Mounties have continued their sole Intrust Super Premiership NSW dominance over Penrith with a 30-12 victory at Bathurst.
The boys from Mount Pritchard went into the match with four Kennedy’s in their starting 17, but it was Jarrad who starred with two tries from the back-row and a try-assist that will be in contention for pass of the season.
Mitch Barnett was at his usual barnstorming-best, while Glen Buttriss played very well in a match where he had to cover various positions due to an early injury to Adam Clydsdale.
The match started disastrously for Mounties, with the opening kick-off travelling out on the full, before Matt Place forced an immediate dropout for the Panthers after a solid opening set.
Eddie Aiono remarkably took the first hit-up for Mounties just after the six minute mark, as the Panthers had all the ball in the opening stages but could not convert them into points.
Penrith centre George Jennings was taken off the field with a suspected hamstring tear, while Clydsdale took no further part in the match with an ankle injury.
Barnett finally broke the game open at the 22-minute mark, after he charged at the defensive line and slipped out of the grasp multiple Penrith defenders. Barnett then threw a wayward pass to his left, it was cleaned up by Sam Duggan, then the ball went through the hands of Santo, before Jarrad Kennedy eventually scored the opening try.
Eddie Aiono finished off a beautiful right-to-left shit to increase Mounties lead to 12-0, after Buttriss darted out of dummy half, threw the pass to Lachlan Croker, who drifted sideways and passed for Sisa Waqa to create the overlap and set up the try.
A brilliant solo effort from Buttriss extended Mounties lead to 18-0 at halftime, as he took advantage of some unorganised Panthers marker defence and ran straight through a big hole to score.
A Maurice Kennedy cross-field kick early in the second half caught the wind late, and that was no trouble for the AFL convert, Josh Hall, to leap above the pack and run the length of the field untouched to open the Panthers’ account.
The Panthers blew their next two sets on the attack, and Mounties made them pay when Brenko Lee charged into the defence, got his arm free and offloaded to a supporting Jarrad Kennedy to score his second try of the afternoon.
Jarrad Kennedy just could not remove himself from the action, throwing a magical flick pass straight into the hands of Kato Ottio, who scored one of the easier of his 12 tries this season by strolling over untouched and increasing Mounties lead to 28-6.
The Panthers hit back when Corey Harawira-Naera intercepted a Lachlan Croker pass, and ran 70 metres to score the Panthers’ second long-range try of the match.
Malakai Watene-Zelezniak then scored a late consolation try for the Panthers to add some respectability in the score-line, but it was too little, too late against a red-hot Mounties outfit.
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