristan Hope.
That would be the last time the Broncos threatened the Penrith line, as the visitors failed to make a line break in the first forty minutes.
For the second week in a row, the Panthers held their opponents scoreless in the opening half, this time taking a 26-0 lead into the break after it was 28-0 against the Bulldogs in Round 2.
First points for the afternoon came in the 15th minute after the Broncos failed to defuse a cross-field kick from Cleary, resulting in a simple try to Robert Jennings.
The star halfback was at it moments later, putting his right back-rower Jack Hetherington over untouched with a glorious face-ball.
A bullocking Cowen Epere run from the kick-off put the Panthers straight back on the attack, and two plays later fullback Dylan Edwards made a break down the right before finding Luai to score under the sticks.
There would be no reprieve for the visitors as Fuimanu Enese scored on the last tackle after some nice play in the lead-up by Braidon Burns to draw two defenders and offload to his unmarked winger.
After setting up the first two tries, Cleary did it all himself, showing-and-going before slicing through some tired would-be defence to score in the shadows of half-time.
Whatever Craig Hodges told his troops at the break worked, with the Broncos piling on two quick tries to start the second stanza. Gehamat Shibaski scored after a nice offload from Jaydn Sua, before a cut-out pass from Corey Allan put David Fauid over in the left corner.
After watching his halves partner dominate the first-half, Panthers five-eighth Jarome Luai took up the attacking slack in the second stanza, setting up two tries in the space of four minutes to put any hopes of a Brisbane comeback to bed.
The first came on the back of some scintillating footwork from the No.6 to put Burns over, before the exciting playmaker turned provider on the right to send Liam Martin over for his first try of the season.
The battle for bragging rights continued, with Cleary and Burns combining to put Corey Waddell over in the corner on the hour mark, before Luai set up Burns for his second with a perfectly-weighted grubber.
The Broncos managed a late consolation try through prop Keegan Hipgrave, but it was too little too late against a side looking the goods to defend its NYC premiership.
Penrith Panthers 48 (Braidon Burns 2, Robert Jennings, Jack Hetherington, Jarome Luai, Fuimanu Enese, Nathan Cleary, Liam Martin, Corey Waddell tries; Cleary 6 goals) defeated Brisbane Broncos 16 (Gehamat Shibaski, David Fauid, Keegan Hipgrave tries; Haydyn O'Hara 2 goals) at Pepper Stadium. Half-time: 26-0.